A white Dark Peak

by backpackingbongos

Events transpired against us with a last minute emergency meaning we were unable to set off for the North Pennines on Friday evening.  Plans were hastily changed and we decided to head to the Peak District on Saturday morning.

We parked up at a very icy car park just south of Fairholmes visitor centre and headed to the eastern side of Ladybower reservoir.  It was pretty quiet out today, Saturday seems to be the day to head to the peak, Sundays always seem to be really busy.  We were soon heading uphill towards the Derwent moors on a slippery path of compacted snow.  Just before High House farm there is a nice little shelter decorated by local school kids where we took a welcome breather.

Ladybower Reservoir from the shelter


After comparing the relative merits of Waitrose and Tesco’s hummus we continued up the bridleway and ascended to the Wheel stones.  A great rocky outcrop that gave a good half hour of exploratory scrambling.

Scrambling on the Wheel stones


At the top


Framed view


We were soon heading north passing the Salt cellar, Dovestone tor and Cakes of bread to get to Back tor the highest point of the walk at 538m.  During this time the weather started to close in with the western sky beginning to darken.  Slowly but surely the hills to the west began to disappear into the mist.

Heading north along Derwent edge


Almost as soon as we reached Back tor the mist had enveloped us and a fine drizzle began to fall.  Rather than head to Lost lad we decided to test our navigational skills and head north into the wilds along Cartledge stones ridge.  We no longer had a clear path to follow, just two pairs of boot prints leading into the misty whiteness.  The snow seemed to get deeper and we began sinking down to our knees every other step as the surface crust gave way.  We soon hung a left and began to descend towards Bents clough, the snow becoming even softer until we were floundering through snow covered bog.  All of a sudden we came to what felt like the edge of the world as Abbey brook opened out before us.

Looking up Abbey brook


Looking down Abbey brook


A steep run down through the snow brought us to the footpath that runs along the bottom of the valley.  By now our leg muscles were beginning to ache from walking through the snow.  The last couple of miles along the reservoir seemed to last forever.

Map of the walk (click to enlarge)



8 Comments to “A white Dark Peak”

  1. Derwent Edge in the snow. Great day indeed. And a great blog as well.

  2. Cheers Martin a great day out it was. Just checked out your blog – looks like we are in the same line of work.

  3. Who do you work for? I will add you to my blog roll and thanks for the link on yours

  4. I work for a charity called Framework who provide support for homeless and vulnerable people. Cheers for the link

  5. Found you via George’s entry – you have some nice pics and well written records of memorable trips already. Enjoy the blogging, but don’t let it become a chore!
    You seem to use the same technique as I do re the walking route ‘maps’, though mine don’t always ‘enlarge’. There may be a copyright issue with the OS (see Alan Sloman’s blog) that could affect us at some point, but hopefully they have more important things to spend their time on, and our entries should encourage readers to buy maps anyway.

  6. Hi Martin

    Cheers for your kind comments. What do you use to capture your maps? Found a really good bit of free software called GIMP http://www.gimp.org like a free version of photoshop.

    Really like your blog – will be spending alot of time checking out your walking routes.


  7. Hi James
    We are lucky. We have photoshop. I just take a screen dump of the Anquet route, paste into photoshop, add a 10px border, and save for web.
    Glad you like the blog. It’s really just an indulgence – great fun. Don’t rely too heavily on the route descriptions! (I’m sure you are well capable of devising your own routes!)
    I tried to do daily postings at the start, but now do them just when I feel like, and am trying to get other contributors on board

  8. Phreerunner aka Postcard from Timperley aka Martin and Sue, in case you were wondering…

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