I was up on the Moor over the weekend helping look after 9 teams of 10 Tors participants from the National Trust Wild Tribe and Torquay Boys Grammar School. Saturday saw some of the worst and most challenging conditions I have witnessed on Dartmoor – persistent driving rain, a strong wind and very poor visibility. As a result – very few photographs …..
This is the Trig Point – on Ryders Hill – the highest point on the south moor – it was bleak and unpleasant on Saturday – Pete and I were on our way to Red Lake tip to check point 7 teams through
This is a photo of Red Lake tip taken in 2015 (it is the conical man made peak in the middle ground) – on Saturday we could only see it when we were 200m from it – a day of navigation by compass – which Pete did very expertly all day.
Here are a couple of our groups at Red Lake ……
We eventually saw all seven groups through by 5pm and then started on our 90 minute walk back to our O Brook campsite – all the teams were in camp by 7pm
This is the O Brook on a sunny day!
Sunday we were check pointing at various places – including Norsworthy Bridge – a much better day but still misty in places and very windy
This is Sharpitor where we ended our walks
Very challenging conditions – well done to all the young people who took part over the weekend – if you can walk and navigate in those conditions you have cracked it!
Dartmoor was character building over the weekend and undoubtedly the moor build some new characters.
On Sunday we were check pointing our 10 Tors teams at Norsworthy Bridge at the eastern end of Burrator Reservoir. We had a bit of time on our hands so we went for a short walk up to Cuckoo Rock.
Cuckoo Rock is a large boulder below Combshead Tor – its name is shrouded in mystery – some say the top of the rock looks like a cuckoo. Maybe. The area around the rock however is very suitable for cuckoos with lots of ‘perching’ trees and a lot of meadow pipit habitat. I have seen and heard cuckoos here in the past (they will be back within a month!) Cuckoo Rock in the past was said to be a place where smuggled goods were hidden and today it is a popular place for bouldering – a form of technical low level climbing. See here for more stories about Cuckoo Rock.
From Cuckoo Rock there are some great views of Dartmoor – looking west with Sheeps Tor poking out above the trees
Looking east up the Narrator Brook
A lovely wooded valley as it approaches Burrator Reservoir
Great views of Leather Tor in the foreground the Sharpitor behind
On the way back to Princetown we stopped so I could photograph Burrator Reservoir
The walk to Cuckoo Rock from Norsworthy Bridge is an easy one – it is around 2 miles out and back along an obviously defined path. There is a car park at Norsworthy Bridge and the track starts on the eastern edge.