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The Gritsone Trail

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#1
This coming weekend I will be doing the gritstone trail , a 35 mile route from Disley in Cheshire to Kidsgrove in Staffordshire . I’ll be doing it with my brother , my son in law and my 13 year old nephew .

We plan to do it over two and a half days with two nights wild camping . We’ll be carrying all our rations and three litres of water . I have a water filter for replenishment and hopefully we will access water en route .

Weather forecast is for moderate temperatures and showers so we may get wet . My bag is considerably heavier with the addition of water and food ! I had initially planned to use a 30 litre sack but have had to use a larger capacity . I’ll post my total weight later in this thread .

Here’s the route and some pics of my load out , I’ll add some pics over the weekend as well as a more comprehensive trip report in due course .

https://www.visitcheshire.com/downloads/dmsimgs/Gritstone Trail Leaflet_555363690.pdf

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#2
Look forward to the report and pictures, also kit reports, weights, what worked, what didn't ( if any ) and why, enjoy, still haven't made my mind up where to go ?
 
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#4
Do you really need 3l ? look on the bright side though, it's going to get lighter the more you go into the walk :)

EDIT: and not wanting to sound high and mighty but that water bladder, would it not be better on top under the bungie rather than acting as a cantilever weight on the back ?
 
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#5
Have gone for 3l as other trip reports claim water access can be problematic , won’t know till I get going .

Good point on bladder , will see how I go , can attach to top if necessary .....
 
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#7
Do you really need 3l ? look on the bright side though, it's going to get lighter the more you go into the walk :)

EDIT: and not wanting to sound high and mighty but that water bladder, would it not be better on top under the bungie rather than acting as a cantilever weight on the back ?

No room for any beers !
 
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#10
The Gritstone Fail .........

So the trip started well , we all turned up and set off on time , initially the weather was favourable but soon turned against us on probably the most exposed part of the route ! We set off through Lyme Park and up onto the ridge above , some fantastic views of industrial Manchester , Jodrell Bank , Runcorn and Snowdon on the Horizon .

We pressed on through the rain and cloud still optimistic , the route guide was poor and we had to rely on old fashioned OS map skills .



Point to note here was my rucksack was way to heavy , I had too much water on board and too much food ! My research had suggested water would be hard to resupply enroute ( this wasn’t to be the case ) .

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#11
As we pressed on fatigue started to rear it’s ugly head , the route was undulating and more arduous than described , this couple with heavy packs and now being wet was beginning to tell on my 13 year old nephew .

Our origional plan was do complete around 10 miles on day one ending up somewhere around Teggs Nose Country Park . On arrival it wasn’t the best location for a wild camp and we discussed pressing on . From the high point we could see a resevouir and pub in the distance , map was checked and we pressed on .

We eventually arrived at the Leather Smithy pub and recharged with a couple of pints . Hindsight would suggest I could have not needed 3 litres of water ( we had passed streams earlier and the landlord was more than happy to fill our water bottles up ) we could have also eaten here negating the need to carry a days food !

Anyhow , after a couple of pints we crossed the road to the reservoir which is in Macclesfield forest to pitch camp for the night and get a scran on , luckily the weather had now improved but we were all suffering ......

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#12
Conversation around the camp shifted to whether we would continue in the morning or call it quits , we decided to sleep on it but I suspected the die was cast .

Morning saw a fantastic sunrise but my brother and nephew had decided to call it quits , my son in law and I soon followed . We’d walked 16 miles , ascended and descended 7000 feet whilst carrying 30lb packs and wild camped in a fantastic location


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#13
Lessons Learned .......

35 miles is a long way .....
I’m 51 not 21 ......
Even though my base weight is relitivley light , food and water makes a significant difference ( I need to reflect on this and make changes for the future) .
I need to consider a better pack , one that absorbs the load across my shoulders and back , the one I used was hard to adjust the load and really impacted on the carry .
Multi day trips are arduous , I underestimated how much so .
 
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#14
Thanks for the write up and brutally honest truth, we aren't getting any younger :( but if the heart isn't in it it isn't in it, maybe break the next one down a bit ( if possible ) thanks for sharing though :)
 
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455
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#16
The mind was willing but I think 16 miles was too much , if we had stopped at 10 we would have been fine . I was aching but no serious injuries or anything . I think I will place more emphasis on enjoying the journey rather than the competitive nature of completing in the future . That and more work on my kit and packing , I would have been better with less food ( I didn’t eat most of it anyway ) .
 
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1,524
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1,326
Points
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Age
53
#17
The mind was willing but I think 16 miles was too much , if we had stopped at 10 we would have been fine . I was aching but no serious injuries or anything . I think I will place more emphasis on enjoying the journey rather than the competitive nature of completing in the future . That and more work on my kit and packing , I would have been better with less food ( I didn’t eat most of it anyway ) .
Good point about food, I just did my usual, took twice as much as I needed and ended up bring it back, gotta work on that too, I have a ULA CDT pack spare if you want to try it out ?
 
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Age
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#19
I might take you up on that mate .......
Was thinking about one of those Osprey ones , but don't like the price ...........
Yeah they are a pretty penny like, Big G rates his and carries a lot of gear comfortably so he says, they are a big pack though so the temptation to fill it is there, I'll bring the pack along the next time we're out :)