Saturday, 18 August 2012

Alphin Pike, Black Hill and Broadstone Hill 12.8.12



A circular walk, 16.7 miles, 7 - 8 hours. 

Black Hill has been on my list of Peak District high points for a while now. I have climbed most of its surrounding hills, but somehow this one had always been overlooked.
 Last year I took a circular walk from near-by Greenfield taking in Alphin Pike, so I wanted to incorporate Alphin into this walk, and also the un-bagged Trig Point on Featherbed Moss if possible.

The day had started off quite misty, but the Sun was trying to burn through. Light rain showers had been forecast for the Peak District for later in the day, but for now the day was looking good. So it was a train from Leeds to Huddersfield then to change for the train to Greenfield overall costing £13! The mist had been obscuring the hill tops surrounding Huddersfield, however it was surprisingly much clearer conditions on the other side of the Standedge Tunnel, and on arrival into Greenfield it could be described as a pleasant morning...
Making my way along the B6175 road now from the station, the first highpoint on the walk, and overshadowing the town - Alphin Pike looked good in the early morning haze...
Branching left off the B6175 up this steep and stony pathway...
The pathway leading towards Noonsun Hill...
Skirting the edge of Noonsun hill via a farm, Alphin Pike comes back into view...
The pathway on the map ends about here. So it was a matter of heading up a long a clough to an area on the map called White Gate on the flanks of Alphin Pike...
Heading directly across the heather...
Onto a path now heading for the top of the hill...
A very windy Alphin Pike summit at 469 metres...
Heading along the edge of Alphin Pike towards Wimberry Rocks...
High up above Dove Stone Reservoir, with the edges of Saddleworth Moor beyond...
Onto Wimberry Rocks...
Looking back at Alphin Pike from Wimberry Rocks - with rock climbers taking advantage of these fantastic looking crags...
Heading out onto the Peat Bogs of the 'Wilderness'...
This was a real tough old slog across the bogs and high tufted grass. And again without a GPS, an easy place to get lost. The 'Wilderness' living up to its name...
A distant Black Hill comes into view...
Approaching a Trig Point!...
Summit Trig Point on Featherbed Moss at 541 metres...
After heading north east from the Trig Point you come to this wide path that comes up from the edges of Dove Stone Reservoir and eventually merges onto the Pennine Way...
The shadow of Bleaklow comes into view, on the path descending towards the Pennine Way...
 Looking south east along Crowden Great Brook towards Bleaklow, and a distant Kinder Scout in the mist...
Looking north east towards Black Hill from Laddow Rocks...
 Laddow Rocks...
Heading north east along the Pennine Way now...
You have got to admire the work that has gone into the Pennine Way, here crossing the placed stones on the  edge of Black Hill with Holme Moss Transmitter coming into view...
Beast guarding the pathway...
And finally to the summit of Black Hill at 582 metres - 1,909 feet, and the highest point in West Yorkshire. The rain had set in at this point too..
My route heads north west directly across the peat bogs now, following a very slight path of which was the original pre-1966 route of the Pennine Way. The route can become a bit confusing in places, so a compass and a map - or a GPS are needed to follow it confidently...
A now very distant looking Alphin Pike takes centre stage...
The path at this point is quite indiscernible over Wessenden Head Moor, and these bogs are deep too. I had taken no Gaiters with me on this walk, or waterproof bottoms and I was quite soaked through in the legs department. It didn't help that I went knee deep into the peat at one point too, this is a bleak place to be...
The 'path' eventually comes out onto A635. Turning left here and following the road across Saddleworth Moor...
It's a good 2 miles of road walking here, and be carefull too as it's an A-road with fairly heavy traffic! There is however a substantial grass verge to each side to walk along.
Here on the other side of Dove Stone Reservoir now with Alphin Pike above...
Cutting right here from the A635 just before reaching a farm house, and heading up the steep hillside. This doesn't appear as a footpath on the map, but I followed a quad bike track up onto the peat boggy top of Broadstone Hill...
Looking back at a now distant Black Hill...
And to the summit Trig Point on Broadstone Hill at 454 metres...
An interesting plack on this Trig regarding vandalism to it...
Heading downhill now back towards Greenfield, although you can't see it in this picture, it was absolutely lashing down at this point...
Wade Hill above Greenfield...
There are multiple routes down into Greenfield, this one was bit slippery but leads out onto the main road that runs through the town...
Back to a wet Greenfield station for the train home...
Summing up this was a really tough slog due to the terrain, peat bogs, high tufted grass, deep groughs and the distance itself of course. But it's nice to have finally bagged Black Hill - so a great trek overall. Thanks for reading...

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