Sunday, January 15, 2012

Under a wandering star.

Dave enjoying the view from High Tor, Derbyshire.

Dave and I headed to the hills again today for a spot hiking and to continue breaking our boots in for the trek. It will also help to condition our leg muscles for the rugged terrain on the route to Everest. Hopefully!
We met at Matlock in The White Peak area of The Peak District National Park at about 9.00am and sensibly headed straight in the nearest Costa’s for a cup of coffee! The thermometer was reading -5c and we fancied a warm up first :D

The view from The Limestone Way across to Riber Castle.

We then picked up The Limestone Way; up, over and down in to Bonsall Village before heading up a bridleway near the church, around a quarry, and down into Cromford. Cromford has a splendid café frequented by the many cyclists who visit the area and we called in for a sausage cob and a cuppa; and very welcome it was too. We then wandered the path past Willersley Castle towards Starkholmes and started the long climb to Riber up a steep public footpath taking it all the way to the top. The views across the valley were stunning in the cold winter air and we took plenty of photographs en-route. Dave spotted a large dog Fox creeping along the top of a dry stone wall but we missed the chance to get a decent picture.
We skirted around the castle and dropped back down in to Starkholmes on another steep flagstone path and then turned left through the village heading for High Tor at Matlock Bath.

Riber Castle. Derbyshire.

On this side of The Tor it’s a steep climb up a meandering path, 120metres of vertical ascent, to the summit. Dave arrived at the top a few minutes after me and I was pleased to see he was sweating just as much as I was. He said the same thing.
We sat for a few minutes, had a drink, and enjoyed the stunning views all around us. As far as the eye could see everywhere was covered in a thick frost and from high up on The Tor it looked almost as if the whole valley was blanketed in a layer of snow.
We took the easier path down in to Matlock, walked up the River Derwent in the shadow of Pic Tor and back in to town. We’d had a good four hours plus of stiff walking and my legs were glad to get back to the car for the short journey home.

High Tor. The quick way down to the River Derwent!

A few weeks ago Dave, his girlfriend Lyndsey and I had enjoyed a challenging hike in from Hathersage in the Dark Peak area. We ascended up to the lofty heights of the iconic Stanage Edge, traversed across the top on to Burbage Upper then down through Burbage Lower and back in to Hathersage. It was another great day out; the only let down being the very poor visibility that obscured the beautiful views across the gritstone peaks. We ended the day in the café at The Outside shop in the town and enjoyed the honest trail food in this very popular place. ‘Outside’ is probably the best hiking and climbing shop in the country and the staff are all very experienced and offer superb advice on any subject you care to mention. The even have an Himalaya specialist!

In between these two outings Dave and I spent another fine, if somewhat windy, day in The Dark Peak.
Starting out at Castleton we took the steady and sustained walk up to the summit of Lose Hill, traversed the ridge to Hollins Cross and then dropped down in to Edale. We then took the steep climb up Chapel Gate on to Rushup Edge turned left at the top towards Mam Tor and then dropped back down in to Castleton via the Winnats Pass.
That sounded easy didn’t it? It’s amazing how you can compress several hours of hiking in to one paragraph! It definitely didn’t feel easy :D

You can view more images of our walks on our facebook page here:

And follow our daily progress on Twitter here:!/HimalayaQuest

More images below.

From the Limestone Way towards Two Dales.

Dave zooming in on Riber Castle.
The spillway at Cromford Mill.
Frozen in time from the spray off the water wheel at Cromford Mill.
Looking across to Black Rock from Starkholmes.
Dave on the way up to Riber Castle.

Thanks for looking :)

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