Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Weather permitting

Surely one of the greatest joys of Summer is the warm sunshine lasting late into the day, concluding with spectacular sunsets and mild nights.

Today was forecast to be one of these days, with the risk of some mid afternoon showers.  So it was the longest walk yet for me this year.  I'm building up to a pilgrimage to Cut Hill, and I needed to test myself.  I haven't been walking as often or as far as I'd hoped at new year.

I parked up at Four Winds car park - the former site of Foggintor School - and started the day by completing a small letterbox series around Over Tor, Church Rock and Little Mis Tor.  It must be at least a decade or so since I've been here.  The Merrivale military range was closed today, and guns were audible beyond Roos Tor.  Thankfully I hadn't planned to go too far North, but instead to cross over the main road and complete a different set of letterboxes around Kings Tor, Swell Tor and North Hessary.

At lunch, sat on the bank of the Longash Brook below Merrivale Menhir as I was, the clouds built up, the wind strengthened, and the rain began to fall.  I was not put off, and layered up I rounded Kings Tor to Little Kings and Hucken Tors.  A particularly sharp shower forced me under the bridge for shelter.  After exploring the area around the corbel stones and climbing over Swell Tor quarries, I followed the old railway track around to Foggintor and, between boxes, I took some time out to watch the climbers and abseilers enjoying the steep drops on offer.  The military are responsible, I understand, for the large quantity of metal gear affixed to the lips of the deep quarry.

Then it was back to Four Winds.  I estimate the walk was about 9 miles in length.  I found 33 boxes which is a new personal record since my GPS was switched off!  Bring on Cut Hill!

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