/ Grains in the water / The Swamp to Bleaklow Head?

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elliot.baker 30 Aug 2019

I'm trying to find a big (for me) loop run /walk to do on Sunday, around the Lady Bower area. I could go all the way around both reservoirs and it's about 18 miles but I've done most of that before in pieces. So I've been looking for paths that link up with Bleaklow. The first loop I came up with went along the North side of Kinder, up onto Bleaklow then back  across Howden Moor and the reservoirs but it was 25 miles + which I think is a bit ambitious.

I can see on the map an around Alport Moor called "Grains in the Water", "The Swamp" and "Hern Clough". On the OS map there is no path along the river (Alport?) in this area, BUT on Viewranger there is a path which follows the water the whole way until it links up with the Pennine way on Bleaklow.

Basically what I'm asking is ... what is this path like? Does it exist? How will I fair in trail running shoes crossing "The swamp" (what a name!).

Thanks for any help anyone can offer!

Stuart (aka brt) 30 Aug 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

The path you allude to exists in some form. If in doubt keep following the stream and head west will get you onto the PW. The 15 Trigs route (amongst other link ups) pass this way so it is used. 

Grains can be wet but not hideous (though this is always relative - I tend to not give a poo about wet feet). 

Post edited at 15:50
r0b 30 Aug 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

I've no experience of the path along the River Alport but I have done a similar route which instead of going along the river goes up to Alport Castles then NW on the ridge above the river, along "The Ridge" to a point just W of Bleaklow Stones then to Bleaklow Head.

Like this (I was going the other way here, Bleaklow first): https://www.strava.com/activities/2396673622

It's a good route, apart from the section along the A57 (although you can hop across the fence onto a little path to cut out most of the sketchy road section)

PlagueOfFrogs 30 Aug 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

It's a very obvious path that lies on the left side of the valley as you run down it. Great scenery, but the only annoyance is it's quite a narrow path so you can't really go full pelt down it. Worth a visit though if you've not been.

Otherwise going parallel to it down the middle of the watershed (referred to as "The Ridge" on the map) is a very fast, peaty trod and super pleasant to run on. Eventually takes you to Alport Trig.

The swamp is not very swampy. More a case of jumping over little watercourses than wading through bog. Fab place. Only thing to be aware of is there is a genuine bogmonster (I first discovered it when I sank up to my chest in it) quite near Hern Clough. IIRC the grid ref is ~ SK 096 951, but might be wrong.


PlagueOfFrogs 30 Aug 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

PS, there is also a trod for a section on the other side of the Alport, but it ain't as good

John Gresty 31 Aug 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

Good area to go over on an ankle, and then it's a long painful hobble back to the car.  Just go and have a look, have fun.


elliot.baker 31 Aug 2019
In reply to PlagueOfFrogs:

Hi thank you for this, please can I clarify, when you say "Eventually takes you to Alport Trig.", are you referring to when you are running East away from the Pennine Way and towards Ladybower? I will be coming from the opposite direction but from the sounds of it if I just stick to the contour line from Alport Castles and head West I will eventually reach the Pennine Way and can then follow the path back around to Ladybower.

PlagueOfFrogs 01 Sep 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:Yeah sorry I was describing running in the opposite direction.

Sounds like a sensible plan, although from Bleaklow Stones towards Howden that "path" is hard work. Another decent loop would be up Alport, to Bleaklow Stones, then down Westend valley (cracking place) to the reservoirs, although that's quite a bit shorter.

annieman 02 Sep 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

I walked down "the Ridge" to the Alport Trig and The Hagg farm supervising DofE during the week before Bank Holiday. 

I can confirm that the Swamp and all of the low lying ground until after the Trig point are exceptionally wet, boggy. Urggh!

elliot.baker 02 Sep 2019
In reply to John Gresty:

You jinxed me! As I was running across Bleaklow, my Garmin watch beeped to notify the end of the 14th kilometer of a 30km route. As I went to look at the screen I rolled my ankle so hard I heard a noise half way between the sound of cracking knuckles and crunching snow under foot! Fortuntely (ish) it was less painful to run on than to walk / hobble on so I ran as much of the remaining 15km as I could, seeing no shorter way back from Bleaklow to Fairholmes than the remainder of the route... little did I know what the remaining paths were like!

Next came the betrayal by Ordnance Survey because I can safely say the path between Bleaklow/Howden to the source of the Derwent is nonexistent (25minutes to do 900m)! and the path along the River Derwent before you get to the area just south of Rocking Stones is also somewhere between nonexistent and dangerous! All in all a good adventure but I've got to go for an x-ray today to rule out a hairline fracture on my ankle.

PlagueOfFrogs 02 Sep 2019
In reply to elliot.baker:

Well done for soldiering on despite a possibly broken ankle - done like a true fell runner!

Yeah, for future reference, it's possibly better to follow the big path from Bleaklow Stones to Grinah (obvious but not on the map), then trot over to Barrow Stones then straight down into swains greave from there. Then you can just pick up the nice path that runs right down by the side of the Derwent.

Post edited at 18:51

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