Location: Bleaklow Stones, Dark Peak, Peak District Derbyshire
Date: August 2017
Shelter: MLD Duomid
Having not been out walking since the TGO back in May, it was high time I secured a pass out for an over nighter. A couple of texts later, my friend Dean and I had arranged to meet up in Bamford and head to Bleaklow, that was the extent of our plan. Friday evening I received a message from my mate Dan C and coincidentally he also had plans to head into the Peaks that Saturday. He and Dan H were planning to go to Fairbrook Naze but kindly changed their plans in favour of a social meet up with me and Dean.
Saturday afternoon I met up with Dean in Bamford and we followed the A57 for a short while to Ladybower and onto Crook Hill. Heading for Grinnah Stones we bimbled towards Hagg Farm and up to Alport Castles where we had a surprise flyby from the Battle of Britain Lancaster Bomber followed by a Spitfire. No mistaking the sound as they swept over the Derwent Valley and gracefully came into our view as we looked across to Fairholmes. We continued over Rowlee Pasture up to Alport Castles and sat in the bird hide looking out for peregrines, no luck. I received a text from Dan to say they were in the pub and would be setting off shortly to meet us at Grinnah Stones (obviously they don’t take this wild camping seriously).
The path that runs alongside Alport Dale on the upper Eastern edge finishes at the Trig point and turns to bog as the ground slowly drops before climbing again up to Bleaklow. Aiming for Grinnah Stones we cut the corner off and headed directly to Bleaklow Stones aiming for the path that runs along the edge. This was, in hindsight, a mistake as the ground was unusually boggy for the time of year so made for very slow going.
Eventually we arrived at Bleaklow Stones where we met up with the two Dans and the dog Audrey, they’d decided not to continue to Grinnah Stones and found a great spot on the summit just behind Bleaklow Stones looking out towards Holmfirth.
As the others made a start pitching tents I headed off to find water, given the amount we’d seen on the way up it was surprisingly hard to find any around Bleaklow Stones, so I headed off for about 1-2km in search for water. By the time I was back the others seemed slightly concerned about my whereabouts, only very slightly though (no mountain rescue calls or tears).
Around this time another guy turned up, Tony I think his name was, to bivvy on Bleaklow Stones. Audrey seemed to take exception to his red trousers and wouldn’t leave the poor guy alone.
Duomid pitched it was time for food, Arrabiata Pasta’n’Sauce followed by coffee and Snickers. It was a dry evening although despite it being August it was surprisingly cold! So we sat in the big GoLite Shangri-la party tent until it was dark enough to nip outside to spot the meteor shower. We spent the evening talking “man talk” and sampling a range of drinks with the occasional visit outside when it was clear enough to see a meteor or two. I counted 4 meteors, so not exactly a shower, more like a drip.
The clouds rolled in and the hip flasks ran dry so it was time to hit the sack. I was over optimistic taking the Mammut spring sleeping bag, I wasn’t freezing but not warm by any stretch. I’ll be sticking with the BPL Down Quilt for 3 season use from now on.
I woke around 5am to the sound of Audrey sniffing around the tent and the shutter of Dan’s Nikon snapping away at the sunrise. Dozzing off I eventually woke around 8ish and got a brew on, the Duomid had warmed up a fair amount now it was in full sun. Brew drained I headed outside into the mist, whilst the others snoozed, Audrey and I sat watching the clouds clear to reveal dew soaked moor glistening in the sunlight.
Audrey soon got bored and headed off to roll in the grass and some other important dog stuff.
It was a lazy morning, packing up and heading off for about 9:30am’ish, we waved the Dans and Audrey off as they headed back towards the Snake Pass, Dean an I retraced our steps to Alport, this time taking a slightly less direct but dryer route.
Back to the cars around 2ish the last treat was the returning Lancaster flyby.
A great wild camp, a nice route, brilliant company and perfect weather.
Here’s Dean Read’s video of the trip:
It was a really great overnighter, shame about the cloud during the meteor shower (drip) but it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. More soon 🙂
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