Dartmoor: Forest Boundary for DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal - Day 3
|River Walkham below Clay Tor|
The weather had turned. Outside, the clag had its grip on the moors and there was a steady drizzle making it thoroughly unpleasant. The previous day had taken its toll on Jim's leg, and I had a restless night mulling over our course of action for today.
I realised it would be an even longer distance over the highest section of the moor, so the prospect of finishing in three days was non-existent. In an effort to keep Jim in the game, I proposed we could split the final stretch into two legs, and come off the moor at the Fox and Hounds Hotel, in Shortacombe. Unfortunately, with the hope of completing in three days, Jim had made arrangements to be back in London, so this would be his last day.
The change of plan, however, relied on the ever dependable Phil, who was currently bivying at Church Rock, near Merrivale. We were going to need a lift from the pub! I text him to explain the situation and he agreed to meet us for breakfast, at the usual, as soon as he could muster the enthusiasm to face the rain, and get out of his bivvy.
We delayed departure as long as we could. The Met Office weather app suggested the skies would clear around midday and with that glimmer of hope, we left the womb, that is the Fox Tor Cafe, and stepped out into the world just before eleven.
Dragging our way up to Boundary Mark #24: Another Ysfother - North Hessary Tor ( SX 57872 74213), the mizzle escalated to rain. We reluctantly moved on from the sheltered calm of its granite outcrop, and passed through the gate to our right, to bag Herne Hole Tor. The rain was at its most violent; my Paramo jacket felt it was in danger of being compromised. In reality, it wasn't but we would have been forgiven a retreat to Princetown. Forearmed with the forecast we soldiered on to Rundlestone Tor.
I decided to skip Hollow Tor. We couldn't see it, the rain was still battering us and it was simpler to take the TV Mast's metalled service road down to the B3357.
Where the track up to Great Mis Tor begins, we found Phil, who had parked up. He was watching our progress whilst deciding what to do today, and figured we'd be passing. I told him I had an escape route in mind, should this deluge continue; that being the track from Cocks Hill down to Wapsworthy, via the Lich Way and Brousentor Farm, and I promised I'd keep him informed should it need to be taken.
Apologies for the lack of pictures on this section, but I wasn't going to destroy my phone for the sake of this blog. It wasn't until we took refuge at Little Mis Tor, that I took it out of my pocket for a quick selfie.
|Sheltering below Little Mis Tor|
At this point, something unexpected happened; the rain stopped and the clouds parted enough for us to see where we had to be next. We could see up onto Cocks Hill, the direction of the ancient boundary, but first there was some unfinished business for me.
We crossed over Greena Ball, on a bearing for Clay Tor. I had hoped to have visited this tor back in the winter on a Social Hiking meet, but the grid reference was out by fifty odd metres and stood on the other side of the River Walkham. Given conditions, none of us relished trying to cross it and we gave it a miss.
Today, was different. We went in search, and found an easy traverse immediately below the tor and with it bagged, we ascended further to find a track to take west to Dead Lake. As we went, another shower passed over, but fortunately it was brief.
|Boundary Mark #26: Mewyburghe - White Barrow (SX 56847 79318)|
|Boundary Mark #27: Lullingesfote - Limsboro Cairn (SX 56560 80548)|
|Tavy near Rattlebrook Foot|
|Boundary Mark #28: Rakernesbrokyfote - Rattlebrook Foot (SX 56017 83751)|
|Jim and the Rattlebrook below|
|Tave Cleave and Sharp Tor (Tavy Cleave)|
|Sharp Tor (Tavy Cleave)|
|View north from Sharp Tor (Lydford)|
|Jim on Arms Tor|
|Phil joining us on Arms Tor|
|View from Arms Tor|