Author Topic: Not such a good plan.  (Read 420 times)

BuzyG

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Not such a good plan.
« on: 22:55:12, 23/08/19 »
Bank holiday Friday.  So instead of suffering the traffic to our next section of SWCP.  MrG and I though we would head up to the Avon dam and take a walk around the reservoir.  I took a good look on Google earth and spotted a path running up the west side and I have walked the path the other side, so off we went. 

Lovely day and a lovely walk as far as the dam.  From there though it went a bit Pete tong. 

The path led us on into some hideously tall tussucks.  I should have called it there and turned us around, then headed up onto the two moors way. But I thought I could see the path ahead, so we pushed on for 45 mins through the tussucks, not even an animal trail to follow.  We finally got back on to a patch of better ground and reached the path I had been pushing us towards.  Only to realize it was actually a dried up and never walked leat.  I pushed on ahead, to see if it was passable. It was not.  So we finally made the decision we should have made and hour and a half earlier and headed up, through the ferns, to the ridge and joined the two moors way at White Barrow.

Now hours behind schedule, we abandoned our planned route and headed straight back down the main route to the car.

All's well that ends well. But  I don't think Mrs G will be heading that way again any time soon.
« Last Edit: 23:06:17, 23/08/19 by BuzyG »

ninthace

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Re: Not such a good plan.
« Reply #1 on: 23:15:11, 23/08/19 »
Did a trip like that on Exmoor once.  GoogleEarth suggested there were shepherds' tracks and other paths through a blank area on the map.  Started well, there was a path of sorts but when I struck off on another faint line using gps it died rapidly.  "Not to worry" I told the boss, according to the imagery there should be a track ahead.  Said track turned out to an ancient, very overgrown and intermittent field boundary across a bog populated by the biggest tussocks I have ever met.  Still didn't learn - the "track" was supposed to meet another "track" by a fence line,  That turned out to be totally non existent and was just thigh high tussocks and more bog.  By then there was nothing for it but to press on through.  We finally found a track but not before Mrs N in particular had taken multiple falls and was in tears. It was a really hot day too and we were utterly spent.  I learned a lot from that. I posted it here as a warning http://www.haroldstreet.org.uk/routes/download/?walk=3295  Somehow the website has classified it as a popular route - it wan't popular with me or Mrs N! For OS users - don't go this way https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/route/2336093/180726-Exmoor-Nightmare
Solvitur Ambulando

fernman

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Re: Not such a good plan.
« Reply #2 on: 09:00:44, 24/08/19 »
Those descriptions coud describe many of my walks in Snowdonia!

A classic one is the way up a pathless valley on the northern edge of the Carneddau. Guide books say to follow the course of the river uphill. The authors had probably walked it at times if the year when there was no bracken!

The first time I did this it was a hot and tiring struggle, but I could see from afar a distinct line contouring the hillside on the far side of the valley, and there was a corresponding dotted line on the OS map. How much easier it would be if I climbed to this path instead!

So the next time I went that way I crossed the valley and toiled up forty-five degree slopes through almost head-high bracken to reach this path. It turned out to be nothing more than a line of dense rushes where a path or track had once been, and it stopped short of my destination too. All the effort to reach it had been for nothing, as it was worse overall than going the other way.

Jac

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Re: Not such a good plan.
« Reply #3 on: 09:16:04, 24/08/19 »
There are those in the group I walk with who positively relish leading walks through pathless tussocks; even better if it morphs into dense knee high gorse and heather. Maybe it makes them feel like proper explorers.
So many paths, so little time

fernman

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Re: Not such a good plan.
« Reply #4 on: 09:27:57, 24/08/19 »
Another bad one:

Last year I followed someone's online route, little realising how much it could have changed in the ten years since it was published.

Towards the end, the footpaths and tracks were marked on the map alright, but I followed one for some way that was no more than a faintly-trod animals' path, then where it turned left at a gap in a wall and into a forest there was no sign of a path at all.

Starting off down an overgrown sunken way, I found it was blocked with trunks and tangled branches of a number of fallen trees. By the time I had worked an uncomfortable way around these I gave up and proceeded to the edge of the forest where I trespassed along the edges of fields. At times I saw footpath arrows marking the non-existent way inside the wood.

At the far end there was a short length of grass track and a bridleway sign on a post! But now I needed to  head southwards on a forestry track, and when the course of this was eventually located - on the far side of a barbed wire-topped fence - it was impossibly overgrown with trees, shrubs and brambles coming up through the hard surface. I struggled for about fifty metres before extracting myself and working out a new route which, unfortunately, had to be mostly on minor roads.



 

richardh1905

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Re: Not such a good plan.
« Reply #5 on: 20:36:27, 24/08/19 »
Made the mistake of trying to follow a firebreak in a coniferous plantation once, whilst mountain bike orienteering - never again.