Back on familiar pastures (the Hope Valley) this week after a Derwent Edge walk with ‘The Walking Dan’ last weekend. I was, once again, walking with the crowd from Freshwalks.co.uk. And what a crowd it was as almost 30-strong team of us set out from Edale on a beautiful Spring Friday morning.
Walks collided these past few days with an already committed to walk clashing with a hastily arranged business networking walk, plus the usual Sunday jaunt with the boys too. I’m thinking of changing my name to Walky McWalkface! Good training though as the spectre of the National Three Peak Challenge looms large.
This week started on a high with me putting a big fat beautiful tick next to one of the items on my bucket list and finished with a walk up my least favourite hill – Bleaklow.
There’s a number of undeniable truths that walkers hear all the time. One of them being ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate gear’. It’s probably 90% true, with the other 10% suggesting that the baddest mo-fo’ing weather will challenge the hardiness of any gear – appropriate or not.
A couple of walks at the beginning and end of Dec 2015 made me wholly reconsider the walking gear I had and challenge my aim to stick to planned walks.
Kinder Scout is my ‘go to’ hill and I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been on or around it. This time was going to be different though as I was doing the walk with my wife, Debbie, for the first time.
I was back with my usual walking companion today, The Walking Dan, for a bit of Easter holiday weekend walking. The skyline above Dove Stone Reservoir was our destination today.
Dove Stone (not Dovestones) lies in the Greenfield Valley in the South Peninnes, but is officially according to The Walking Dan (and Google) also part of the Peak District… just.
Getting to it usually involves a race across the A635 from Holmfirth, although today the heavy wind kept speeds well below the legal limit. The fact the wind was almost flinging my car into oncoming traffic gave me some indication of what was to come. The view of the valley from this direction is magically in the Summer and following snowfall in the Winter.
My pal and experienced hiker Andy surprised me on a recent walk by saying that he’d never done much walking in The Peak District – never done Kinder Scout, the Hope Valley or the Derwent Valley.
So today was the day when I would be taking him for a yomp around my usual playground.
I’d chosen the Upper Derwent Valley and Derwent Edge for this trip, promising to drag him up and around Kinder at a later stage. The main reason for avoiding Kinder is that I would actually, properly, be The Walking Dad on this trip as my eldest, Christian (I mean Chris!), would be joining us and he had only done a Kinder trek the weekend before.
A 6pm start from home, on March 5th, saw The Walking Dan and I set off for Wales. Somehow I’d copped for driving, even though I’d driven the last time we went to Wales and on a recent trip to Whitby (to walk the last part of the Cleveland Way). His car is waaaay better than mine too, though that’s not saying much.
Dan had stayed at ours the previous night, taking advantage of Debbie’s attempt to create a mini-boutique hotel in the spare bedroom. This allowed us to nip for a quick sherbet down the Sphinx Nest pub. A bit of poor timing from me saw us clash with a girl’s night in. A house full of drunk/cackling women didn’t make dropping off to sleep easy, but gate-crashing their Indian takeaway was a bonus.