Sunday, 30 May 2010

#103 - Black-a-tor Copse

The decision had been made the night before to go for a day walk, instead of camping, as the forecasters were, once again, making it hard for us. As we had both brought down some new cooking kit to try out, we thought it would be good to take it along and have a decent brew up as well as a hot meal.

We parked at a favourite of mine, Meldon Reservoir, and took the left bank to the West Okement River valley. Up onto Shelstone Tor, along the ridgeline to Steng-a-tor, before descending to Sandy Ford where we had lunch.

So to the kit; I had brought my Lifesaver Bottle to collect and filter the water, and some packs of Expedition Foods freeze dried meals to sample. Jim had purchased a Jetboil Stove, and was keen to try it out in anger. How these all faired will follow later.

A nice relaxing lunch over, we ascended to Fordsland Ledge and on to High Willhays, where the wind was picking up. We took shelter at Yes Tor, and had another brew! You can't beat a fresh cup of tea on the hill!

We headed back, via Black Tor, and descended to the copse at the foot of the hill. Black-a-tor Copse is a beautiful piece of ancient oak woodland, especially at this time of year. The oak leaves are young and almost translucent in the sun, and with the amazing range of greens and browns from the moss and lichen that covers the woodland floor, this is a magical place. We took well over an hour just pottering about exploring it! We both agreed that we had found our wildcamping spot for next time!

The joy of this walk was that we took our time and it gave us the opportunity to discover things we would normally just march by. The delicate flora in this area, clinging to the most precarious of footholds, the waterfalls, the West Okement valley is special on a day like today!
  • Date: 30/05/10
  • Region: Dartmoor National Park
  • Status: Lead
  • Description: Meldon Reservoir – Shelston Tor - Steng-a-tor – Sandy Ford – Yes Tor – Black-a-tor Copse - Meldon Reservoir - Sunny, windy, 14.3km, 7hrs
  • Type of Walk: Lead or Assisting