Sunday, 12 August 2007

#32 - Dartmoor Perambulation Day 1

08:30am Left the comfort of the Fox Tor Bunkhouse in Princetown, headed off in the mist to North Hessary Tor. Six of us, with only myself with any comprehension of what was to come, having walked most of it before. First hill, and it was beginning to dawn on them!
Thankfully, the eyesore that is the TV mast, was shrouded in a cloud, so we headed over North Hessary Tor and onto Great Mis Tor.

By now, the mist was clearing, and we even caught a glimpse of the sun and the odd rainbow brightening up the Walkham valley.

The River Walkham was a surprisingly slippery customer to cross, we all took differing routes across in the space of 100 metres, I finally decided to take the plunge and paddle across!
Up onto White Barrow, my companions didn’t give it a second look, I’m not sure they noticed it!
Limsboro Cairn is much more impressive, and we stopped for a break amongst some Dartmoor ponies.

A long slog through long grass to Sandy Ford. From there we made our way alongside the Tavy to Rattlebrook Foot. We met a guy on the way who mentioned that on the longest day, some people do the whole perambulation in one day; rather than be impressed, we just asked “Why?” It's far too good a walk to spoil rushing through!

The crossing of the Rattlebrook saw our first casualty. The same man suggested this was the best place to cross, and, on cue, Catherine fell in up to her waist! Same man made a hasty exit to catch up with his party! We climbed up to Hare Tor, for lunch and a good point to dry her clothes in the breeze.

Followed the Rattlebrook up past Bleak House and the peat works. Once again, obvious bemusement when I stopped in the middle of nowhere and confirmed we were at another boundary point, Rattlebrook Head.

Reached Steng-a-Tor, and the mood changed again when my friends saw the climb down into the West Okement Valley. Jude was particularly good at finding knee deep holes amongst the clitter, I just kept telling her to be really careful but it didn't seem to do the trick. Paul admitted later, he was ready to beat me to death with my walking poles!

Crossed Sandy Ford and headed up to Fordsland Ledge, exhausted. Simon broke out the mint cake, and even though we were very grateful, it would have been more help if he’d done so at the bottom of the hill!

After Yes Tor was ticked off, it felt like the home straight into Belstone, and we plodded on, via Cullever Steps, for a welcome beer in the Tors Pub, arriving about 8.15pm.
  • Date: 12/08/07
  • Region: Dartmoor
  • Status: Lead
  • Description: 1240 Boundary Charity Walk: Princetown - Great Mis Tor - Rattlebrook - Yes Tor - Belstone. Overcast, Good visibility in the afternoon; 30km, 12 hours. Overnight at the Tors Pub.
  • Type of Walk: Leading or Assisting