Welcome to Tor Bagger and a bit about myself
My name is Max Piper and I am a dedicated Tor Bagger located just off the eastern edge of Dartmoor National Park. But how come I love hiking and how did I get into this rewarding hobby? Let me tell you …
So what is Tor Bagging? Well, it is a popular pursuit by Dartmoor enthusiasts. It is a challenge where one aims to visit every named outcrop on Dartmoor.
It all started back in the summer of 2017 when, from memory, I came across the website ‘Moorland Walker’, a blog by Paul Buck. Now, I have always loved walking on Dartmoor since a very young age and have seen many other websites on the subject, however this one hooked me. I had never before considered bagging tors as a pursuit but when reading this blog it sounded like a fun idea, and I usually visit some of the tors he was bagging on my walks anyway because they are hard to avoid! So, I decided to take up tor bagging to get closer to nature and love where I live. This was the new me.
I took into consideration whether or not I would stick to the plan as it was a substantial undertaking, but I was adamant that this would be my new pastime and it would always stay that way. Taking the Haytor Hoppa bus in summer meant I could explore the wonderful outcrops above Widecombe-in-the-Moor and Manaton, giving me both independence and confidence to feel safe in my surroundings, and also to learn how to navigate. This led me onto the Ten Tors, the well-known challenge, which I trained for from October 14th 2017 to March 10th 2018. I gave up on it due to a sore ankle but I learnt and gained so much from the experience, and it was most likely my inspiration for long-distance hiking.
|North Bench Tor|
In the autumn of 2017 I had been alerted to Dartmoor enthusiast Tim Jenkinson, who had discovered lots of previously overlooked tors predominantly on East Dartmoor, with many featuring in his Dartmoor Magazine articles. It shocked me that so many tors were hidden in woodlands and hence unknown, thus I took the opportunity to investigate further some amazing tors, and even discovered some of my very own! In December 2017 I had found three new outcrops around the Hennock Reservoirs area and alerted Tim. I was buoyed to find out they had received no reference in literature before, so I named them Trenchford Tor, Little Trenchford Tor and Kennick Rocks, the latter of these actually called Slade Rocks after I unearthed that name from Tithe maps. The other two names are appropriate given their surroundings.
With the help of Tim and Paul Buck I have been able to enjoy tor bagging to the fullest, so much so that I decided to create a website (www.torbagger.co.uk) dedicated to my passion. Then Paul suggested we build a website documenting every single named outcrop on the moor at www.torsofdartmoor.co.uk which has had a major impact on my tor bagging goal, the obvious being that there are more tors to visit. More recently, in the summer of 2019, I became an administrator on dartefacts.co.uk which is the most comprehensive database of Dartmoor Artefacts (or Dartefacts!). Now I am not only tor bagging but this website has encouraged me to explore Dartmoor further, visiting OS benchmarks (BMs), stone circles, stone rows and so much more.
As far as tor bagging is concerned, since August 2019, some two years after beginning, I have visited 640 out of 770 named tors which is an accomplishment I’m proud of. A lot of ‘unbagged tors’ on my list are on private land; leaving them till last will give me ample time to seek permission from landowners to continue this adventure, gaining even more respect for this treasured landscape. This is one of my aims; to spread this passion to other people who are equally interested in the beautiful Dartmoor National Park.
This doesn't feature in the magazine but it must be mentioned! I am now bagging all of the tors of Bodmin Moor with fellow Dartmoor 365er Sheron Vowden. These walks are also documented on this blog.
|Area of Moorland||Date of first tor bagged and the name of that tor||Number of tors bagged by date|
|Dartmoor||Too long ago!||06/08/19 - 639 tors |
18/10/19 - 681 tors
15/02/20 - 745 tors
18/05/20 - 789 tors
|Bodmin Moor||06/07/19 - Little Kilmar Tor||06/07/19 - 9 tors|