Thursday, 24 April 2014

TGO Challenge Spring Gathering 2014

Saturday 8th March 2014 

A walk over the moorlands of the Dark Peak, passing several aircraft wrecks 

Distance: 22.5km; Ascent: 780m; Dry, but misty at first; with lots of other TGO Challengers

Martin had kindly agreed to give me a lift over to the Snake Inn for today's TGO Challenge reunion walk in the Dark Peak.  We set off walking at around 10am and headed up Lady Clough to reach the start of the Doctor's Gate path, which we followed up into the mist.  The cloud didn't last for long though and soon we were descending down into the upper part of the Shelf Brook valley with good views over the nearby moorland.

In the upper part of Lady Clough
Heading down Doctor's Gate towards Glossop
Shelf Moor from Doctor's Gate
After a break for lunch we began our steep ascent of Ashton Clough, past various bits of aircraft wreckage in and around the clough.

Some of the C47 Skytrain remains in Ashton Clough
The upper part of Ashton Clough
After topping out onto the moorland above the clough, we came across further aircraft wreckage nearby on James's Thorn and from here we headed east across Shelf Moor.

Further remains of the C47 Skytrain above Ashton Clough
A few remains of a Lancaster on James's Thorn
Shelf Moor
Soon we reached our high point for the day at the summit of Higher Shelf Stones (Nuttall), where I stopped for a few minutes near the trigpoint to admire the views.

Summit rocks of Higher Shelf Stones
From the summit rocks of Higher Shelf Stones we made our way across the moor towards the Pennine Way, passing further aircraft wreckage in the peat.

Group approaching the Superfortress remains
Some of the Superfortress remains near Higher Shelf Stones
More of the Superfortress remains
Soon we reached the junction of the Pennine Way with the Doctor's Gate path, from where most of the group retraced our outward route back to the pub.  However a small group of us decided to have a bit more a walk given that there were still several hours of daylight left to enjoy.  Therefore we followed the Pennine Way across the top of the Snake Pass and on across the moorland to reach the summit of Mill Hill (Dewey), our second and last summit for the day.

Looking towards Kinder from Mill Hill
Before descending, Graham took us on a short detour to visit the crash site of a fourth aircraft on the western slopes on Mill Hill, which I had previously walked past one evening last August.

Some of the Liberator remains on Mill Hill
More of the Liberator remains
At the path junction between Mill Hill and the NW edge of Kinder, we left the Pennine Way and headed down the pleasant Ashop Clough, pretty much all the way back to the pub. Later that afternoon Lynsey arrived and we had an enjoyable evening in the pub in the pleasant company of many other TGO Challengers.

Footpath junction near Ashop Head
In Ashop Clough
Martin's somewhat more detailed and prompt description of the day's walk can be found here, together with more details of the various different aircraft wrecks we encountered during the day.

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