|Looking back on the way up to Crookstone Hill.|
The day got off to a slow, stuttering start. The train from Derby to Sheffield was delayed by ten minutes, meaning that I only had six minutes to catch my connecting train to Hope. Shouldn't have been a problem. But then, at the ticket machine, just as I got to the front of the queue - silly EMT employee comes over and opens the machine up, emptying money while chatting to a colleague. Taking her sweet F time about it aswell, despite the fact that I was at the front of a strong queue. When I got to a machine, it failed to recognise my card a few times before letting me pay. I missed my connecting train by about twenty seconds. Excellent.
Two cups of tea, a sandwich, and a two hour wait later - I was on my way.
Here is the ViewRanger track of my route:
Following the footpath over the footbridge at the train station, I made my way towards the Roman road that leads to Hope Cross guide post. The path first takes you past Edge Farm, and then as you climb up onto the moorland, past Win Hill also. Once I had climbed onto Hope Brink, a huge blanket of fog had developed. The forecast was for rain and/or snow too, though neither had materialised yet. The fog was such that it was impossible to see the top of Win Hill, and as I worked my way along the brink, towards Hope Cross - it was becoming more and more difficult to see down into the Valley. There was a period of a few minutes when I was teased with a clearer view down towards Ladybower Reservoir, but the clearing never followed my path.
|The most clear view of the day, across to Crook Hill and Ladybower Reservoir.|
|The guideposts on Crookstone Out Moor, that have become a sort-of logo for 'Peak Routes.'|
|Challenging levels of fog on Crookstone Out Moor.|
Once on the Plateau, it became apparent that the best idea was definitely to take a bearing using the map and my compass. I had read quite alot online about the path that leads to the trig point is non existant at its worst, and a pain in the arse to make out at best. Considering recent rain, the snow that was still around, and the incessant levels of fog, the path was immensely difficult to follow. Using a combination of what parts of the path I could make out, my compass bearing, and the gps on my smart phone (which I had, until this point, never used for navigation) - I worked my way towards the trig. Another thing that made negotiating the route alot more difficult, were the peat groughs. Some as tall as about 8-10 feet, meant that I ended up veering away from the 'path' at times. I use the word 'path' VERY loosely. In summer, when the groughs are dry, I'm sure theyd be alot easier to walk down into, and back up the other side. But attempting that as they are coming out of winter, and all your left with is peat all over your boots. Peat in your boots. Peat all over your trousers. Peat all over your hands. Peat all over your face - if youre not careful! It is brittle and slippery at the same time. As I had to snake through alot of these tall groughs, the trip from the top of Jaggers Clough took alot longer than I anticipated.
|If you're not careful, its easy to get lost pretty quickly!|
|Edale Moor/Crookstone Out Moor trig point.|
|Now, that's a path.|
The weathered gritstone rocks began approaching in all their oddly shaped splendour, and Nether Tor was the first named tor on my route back towards Edale closely followed by Upper Tor. With the extreme weather I had experienced, albeit not wind and rain, it brings it to be much more believable that the formations are wonders of nature. I mean, I do know that nature has sculpted the rock, but they do bring doubt with their significant shapes.
|Weathered gritstone rock.|
|Grindslow Knoll to the right, and the Great Ridge can almost be made out in the distance.|
|The windswept western slope of Grindslow Knoll.|
|Looking over towards Lose Hill.|
|Down into Edale, with Mam Tor towering above.|
|Edale train station at the end of a long days walk.|