Dartmoor: A North Eastern Backpack

With the others departed, I spend most of the last evening at the bunkhouse with maps and laminated tors spread out on a table in front of me, trying to come up with a route that fits my needs. With a forecast for a couple of virtually clear days with little wind, an overnight route with a wild camp high on a tor is very much the order of the day, or more precisely – night. Continue reading “Dartmoor: A North Eastern Backpack”

Dartmoor: A Tale of Two Hessaries

I pull into the car park at the Plume of Feathers and find Phil, settle into the bunkhouse, while Phil proudly shows me his recent additions to his library – Crossing’s book and the Dartmoor 365 book. As I unpack, Phil regales me with extracts from both.   Continue reading “Dartmoor: A Tale of Two Hessaries”

Dartmoor: The Quest for Vag and a Coffin

The first thing that strikes me as I exit the car after the long drive from home is the cold. It’s a four-layer, hat and gloves sort of cold. I soon warm up as I stride onto the hill in pursuit of my first objective: the Coffin Stone. I top a small rise and see nothing. Out come the laminates from my tor recognition manual. Nothing remotely looking like the picture in view. Continue reading “Dartmoor: The Quest for Vag and a Coffin”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 6: The Camp

I threw my rucksack in the boot and sat in the car with a sense of increasing urgency.  It was 3:45 and the first signs of sunset were beginning to appear. A decision as to what to do next was needed straight away. A final weather check showed no change in the forecast, and so the die was cast… Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 6: The Camp”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 5: Some Sun at Last

I was up in good time today, as I wanted to maximise my options. The forecast remained steady from 24 hours ago and I could see that the wild camp that eluded me last time (well, strictly speaking I couldn’t be bothered), wouldn’t this time. Equally, if I got a move on with today’s walk, I’d still have time to drive home if the weather deteriorated to the point where I didn’t fancy a camp. Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 5: Some Sun at Last”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 4: Brass Monkeys

“It will be quite mild”, said the weather girl on the local news, stood there in her overly fancy dress at 7:30 in the morning. Her colleague, Carol Kirkwood, on the national programme concurred, although being Scottish I imagine anything above about -10C is mild to her. But let me make one thing clear – it wasn’t mild today… Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 4: Brass Monkeys”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 3: Bogs and Fogs

“Ah, this is more like it. This is what I expect from Dartmoor”, were my main thoughts as I trudged across a soggy, bumpy but otherwise featureless landscape through a blanket of fog. It seemed that today was the day of the test – could I handle “proper” Dartmoor ?

Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 3: Bogs and Fogs”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 2: Turned Out Nice Again

“Turned out nice again”, quipped one of the group of 5 guys as they passed a dozen or so yards parallel to me, heading up into the clag for the dubious delights of the top of the hill. I continued my squelch downhill to the dry sanctuary of the car. Today really hadn’t turned out quite as I’d expected… Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 2: Turned Out Nice Again”

New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 1: Back on the Moor

It’s a long drive down to Dartmoor, but today it flew by, helped by the fact that most of the traffic was heading the other way, leaving the south west in the post-New Year reluctant crawl back to work. Almost before I knew it, the distances to Exeter were falling into single digits, and the city I once lived in for 7 years was coming into view. I pulled over into a layby and messaged Paul (@paulgbuck) to let him know I was going to be early. Continue reading “New Year, New Dartmoor – Part 1: Back on the Moor”