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August 2000

6 August

A day of changeable weather on the Roaches.

The walk was very similar to one Stan led about 3 years ago. It reversed the Three Counties Challenge Hike between the main Roaches ridge and Hen Cloud and then up via Gib Tor and Flash Bottom into Flash. Then via Wolf Edge and Knotbury to Three Shires Head. This was strangely quiet for the time of year, possibly because the morning had been wet and misty.

The weather was on the turn and getting ever better as we went down the Dane Valley to Gradbach. There was then a 1000 ft climb up Black Brook on to the Ridge. I decided to check out my fitness (this is a laugh as I am grossly overweight) and did it in one pull at a reasonable pace. I was quite pleased with that and even resisted an ice cream at the top.

Back over the trig point and by Doxey Pool.

This is a wonderful area. We met a group who'd come up from Banbury for the day. That's a tribute to the quality of walking.

13 August

The Ramblers' walk was described in the programme as the Three Hills. This meant that no one really knew where it was. There were two clues. The alternative start point was Newport which suggested that we were going west. Also the walk leader was Chris Moyle and I know that his family come from just south of Shrewsbury. My guess was that we were heading thereabouts and that was pretty good.

We started on the edge of Hope Bowdler, just east of Church Stretton, and we set off round the shoulder of Hope Bowdler Hill. We had some fairly easy walking along the Wilderness and Hoar Edge before some road work took us to the northern end of Lawley Hill. That meant a serious climb to the summit and lunch. We met another walking group up there from Lancashire. They had come by coach and theirs was the middle group. The A party were doing 20+ miles. Ah yes, I remember when ....

The next target, indeed the third hill of the walk title, could only be Caer Caradog. This is a lovely hill, one of my favourites, but it was Beryl's first time up it. She would have enjoyed it more if the weather hadn't closed in totally on the ascent. It poured it down and some of the group decided that they were going to take the contour path rather than go to the top. Those of us who carried on saw very little from the top; we deserved a better reward.

We took the col between Helmeth Hill and Hope Bowdler and were soon back at the cars. This should have been a belting walk; I really like the rolling section of Shropshire south and west of Shrewsbury. Just a pity about the rain.

You'll now be wondering what happened to the rest of August. Well this was truly special. So good that I'm going to create a special section just on it. Here is a clue....


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