Sun 25th Nov, 2018
Bleaklow Hare Hunt
Members In attendance: Dave Wylie, Keith Williams, Jim Symon, Michelle Harvie, Kate Harvey, Mark Garrod, Roger Dyke, Joe Dugdale, Christine Beeston, Maggie Baldock.
Guests: Neil Boynton
The day dawned bright and sunny in Manchester, but not on Bleaklow – instead we got perfect Bleaklow weather of clag, some drizzle / rain and a cold wind. The route we took was actually pretty close to that given in the preview; up and over Cock Hill, down onto the Pennine Way on Clough Edge, then up to the top of Bleaklow via Wildboar Grain, and down the PW to Hern Clough. We then took a right off-piste, aiming for Higher Shelf Stones, with the aim of viewing the “Over-exposed” aircraft wreckage site en route. Mainly due to Keith’s iphone navigation gizmo, as opposed to Mark’s “it is in this rough direction” navigation, we were spot on for both targets. At this point Jim won the prize for the first (and only) hare spot, confirmed by Christine. In answer to the question posed in my meet preview, Jim reports that it was on its way to its winter coat, and partially white.
We then followed the edge (sort of) to Lower Shelf Stones, where lunch was partaken out of the wind (and rain at that point). Full marks to Kate who persevered with her shorts all day – her legs looked a bit pink at this point. The final bit of in-clag off-piste took us as due north as the groughs and the odd tempting faint path allowed, again hitting the head of Dowstone Clough pretty much where intended – what was going wrong? The return journey then took us along the north edge of Yellowslacks Brook, following the edge all the way to the final descent onto the main Doctors Gate path.
Back at the cars we met Roger again, who had peeled off on Cock Hill and completed a leisurely inspection of the local quarries and Old Glossop itself. The finale involved a cup of team and excellent cake in the garden centre café at Whimberry Hill. Thanks to everyone for their company – a fine day out.
Will we see any hares? Will they be white yet, against a snow-less landscape, or still dark, standing out in the snow? No idea! Last time I was up on top of Bleaklow in winter and in the clag, I saw an owl, so you never know what may turn up.
To find out best join us, starting at 9.30am from Old Glossop (grid ref 046947) parking near the road end under Shire Hill. I reserve the right to amend the route at any time (esp. after I lose it), but a rough idea is head up and over Cock Hill, down onto the Pennine Way on Clough Edge, then head up to the top of Bleaklow via Wildboar Grain. Follow the PW to Hern Clough, then its “off-piste” swinging back to Higher Shelf Stones. Back to Hern Stones or thereabouts (esp if the cloud is down), turn left-ish, and pick up the north edge of Yellowslacks Brook. That leads us very nicely all the way down the edge back to the cars / bicycles / whatever. I reckon it is around 10 miles, but tough going at times.
Not sure if there are any cafes open in winter in Glossop, or whether we will be back in time, but if yes to both, that would be a good way to finish.
Ideally let me know if you plan to come along, but if you don’t want to commit, just meet on the day.
0161-438-3898 and 07887-696003