|Picture courtesy of My Outdoors – Me filming some gear with Gareth from Webtogs the online outdoors retailer|
You may find things somewhat a bit quiet on my blog this month – I’m extremely busy working on a number of exciting video projects concerning the Peak District National Park. One of which is my first ever ‘walking’ video featuring Stanage Edge. Alas all will be revealed in September.
Last Sunday I hooked up with Martin from Summit and Valley who kindly gave me a lift en route for a stroll in the Upper Derwent Valley. The weather was looking a bit grim to be honest so I didn’t expect to film much but I did anticipate things would improve come the evening.
So, I dumped my pack with 4 days gear, food and camera equipment in the boot of his car and enjoyed a ‘light’ stroll along Derwent Edge.
Initially the weather was OK and we got some bloody fine views out and about the area – and it was nice to have some company never mind lug 10 or 12 kilos on my back.
You can read more about the walk on Martins blog here: “Stretching my legs”.
|Fine sunset from High Neb on Stanage Edge|
Come the early afternoon, Martin dropped me off at the lovely Yorkshire Bridge Inn by Ladybower where I enjoyed a pint of ale or two before heading off to the moors nearby for a camp up on Stanage Edge.
Conditions were mixed – rain, drizzle, wind and some sun along with humid conditions. Made for good testing of the Rab Neoshell© jacket. In fact the following couple of days were ideal for gauging this new fabric from Polartec© – and I have to admit, it’s bloody good. As good if not better than eVent® to be honest.
Now, I know the design of the jacket plays a part in all this – but for a quick synopsis – you don’t overheat as much in it as you do with Gore-Tex® in general and breathability is excellent, too. Often the only damp you’ll find are around certain parts of your upper anatomy such as your armpits. It really is that good and I wasn’t slouching around either.
Where this fabric will sit within Rabs product range will be revealed by them very soon – but the fact Neoshell© has some stretch will give you some clue as to it’s target market.
|Neoshell© – it’s an impressive fabric|
Anyway, I reached my planned camp – sat about for a while – well, a long while actually and observed climbers on the crags in the ever improving weather conditions. All was set for a fab sunset in the north west over Bleaklow.
So, video camera all set up I went about filming the sights (some of which you can see in a short video at the foot of this post).
The evening was quite simply a joy. The ever changing scenes were mesmerising.
And it got me thinking….what the hell is it about Stanage Edge I adore? I’ve got some favourite spots on much higher ground. Stonesty Pike in the Lake District is one fave – the view out over the Great Moss, Scafells, Irish Sea and more always pushes my spirits into the stratosphere.
Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales is another. The history and far ranging views of this hill and Sulber Nick never cease to interest me on so many spritual levels.
Clogwyn Bwlch-y-Maen in Snowdonia is a special place, too. This area probably gives the best ring side seat of Snowdon you’ll ever see from a tent.
|Terra Nova Solar Competition 2 camped on Stanage Edge|
But Stanage Edge? It’s just one long cliff not much more than 800 feet if that from the valley bottoms. I suppose it’s the prospect walking along the ridge, the tors and calls of grouse and the fact there’s probably not a better place in the Peak District to enjoy a scenic sunset.
I don’t know. I can’t put my finger on it – whatever the place has it’s certainly bewitched me in recent months. Just thinking about it now as I type makes me want to head out and spend a night up there.
Ironically, this shoot was one of my first lugging about yet more heavy, bulky video equipment – where I hope to push not only my skills in producing short films but give a real ‘epic’ scope to my work and the landscape. And I guess, it’s uncanny (and unintentional) I chose Stanage Edge – an icon of the rock climbing world and unique in many respect landscape wise – to drag all this kit along with my hot sweating body to it’s tops and capture a flavour of on film.
So, come Monday I didn’t do much to be honest. I just walked about the moors and nearby reservoirs filming what scenes I could or interested me in the ever changing conditions.
At one point I had the fright of my life exploring some woods – a vicious dog leapt out at me from bloody nowhere!! Fortunately, the bark and pounce wasn’t the first sign of this dogs dinner – but the measure of a well trained police dog. Nearby through the trees a local dog police team were training and assessing their furry best friends.
I chatted with them for a while having a laugh and joke about me being startled and learning that one of the team is ex-MRT from the Lake District area.
Onwards I went to spend the rest of the day essentially plodding along in clag and rain.
|Dave and Gareth take in the fine views|
The next memorable night was spent back on the moors near Stanage Edge by a favourite stone circle of mine. Alas, though it was quite windy and the clouds broke to reveal blue skies I didn’t get to enjoy another fine sunset. Instead, I relaxed by the Terra Nova Solar Competition 2 tent I’m testing – noting any foibles in the relatively windy conditions on a deliberate exposed pitch.
The following day involved me filming two nice gentleman, Dave from My Outdoors and Gareth from Webtogs on a walk along Stanage Edge. Much of that time spent went by in a blur as all my focus was via the veiwfinder and controls on my video camera. Even so, despite the wind conditions couldn’t have been better and I enjoyed the shoot. Dave certainly is a knowledgeable chap on the Peak Park – if he don’t know it, it aint worth knowing!
So, another productive trip one of which I planned just right with the weather (fortunately!) and had good company. Was a pleasure walking with Dave and Gareth and of course Martin who I’m sure I’ll see again in the near future.