Thursday, 15 August 2013

Not the Ashover show

Yesterday saw the 82nd annual Ashover show, an event that brings approximately 16,000 visitors into our usually idyllic little corner or rural Derbsyhire.

So we went climbing for the day.

It was our usual exploring team, Gemma, Rocky, and myself. Not much else to say really, just wanted to share some of the cracking photo's that Gemma took of Rocky and I being adventurous. Enjoy.

Surveying the first route of the day.

Rocky opted to lead, he usually does, he's the better climber of the two of us.

Placing some kit.....

....and more.

Starting to make some progress.

Shortly after this shot was taken Rocky's handhold gave way leading to a fall, it's the first time he's fallen on my belay so it was kind of nice to get it out of the way. It would've been even better if part of the rockface hadn't come down with him, a little too exciting for a second. No-one was hurt though which is the important bit, and we both feel a little more confident about climbing together too.

After retrieving the kit we decided to move on in search of a different spot.....

...."down there maybe".....

....."I'll have a look"......

......"yeah, this'll probably do"......

After a little bit of a trek around and down we chose a route and got it rigged.

Rocky setting off up the climb, checking as he went for loose rock as it all looked a little bit sketchy....

....too sketchy. Shortly into Rocky's climb a seemingly solid piece of rock broke away, a rock that we'd both checked and decided was safe. If that rock came away so easily then there's no telling what the rest of the face would be like so common sense prevailed and we called it a day. We lived on to fight another day.

All in all a cracking day out, we didn't manage a great deal of climbing done but we checked out a couple of spots that we've been eyeing up for a while, and explored a little bit more of Derbyshire. Best of all we avoided ending up in the beer tent with the prize winning local heifers. Happy days.

Bye for now,


Monday, 1 April 2013

More snowy adventures

I've been away from home with work for a week, so when I got back Gemma and I went for a bit of an explore around our local area to do a bit of sightseeing (and to play in the late snow that we've just had too). The area where I live is a bit of a tourist trap in the summer, walkers, cyclists, daytrippers, etc. all head into Ashover in the warmer months to soak up the peace and tranquility of the area and have a pint in one of the local pubs. It can get a little bit crowded at times, way too busy for my liking, so we try and make the most of it in the winter when there are far fewer touristy types around. The route was very much left up to chance, so the walk was more or less aimless (although far from pointless), although we did have the vague idea in our heads that we'd like to walk across the "Roman" bridge.
In the end the route we took followed more or less the flat space between the young river amber and the  slightly raised embankment where the Ashover Light Railway used to run.

Ashover Light Railway embankment
The river was running too deep for us to use the usual crossing points, stepping stones aren't much fun when they're under a foot of icy cold water, so instead we made use of some fallen trees.

Stepping out
Getting brave
Time for a re-think
"You get pooey hands doing it this way"
Making progress
"Victory is mine!"
We carried on along the riverbank for a little way, watching the birds, trying to spot tracks, trying to name the plants we spotted and photographing the ones we couldn't.

Gemma found a new spot for sitting and watching the world drift past...

...whilst I got some pretty pictures of Ashover and the snowy hills around us. It felt strange to be looking up the hills to take photo's, we usually head up one side of the valley or the other when we go for a bimble, heading along the valley bottom made an interesting change.

A little further on we came a cross a slightly unexpected warning sign, presumably something to with one of the many old quarries in the area. The railway line that we were following was built to service the quarrying and mining operations that took place in the area. The start of our path was in one worked out quarry, this was at the entrance to another old quarry and (after a nosey around a little cave that we found), marked the point where we turned around and headed back to find the "Roman" bridge.

I have no idea whether or not this bridge is actually Roman or not, it looks pretty old to my untrained eye, and the quality of workmanship is really good which is something I'd associate with Roman building, but I really don't know for sure. Roman bridge or not, it's a pretty little thing anyway.

We had a phone call shortly after the bridge and had to head back home, we still managed to find time for a couple more totally unnecessary river crossing though, and amazingly neither of us got wet.

Spot the nutter!
We had a great day out without ever going further than am mile or two from home and managed to find all sorts of things that we didn't know about before. The Roman bridge was new to me, the quicksand warning signs were something of a novelty, river crossings were great fun and just a little bit exciting, and the views of Ashover were as pretty as ever.

Local exploring is a great way to have a little micro-adventure, you should give it a go yourself, just try to remember that aimless doesn't have to mean pointless and enjoy yourself. If you're completely stuck for somewhere to go adventuring, or need someone to explore with then get in touch, you'd be more than welcome to join us on one of ours.

Bye for now,


Sunday, 3 February 2013


I've moved a lot of content over to my new blog, this page included. If you want to read my mobile phone article you can find it here

All the best,


Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Derbyshire Snow

Very little to say here I'm afraid, just wanted to share a few of the photo's that I've taken in the recent snowy weather. Please feel free to pick fault, it's a skill I'm trying to improve upon and all feedback is helpful.

For anyone who's interested, the original images are all in my Flickr photostream

Thanks for looking,

Bye for now,


Monday, 21 January 2013

A Winter Walk

It's been a little while since I've posted anything on my blog, so I thought I'd share a few photo's of the little snowy walk that Gemma, Rocky, and I went on today. We walked the same route that Rocky, Pete and I took back in October (you can read about that here if you like), up and down the hills and valleys near Ashover. The only real difference being that this time the crawling uphill under the undergrowth was made even more fun by a good covering of snow, happy days.

The intrepid three about to venture off into the snowy wastes

Stepping stones over the infant river Amber.

I've been wondering about this wall since I first walked past it, there's a few of them in the area, they look like up-ended flagstones. Re-cycled road maybe?.....

......The same wall from the other side. If anyone has any ideas about this stone fence I'd love to hear them. Comment below.

Rocky and I having a little breather and losing a layer or two after the climb out of the first valley.....
.....before heading off down into the next one.
We weren't heading this way..........
....nor this.
I can't believe he's got butter! (sorry)
Starting to head up the nice leisurely footpath, again......
......but this looked much more appealing, again. We'll never learn.

The hill took way too much effort to stop and photograph anything, pretty much like the last time we climbed it, but with a cherry on top (well a foot of snow anyway). Somewhat surprisingly we got up there quicker in the snow than we did back in October when it was relatively dry, I'm sure the much smaller bags were a big part of that but we were still both surprised and pleased by our progress.

At the top it was time to replace those lost layers.....
.....which gave Rocky an opportunity to be Rocky (he's a pillock but we love him).
A tarp was set up to provide a little bit of shelter from the wind whilst we had a spot of lunch and a brew......
.....and had a look round for some nice photo opportunities......
.....unfortunately, after this shot the batteries succumbed to the cold. 

After a couple of burgers and a bit of soup for lunch we filled our flasks for the walk back, packed away, and headed off home. The walk back took a slightly different route, including a detour to look at some caves and scout out a possible new climbing spot for the summer. All in all a cracking day out in the beautiful snowy Derbyshire coutryside.

Bye for now,