Date: 10 September 1995
Company: Stafford Ramblers
Length: 15 mile
Start at Wildboarclough. Climb Shuttlingsloe and cross the moor to edge of
the Macclesfield Forest. Turn right along forest walk to Forest Chapel. Go back into forest
but veer right to track under Tegg's Nose. Climb up to pick up Gritstone at Tegg's Nose
Car Park. Follow Trail southwards over Croker Hill and Wincle Minn, turning east
to Mareknowles. Go north up the stream a little way and then head north-east
over Bennettshill to the Wild Boar pub. Back up the valley to Wildboarclough.
I have realised that I have not yet included a single walk with
Stafford Ramblers. What does this demonstrate? Probably that their walks are
less strenuous and so tend to be less memorable. Anyway I am going to end with
two of theirs. Even this is a minor cheat as I led both walks and the intention was to
do tougher ones.
In my defence I argue that these problems were not apparent when I did the prewalk with Charles. True he did struggle a bit on the climb up Shuttlingsloe but he was OK after that. We explored alternative routes and had to do a diversion because of a non-existent path so that we walked 18 miles altogether and stopped for a drink at the Wild Boar and still were finished before 6pm. I did however realise that there would be problems as soon as I got to the car park. There were far more people than is normal for one of my walks (I did have a certain reputation even then) and I knew that some of them were not up to it.
This became very clear on the first climb up Shuttlingsloe as I allowed people to go at their own pace and we got very spread out
(although this gave me the chance to play on the rocky bits on the summit). The weather at this stage was lovely and the next section is nice and easy so that we could
really enjoy the sunshine. There is one stunning view if Shining Tor which you come
upon quite suddenly in a break in the forest.
This is typical of my experience of the Gritstone. I think that
it's a wonderful path but every time I have walked it the weather has been bad. Perhaps
I am just unlucky: Beryl says the same about Cheddleton and JD had to go up Fairfield
27 times before he saw anything from the top.
I'll draw a veil over the rest of the walk as most people just wanted to get back and it was becoming darker and wetter. A pity really because I like the walk back up the valley to Wildboarclough.