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TOR BAGGING

and Phil Sorrell, creator of a walking website called Social Hiking, expressed an interest in adding the information to the site. The concept of this marvellous website is simple. It provides a forum where, with the aid of various different tracking devices, hikers can literally share their adventure on a live map, and interact with the viewer through tweets, photos and audio.

From here, the beginnings of a bagging list for Social Hikers was formed. Taking data compiled from various sources including old guide books, maps, Geonames, The Database of British and Irish Hills, and, of course, Ken Ringwood’s book, a comprehensive list of around 425 is now available. www.shareyouradventure.com/ features/baglist/1/tors-rocks-ofdartmoor As we diligently tick off each tor, there have had to be a few adjustments to the odd grid reference, tweaks that will likely continue until one of us has completed the list. For me, a highlight

of our efforts is that we have sparked an interest in Dartmoor amongst hikers more accustomed to the mountainous areas in the north, and they are keen to experience the National Park. Lured by the thrill of another list of peaks to tick off, no doubt! What I have also learnt from tor bagging this year is that whilst it is the goal that draws you in, it isn’t all about tick lists and targets; the process slows your pace, encourages you to explore, introduces you to a greater awareness of the environment, and strengthens the passion you have for the place you are walking in. I am now discovering new places on the moor, venturing into areas I never contemplated and constantly being surprised by the variety and beauty of Dartmoor. For me, I’m finding that rarely visited, hidden gems, such as Little Combe Tor, are as big a thrill to visit as the more well-known giants on the open moor. If every tor bagging walk had a buried treasure such as that, I would be more than happy. If you are a regular walker in this part of the world, taking up tor bagging is one of the most rewarding things you can do. It is not just a summer pursuit. Whilst the days are shorter and the number of tors visited is lower, gone are the battles through shoulder high bracken and other foliage to reach some of the hidden waypoints. Properly prepared,

the moor isn’t as formidable, in the winter, as people think, either. There are definite advantages and pleasures to walking on a frozen Dartmoor. The going underfoot can be significantly easier. Take the route from the Whitehorse Hill cist to Hangingstone Hill; on a mild day if you take the as the “crow flies” option, instead of the peat pass, you’ll be spending a lot of time leaping over mires and finding yourself up to your ankles or, occasionally, knees, in the boggy terrain. On a frozen moor, with the right precautions, it is a refreshingly straightforward route, if a little slippery in places. So, I will continue my quest with as much enthusiasm throughout the colder months. I have already visited quite a few of the tors, some of them on numerous occasions, and I am sure that my tor count, currently at 167 of the 425 listed on www.shareyouradventure.com, would be greater had I recorded them with a gps. No matter, it is not a chore to revisit these “old friends”. n

activedartmoor.com 33

Active Dartmoor issue 9  

Active Dartmoor - live your life to the full outdoors

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