Chris Maylor, who runs a Saddleworth Discovery Walks blog and Facebook page, looks at the birth of a new club.
WHILE AWAY skiing in the Alps recently, I was reminded of past winter adventures back home.
Some years ago, during a particularly hard winter, heavy snow fall had made running and walking on the hills quite a difficult task; the soft, deep snow curtailing long outings upon the fells. Would snowshoes allow me to traverse the snow-covered moors unhindered?
Arriving home a couple of days later and excited to try out my new purchase, I grabbed my already-packed rucksack and headed for the hills.
Setting out from Brushes Clough, I made good progress over deep snow drifts as my new, lightweight snowshoes effectively spread my weight on top of the virgin-fresh, ivory powder.
With the light of the moon reflecting off the snow, my headtorch sat redundant in my rucksack and I soon reached the summit of Crow Knoll upon Crompton Moor.
Continuing on, I descended into the Piethorne Valley and completed a circumnavigation of Ogden Reservoir before returning to my start-point, via my outbound route.
My first outing on snowshoes had been a success and I had been captivated by the opportunities for winter exploration which they offered.
The next morning I excitedly informed a good friend about my new discovery and the previous night’s adventure.
He immediately procured himself a pair and that very same day we enjoyed a joint snowshoeing foray into the hills. Hearing of our recent outings, another friend also bought a pair of snowshoes; and the Saddleworth Snowshoeing Club was born.