Greater Manchester 2021: Part Two
18 November 2021
It took a lot to get me out today. I had no real reason for it, but maybe yesterday had hit me harder than I thought. I just wanted to hide away. Eventually though, I told myself I was only going to do one thing – a waterfall – and then I’d be back to Fred. Yes, it would be a pretty long walk, but it was going to be mostly flat around the reservoirs. Maybe, I would try a hike right up the river that I’d come a cropper at yesterday, but I would see how I felt. I wasn’t going to be silly, if the falls I wanted proved to be above my spot yesterday, I would leave it for a different time… I wasn’t ready to hike up that far after seeing the lack of a footpath last night!
And then, there I was, after much heavy persuasion, I was finally out. The walk there was a very slow plod. I felt tired, and heavy. My knee kept feeling like it was going to give out, so I took it all at a gentler pace that I could manage. Looking up at the hills, I was glad I had done that hike yesterday though, as the tops were all gone, sitting under heavy cloud and mist, which persisted down at ground level as a light but constant drizzle.
Eventually I got to the point where I could see up the stream I was aiming to follow, and to my joy, right at the top I could actually see the waterfall I was hoping for. As a double bonus, beside the river here, I could see a footpath! The river tumbled down several smaller waterfalls, but my eye was on the big one… I did feel slightly reserved as I looked at it, today it was gushing, and well.. maybe not quite as pretty as I had hoped (fussy moo right?!)
Undeterred, I started the hike up, and as the trip continued, I found myself climbing and slipping over large boulders, until eventually, the route was totally impassable. I could see my foot path actually headed to the stream instead here, so I followed it and saw that it might be possible to cross here – sometimes. Today the water was gushing past at some force, and although I did get halfway across, there was no chance I was going to make it all the way. I would either have to find a method to scale a huge smooth boulder, or I was going to have to wade across. I wasn’t about to do either with this torrent. As I pondered the situation, I came to realise that this shoot, sadly, was going to have to be abandoned for today. Late spring might be better, with a good flow of water, but not so much that the river was flowing at a possibly dangerous rate. Oh, and maybe after a dry spell, so the boulders to the sides, wouldn’t be so slippery – these were proving a little lethal at the moment! Well, I consoled myself, at least I had tried, and I HAD worked out a better time that might be far more suitable for this particular location. Satisfied that my efforts wern’t totally wasted, I started back down. After a short clamber, I spotted a second possible crossing point. Again, the flow of the water was just that bit too aggressive for my liking, but I felt this might be a better crossing point for my return visit in the future.
As I looked upstream, one of the smaller falls caught my eye, and I suddenly realised that it was stupid to abandon this hike altogether, just because I couldn’t get to the bit I’d hoped for. This one, on its own, was also lovely! I took the camera out and very joyously took the photos. (see header) This felt so much better, and the images looked wonderful on the back of camera. Normally I am not fond of a ‘yellow’ waterfall. The mud washing down in the water always looks dirty, but here? Here I thought the colour worked perfectly, reflecting all the autumnal yellows and oranges around me, balancing the shades out. I found myself loving it here!
A short walk later and I stopped a second time. Another gorgeous cascade… I took this shot wide enough to capture the moody atmosphere. The mists had dropped all around me, giving a very closed in feeling to this part of the fall. I loved how it helped intensify my feelings of a private seclusion. It was just me, and this little bit of landscape at one point. (see image above)
A bit further, and I stopped for lunch before considering a third angle at yet another cascade. As I sat there some workmen pulled up in an open backed truck, and started work a short way ahead. Initially, I thought they might be rescue workers coming to help someone stuck up where I had been last night. The thought gave me the chills, even after I realised they were just fixing the fencing, so once lunch was finished, I just focused on my next shot.
After this I ventured down towards the path entrance, when I looked up, and spotted the area all around the Trinnacle rock formation covered in mist. It looked amazing, like an impressive castle perched on a premium look out spot – only there was no man made structure there at all… this was all Natures work! I quickly set up the camera, loving the layers on view above me, and just missed the best of the sight as the mists finally started lifting for the last time. The shot still give a fairly good idea of what I had witnessed however.
From here I grabbed a shot of yet another cascade, from a finger of land that stretched out right into the middle of the stream. As I stood here, two entrepid hikers passed by on the main path… And then a few minutes later came back. Well, I am glad it wasn’t just me being a wuss – I had clearly made the right choice!
I made my way back to the main path and chatted to the workmen for a bit as they finished up, and then just stood enjoying the beautiful view from this spot, looking down the stunning rust covered valley towards the reservoirs. I stared at this view for quite a while, and waited until the workmen had completed their drive down the winding route out, before taking first, the bottom of the cascades shot (above), and then the one of this valley (below). The gold colours seemed to be made from the dying ferns, and grasses, but the receeding heather also had tinges of rust in them as the flower heads had died off. It seemed strange to have such an abundence of autumn colour in November, but with the dull greys of the grim fog/cloud raising and lowering above me, it was a welcome dash of colour to my eyes.
The hike back was a little easier, with the mobility in my knee feeling slightly better, although it was still nearly dark when I got back to the van. These early nights are a bit of a pain when there’s no sunrise or sunsets to get excited about, but at least it restricted the amount of energy I expelled and encouraged me to rest more. I was definately in need of that after two intense days out!