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Dartmoor Debut

Dartmoor Debut

Postby Broggy1 » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:21 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: High Willhays

Date walked: 24/03/2015

Time taken: 1.35

Distance: 9.48 km

Ascent: 539m

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The one summit over 2000ft (or two depending on your classifications) in the South of England had always bothered me in that being nearly 300 miles away from where I live, I could actually reach a lot of higher unclimbed summits in Scotland in the same amount of time it would take me to reach there.

However, when work offered me the chance to do two days in Exeter it felt like the perfect opportunity to head to an area I had never been near before and climb the elusive High Willhays.

Finishing just after 3pm, I headed to Okehampton and the Meldon Reservoir and knew that I had little daylight available so opted for the standard route circling around the Reservoir. The forecast had been for wintery showers and clouds leaving me slightly nervous but this never came to pass and the whole climb was done in relative sunshine with only light winds.

Meldon Res Dam.JPG
Crossing the Reservor Dam with Longstone Hill ahead

Meldon Res.JPG
Meldon Reservoir

With doubts still in my mind about the weather I took route one up Longstone Hill, crossing the good track on numerous occasions until I got to the summit area where Yes Tor (but not High Willhays) was clearly visible.

Looking back at Meldon Res.JPG
Looking back at the Reservoir from the initial climb

Yes Tor ahead.JPG
Yes Tor comes in to view

In my rush to head over there, I nearly forgot to visit the cairn on Longstone Hill which itself offered excellent views of the rest of Dartmoor.

1st Hill Summit.JPG
Cairn on Longstone Hill

Corn Ridge.JPG
Corn Ridge

Great LInks Tor.JPG
The impressive Great Links Tor

After leaving the good path the route ahead to Yes Tor was obvious although faint paths came and went and it could be trickier in misty weather. After crossing the warning signs for military firing (non today but check the website) and weaving my way through the rocks I eventually ended up at the Trig Point on Yes Tor with High Willhays now in view.

Yes Tor.JPG
Yes Tor Trig Point with High Willhays behind

The walk to High Willhays was ridiculously easy with very little descent and ascent involved - amazing to think they are both classified as Nuttalls really.

High Willhays.JPG
Cairn on High Willhays looking back at Yes Tor

With the weather still good I decided to complete the loop and headed over pathless and occasionally wet ground to the three outcrops marking the top of Black Tor - an excellent little summit.

Heading for Back Tor.JPG
Heading for Black Tor

I was glad to pass back through the Danger Zone

Looking at third and highest of Back Tors Tops.JPG
Looking at highest point of Black Tor from middle top

Second of B Tor Tops from lowest.JPG
The middle top from the lowest top

Looking over to L Hill.JPG
Looking over to Longstone Hill

I then dropped down to the valley and followed the West Okement River till it reached a good track which worked it's way around the eastern side of the reservoir and back to the car park.

Okemont River and Corn Ridge.JPG
West Okement River below and Corn Ridge behind

O River.JPG
West Okement River

Back Tor from below.JPG
Black Tor from below

On Bridleway.JPG
On a good track now

Meldon Res 2.JPG
Reservoir back in view

Heading back for car park.JPG
Heading back for the car park

A very pleasant short walk on mostly good ground allowing for fast progress. Hopefully I get the chance to return to Dartmoor at some point as I really enjoyed the walking and scenery. Great Links Tor particularly really took my eye and obviously I'd like to visit Haytor Rocks at some point. Maybe work will oblige again?
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Re: Dartmoor Debut

Postby malky_c » Thu Mar 26, 2015 2:59 pm

I share your thoughts about this hill - I had planned to do it while working in Birmingham a few years back, but even then it was going to be an £80 eight hour round journey on the train with 40 miles of cycling as well :shock: . I just stuck to going to Wales frequently instead. Now I'm thinking I'll never be that close to it again!

Dartmoor certainly looks quite pleasant - would like to visit one day.
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Re: Dartmoor Debut

Postby ChrisW » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:01 am

Lovely to see Dartmoor with blue skies overhead and you captured some great shots of it Broggy....dartmoor never looked so good :clap:
The walk to High Willhays was ridiculously easy with very little descent and ascent involved

This is my kind of hiking :lol: :lol:
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