09 Feb 2014; Amersham to Rickmansworth (loop)

09 Feb 2014; Amersham to Rickmansworth (loop)
Walk descriptor Test Day 00
Date Sun 09 Feb 2014 Start to end time 06h 57m
Start point Amersham End point Rickmansworth (loop)
Miles today 22.66 Cu miles 22.66
Ft today 1,352 Cu ft 1,352
Route miles left .00 Route ft left
Today’s weather Started off cloudy and overcast with occasional light showers. Brightened up to leave clear sunny late afternoon. Strong southwesterly wind. Average temp for the time of year (about 6C)
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“Another test walk, carrying full gear. Quite long but relatively flat and not difficult going, apart from extensive flooding. I should have known better than to pick a walk connecting the Misbourne, Colne and Chess valleys after recent torrential rain. All were extensively flooded, requiring detours in several places.

The Colne Valley was the most seriously affected, being the main drainage from West London into the Thames. The Grand Union canal flows through it, as well as the river Colne, and all the watercourses had burst their banks, making a more-or-less continuous river through the valley. I was expecting to walk along the towpath, but as it was under a lot of water, I had to make a detour higher up the valley-side, to the East of the canal. This wasn’t actually too much of a hardship, as I joined the Colne Valley Trail for part of the detour, which is more attractive than the towpath which I normally take. As well as avoiding the serwage works, being a bit higher up it also offers good views West into Hertfordshire.

The walk connected the South Bucks Way through Chalfont St Giles and Chalfont St Peter in the Misbourne Valley to the Colne Valley Trail and then after passing through Rickmansworth, back up the Chess Valley via the Chess Valley Walk. All were well maintained, easy navigation, though extremely muddy a lot of the way. By now, however, I have got so used to mud that I have given up tryi9ng to avoid it and just plough straight through and hope the Goretex works.

The rucksack was easy to carry – shoulders a bit tired and sore by the end but the shoulder pads made by cutting the ends of Va’s Karrimat(!) prevented blisters. So far so good, which is just as well as there are only six weeks left before I set off…”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Wading through the Colne valley. Water about a foot deep. Great test of the Goretex socks and it did at least clean my boots This is the busiest section of the Grand Union Canal. I somehow don’t think it’s supposed to look like this..
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Just checking posture and rucksack adjustments.. Snowdrops – spring at last? Usually means weeks of snow are imminent..
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Next time you hurry round the M25 on your way to Stansted, Loton or Watford, look up at the bridge near Chorleywood and realise you could be hiking the Chess Valley Walk instead Tree dramatically riven in three by recent storms, near Frogmore Meadow
Impediment to travel. The towpath I was hoping to walk goes roughly straight through the middle of here
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue