Meet Report: Sun 2nd Sept 2018 walk

Just three of us met in Old Glossop for this meet. To be honest it was two more than I expected given that there was an away meet and a climbing meet running on the same day. However Sean J, Chris K and I were rewarded with a fine day out on Bleaklow to make the lengthy drive over worthwhile. After disentangling ourselves from a large group of Dearne Valley Ramblers we left the town along Shepley St and passed a rather noisy clay pigeon shoot before leaving the main track and climbing steadily up the ridge towards Yellowslacks. Ahead of us was a tantalising belt of blue sky but we were uncertain whether it would extend in our direction. Doubts were resolved a short time later when, as we took a short break, the sky cleared and we were bathed in sunshine for the rest of the day. We passed Hern Stones, joined the Pennine Way for a short distance then wandered over to Wain Stones and the much photographed ‘Kiss’. At the large cairn of Bleaklow Head we were approached by a couple who had wandereded up by Torside Clough using a ‘phone app. ‘Which is the best way down?’ they asked. ‘The same way you came up,’ was our considered advice.
We had met only a few people on the hill so far and we had the next stretch completely to ourselves. We made our way towards Bleaklow Stones across dry ground and through swathes of long grass rippling gently in the breeze – a truly freaky experience for those of us who remember the stark, peaty morass which preceded the ‘Greening of the Moors’ project; the transformation is remarkable. Grouse, buzzard and mountain hare were seen before our lunch stop at the Stones and then it was down The Ridge to Grains-in-the-Water and the Swamp. Even after our long, dry summer there was some damp ground here but it was easily avoided and we were soon across it to follow the narrow track up Hern Clough and to rejoin the Pennine Way. From there it was a brisk mile to the top of the Doctor’s Gate track which we followed down through its sinuous, steep-sided valley (more regeneration here too, in the form of an extensive tree planting scheme) and back to Old Glossop. A really enjoyable day out – the only time I have ever come off Bleaklow with clean, dry boots!! 13 miles

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