Thursday, 26 September 2013

I want me MAM!

Although very hazy, we decided to do the Castleton skyline today. A familiar favourite, but one we never tire of doing.
We parked by the famous Blue John mine entrance. An innocuous enough looking niche, but the entrance to one of ONLY TWO places on earth that has the stone known as Blue John, the other is the nearby Treak Cliff cavern.
Anyone not familiar with it can read about it here;

 We walked along the road until we reached the beginning of the catastrophic 1979 landslip, which finally closed this section of the A625.
Some of the damage just HAS to be seen to be believed!!

That’s the cause of all this mayhem – Mam Tor – known as the ‘shivering mountain’.

Huge portions of the surface have just gone.
In the background, you can see the hazy conditions – not great for pictures Sad smile

Sue walks alongside one of the huge fissures.

Looking back to Mam Tor from the bottom of the road near to the Odin mine.

Sue had never visited the site before, so we went in to take a look. It was here, in 1986 when I went on an outward bound course, that my walking really began.
One of the walks I did on the course was past this crushing circle, so it was nice to re-visit it.

Although I’d seen the crushing ring, I had never visited the actual mine, which was just across the road. At Sue’s behest, we put this right.
When you’re ‘up close and personal’, it really does seem a Herculean task to actually hew the rock by hand!

Imagine – all dug out by men with picks.

Sue went in to take a look.

 All around inside, you could see different tunnels and adits where the men had investigated in their search for ‘treasure’.

It was dark and dank – suitable conditions for fungi to flourish.
These shaggy ink caps were in the mouth of the mine.

Some honey fungus, clinging to a mossy rock.

Another hand-hewn entrance, but full of mud and very hard going.
Imagine what it would have been like for the poor miners?

We investigated thoroughly, before moving on with the walk and into the village of Castleton.
It was still hazy in the distance, as we watched the farmer collecting the last silage of the season, making these symmetrical patterns as he went.

Then we came across a small pool of water, and to our delight there were several big dragonfly doing aerobatics, RIGHT by where we stood!
It was very difficult to get a good shot, they were just SO fast. I did my best though.

At one point, two of them seemed to collide, and danced in the air, before falling into the water entwined.

Was it sex or violence (or both)????

We watched the antics for many a while before  moving on.
To our right was Peveril Castle, which gives Castleton village its name.

These cavers certainly know their devil’s arse from their elbow!
This is the only cavern of the three that we’ve not visited. We are going to right that VERY soon, as we’re told it’s the best of them all.

A sadly neglected seat, with some of the nicest ironwork I've seen.
WHAT a waste!

In the courtyard of the tourist centre, this much more modern (but nonetheless impressive) piece.

The main road through Castleton village.

As we struck north to leave the village and head for the hills, we noticed these first signs of autumn.

A sleepy Castleton backwater.

A few puffs and grunts saw us on the flanks of Lose hill. Still not great for pictures along the great ridge, but we loved it.
You can see the distinctive lone tree on Back Tor.

There we go – the summit trig’ point of Lose Hill.
We’d decided to eat our lunch halfway up. In the event, a good decision, as this top was plagued by red flying ants – not a pleasant place to tarry today!

Quick as a flash, we were at the other end of the ridge at the summit of the shivering giant – Mam Tor.

After spending some time there, chatting to three tourists, we left by the ‘quick route’ – a path that drops STRAIGHT down the side of the face of Mam Tor, and back to the car.
Not perfect for pictures today, but an enjoyable day for us, all the same.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Tiffin on Tryfan

Our latest walk can be seen on my other blog (as it's not in the Peak District)
We had a day climbing the north face of Tryfan, a mountain in Snowdonia.
You can see the report and pictures here;