The "Bleaklow Monster" Walk

4th May 2003: We set off from Fairholmes a relatively small group (just the 10 of us) unaware that Roger's reputation as leader of the hardest walks would be challenged by James by the end of our 9 hour ordeal! The weather held out much better than expected without any sign of the predicted showers (is anyone else's neck as sun burnt as mine?!) although the wind was so strong at points the females in the group were struggling to see with their hair whipping their faces! We were never short of beautiful and interesting scenery as our walk took in Alport Castles, Bleaklow, an old plane crash and views of the reservoirs.

Early on in the walk, James did his schoolteacher impression and rescued a young group of backpackers walking in the wrong direction! Everyone was in high spirits and thoroughly enjoying themselves until a short stop and map-checking moment late in the afternoon resulted in James's 'quote-of-the-walk': "I think we might have overdone it a bit this time - but never mind!" and a finish time of 7.30pm was mentioned. Having already had our pub stop and thought we were near the end, the idea of another 2 hours walking was not good news but we weren't disappointed and the scenery continued to be varied (and more importantly - softer under foot!) as we plodded on through the Woodlands Valley. As we negotiated yet another stile, looking somewhat less enthusiastic than the beginning of the walk, another comment of, "You're doing this for fun, just remember that!" from Simon made us laugh and forget about how much our feet hurt for a little while.

It was a great walk with great views and finishing the walk was extremely satisfying - we really felt like we'd achieved something. Watch out Roger!

Many thanks to James for leading and Cathy for back marking.


Snack stop

Alport Castles

near Alport Castles


Ruth, Kat, James (lost)

James still lost

Emma, James, Cathy

Rocks on Bleaklow

Through the Lunar Landscape

Plane wreck plaque

Part of plane wreck

James tries a more interesting route across the road...

... and soon changes his mind

Along the River Ashop

Welcome relief at the Snake Inn


Lambing time

Still miles to go...

Cute farmhouse dogs

Derwent Reservoir finally reappears

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