Monday, 12 March 2012

Crowden to Black Hill Circular

First of all  I apologise for the photographs. The weather was a bit of a surprise considering the weather forecast didn't seem as though it would be too bad. On the day there were high winds and low cloud, that is until I got back to the car, then the sun came out. Considering the views I had in poor weather in good weather there would be fantastic views making the walk very satisfying. The first half of the walk follows the Pennine Way.

Part way up towards Laddow Rocks looking back to Crowden.
From Crowden the Pennine Way approaches Laddow Rocks, a route which is quite steep making for a good lung burner on the way up. Once up to the rocks the path levels out somewhat before it drops slightly into a small valley with a brook running through. On the left of this is Little Clough.
Near to Little Clough.
The path continues to Meadowgrain Clough which is a little muddy in places and observation is needed here as the path can get a little vague.
Looking back from near Meadowgrain Clough.
From there is the approach to Dun Hill. This is quite a steady climb but be careful not to step off the path else your foot may disappear. Mine did at one point to the ankle and I exerted very little pressure. Some might consider the paths unsightly but the ground here is quite fragile and dangerous.
The approach to Dun Hill.

Looking back from the Dun Hill approach.
Once at the top of Black Hill (Soldiers Lump) it's a good idea to go back the way you came for around one hundred yards to a drier area. In good weather the cairn on Tooleyshaw Moss is visible, unless it's like the day I was there and 50 meters was good visibility. After walking back the way I had come for about 50 meters to avoid the ponds on Black Hill I ended up having to work my way through the heather and bog on a heading of around 130 degrees. About 200 meters along I could see Home Moss mast directly to the east and I could just make out the cairn on Tooleyshaw Moss about 30 meters in the same direction. 

The cairn on Tooleyshaw Moss.
From the cairn there are two paths that can be followed, both leading essentially to the same goal. down to White Low. The route is a real mixed bag. In March, very boggy, although it does look like it would be far more accessible in the Summer when it's drier.
Crowden in the distance as I descended from White Low.
Behind the quarry overlooking Crowden there is a split in the path. The route I followed took me down a steep slope to a farm access track passing by Hey Moss and leading down to the side of the quarry.

Looking back to Crowden little Moor.

Crowden and the quarry just visible from Hey Moss.
On the track were some very swamped sections which to my surprise were full of spawning frogs. There were literally thousands of eggs.
Frogs spawning on the dirt track near Hey Moss.
The track passes quite close to the quarry. As I understand it the quarry was used for the construction of the dams in the valley.
The quarry above Crowden.

 From the quarry are some fantastic views, especially back across to Laddow Rocks and the path I had climbed around 5 hours earlier.

Oaken Clough seen from the quarry.
There's a final steep downhill section back to Crowden and the comfort of the car (it's surprising what strong winds and low cloud will make you appreciate).

This map is only a representation and should in no way be used as a map to walk by.