Thursday, 11 December 2008

Well worth the wait..............the Derwent edges

Well, we've had a two-week lay off, due to family commitments, etc, so we were RARING to get out this week.
We were lucky with the weather, and got a lovely, cold, clear day.
On the drive to the reservoirs, we deliberately took in 'surprise view' (so called because it 'hits' you as you drive around a corner) instead of taking the short cut through the back of Hathersage.
As you can see, it was well worth the short detour.
We had a BIT of a late start but, once we got going, it felt REALLY good to 'feel the wind in our sails'.
We parked up at the Ladybower car park, and set off for the hills.
The short walk along the road gave views like this one over the reservoir.
And so, the climb up to Derwent edge began.
A look over our shoulder brought a sigh of wonder at the beauty around us.
The bracken is all brown now, a great change from the green swathes of Summer.
This is Sue, hands on hips, in her 'climbing position'.
The view over to Crook hill and farm.
Later on, when it got dark, the farm looked like a ship on a sea of darkness with just its lights visible.
A turn of the head, and this is the view over to Stanage edge (where I was attacked by the 'killer grouse' - see previous blog entry).
Pretty soon, we reached the top of the climb (just ahead here) and the views REALLY started opening up!
Here is Sue, drinking in her reward for the climbing.
The show of rays from the sun over Ladybower and Win hill was spectacular. It was just like one of those laser shows. Of course, the camera can't do that sort of scene justice, but this was my best shot.
Sue and Ladybower.
Another couple of 'rays' photo's - I try my best!
...and yet, the sky to the North looked clear?
As were now now gaining height, it was a LOT colder, and the wind chill was quite noticeable. The ground was frozen beneath our feet, and we had to take more care here.
Sue negotiates the frost and snow on the path.
This was our next stop, the 'Cakes of bread' rocks.
We had a warming cup of soup here.
In some places there were vast areas of ice we had to cross, but the views around us made it all worthwhile.
This view of the Edale valley is super. I LOVE the way the haze 'makes' a picture like this.
Again, the sky STILL looks nice in the North.
A cold, but lovely view from the 'cakes of bread'.
The snow was a lot deeper in places now, Sue had to be careful on this patch.
The icy path stretched forwards, paved now in places, due to erosion.
These slabs were surprisingly easy to walk on, we thought they'd be deadly.
We noticed this Ordnance Survey 'benchmark' on a rock.

This is where we decided to turn back, as time was getting on.
We could have dropped down to the reservoirs, but on a day like today, we wanted to stay high.
The sun was getting lower now, and made for some lovely shots over the valley.

Turning to what was right beside me, as opposed to in the distance, I saw some other lovely patterns in the ice.
All too soon, the sun left us and sank behind Mam Tor.
We now had to get down off the edge fairly quickly, as the light would fade and walking in these conditions in the dark is NOT recommended!
We got down just in time, the final 1/4 of a mile or so was along the road, so the gathering darkness didn't matter. Every cloud has a silver lining, they say, and mine was this fantastic photo of the night sky over Win hill. You can see Venus and Jupiter to the left.
And that was it, the end of a great day. We didn't feel at all tired, which was a surprise.
Not surprisingly, however, was our car was on its own in the car park when we got there.

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