Sunday, 27th October 2019
Met up with Ed for another forum meet in the Peak District.
Travelling there this time was blissfully uneventful and I arrived at the layby, snaffling the last parking spot.
I had a leisurely faff about, eating my breakfast (an apple), getting my phone GPS cranked up and my walking shoes on. It got to about 10.10am and I decided that Ed was unable to make it after all so I set off down the road.
Just before turning off the lane to the National Trust car park I heard someone calling my name and turned to see Ed waving. So I pootled back up the road to him.
We got set off (back down the way I’d just walked) and headed through the woodland to the stream. There was plenty of water in it and I was ever so slightly apprehensive about crossing it via the bouldery rocks as my balance isn’t that great. Ed led the way and I inelegantly clambered across after him.
Obstacle navigated, it was a short, stiff climb away from the stream and up to the road, which we crossed and headed through a gate and onto the beginnings of Froggatt Edge.
Before long, we spotted our first rocky outcrop:
Somewhere along the path there is a stone circle and we were given some duff information by a couple walking past. It wasn’t there and we forged a squishy path through some scrubbly woodland before returning to the main path again. Eagle-eyed Ed spotted it in the end (he has a pic).
Views kept appearing through the trees across the Derwent Valley:
Eventually we got onto Froggatt Edge “proper” and followed the “motorway” for a while, occasionally taking the time to dip in and out of the rocky outcrops and ledges:
I took a snap of the view up onto White Edge – there were hordes of people walking along it and I voiced my doubts about seeing any deer/stags with that many people about:
We arrived at Jolly’s Tea Van at Curbar Gap car park where Ed partook of a coffee and I had a bag of crisps - to fortify ourselves for the stiffest climb of the day up onto White Edge.
Leaving the car park we headed East onto a farm track. A nice sign pointed us in the right direction:
... and spotted this:
A bit of poetry carved into a slab of stone. Sometimes poetry is very strange
I was relieved to see that the worst part of the climb up onto White Edge had been paved – the last time I was here it was just a slippery, grassy trod and, given the rain we’ve had recently, I was expecting it to be a mudbath/swamp/skating rink and anticipated having to do a little contour line traversing to avoid it.
The start was still a little muddy but nothing un-navigable, with a nice little stone bridge over the stream. I checked for trolls but none were found:
After the initial stiff climb, it returns to the more gentle gradient I was comfortable with and Eagle-eyed Ed spotted a herd of deer away in the distance (he has pics).
After that, it wasn’t long before the trig pillar came into view:
Or, rather, it would have come into view if it hadn’t been photobombed by a dog!
I touched the top, at 365m above sea level, this is the highest I’ve been in a looooooong while and .It .Felt .Goooooood
The views were fantastic. Autumnal moorland topped with bright blue skies and fluffy clouds – perfect:
I was disappointed, but not surprised that there weren’t masses of stags burbling and rutting everywhere but there were still plenty of people around which was probably making them keep well away and pretty much out of sight.
However, we did spot a few bachelor stags away off in the distance and a few does hidden in the moorland and it was only by using the zoom function on the camera that we could confirm they weren’t rocks! The zoom photographs I took were absolutely pants.
It was about time for a snack stop and I spotted a large rocky outcrop a little off the beaten track to sit behind, out of the wind, with good views over Big Moor (and hopefully stags). It can’t have been the same place I stopped at before as I don’t remember finding a smashing little stone shelter with seats, which is what we ended up sitting in. Quite pleasant out of the wind it was.
See if you can spot the stags:
After quite a leisurely snack stop we rejoined the blustery path. I’m not sure if it was because we’d changed direction slightly or what but the wind seemed stronger (and colder) than before.
The path along White Edge is lovely. Nice and rough and ready with rocky bits and peaty bits and sandy/gritty bits and has a much more wild feeling that Froggatt and Curbar Edges. After negotiating a couple of impromptu streams gurgling up and out of the moorland and off down the hillside we spotted some more stags and does to our left this time:
We stood a while and watched one particular stag who obviously fancied his chances with the ladies but his Chosen One was having none of it
From there, it was an interesting gentle uppy and downy ridge-walk:
…. to the Hurkling Stone:
No, this isn’t the Hurkling Stone that’s on the more familiar Derwent Edge and I’m not convinced that the definition of “crouching” means much of anything at all. Both (that I’m aware of) are on the end of a long ridge and I wonder if they’re more a precursor to a modern day cairn – a visual signal of the end of a ridge. Anyway, I digress.
At the wall just beyond, we took a left turn down to follow it back to our cars. Shortly after commenting to Ed that I remembered it being steeper and rocker than “this”, the steep and rocky bit appeared and, again, I turned into a wuss at climbing down – despite it only being, oooh, what….. 10 feet of horribleness. I’d have been fine going up it mindst.
From there we entered a lovely little patch of woodland:
Before squelching across a rather waterlogged field and back to the cars:
All in all, a right grand autumnal day out, despite not being overrun with rutting, burbling stags
Finally, here’s a computerified zoom in of a zoom in of a stag:
I need a better camera.
This is the second "proper walk" I've done where I've had absolutely no tendon issues whatsoever. I'm quietly hopeful that a combination of walking shoes, losing a bit of weight, yoga and regular but shorter walks at a leisurely pace has contributed to its improvement. Fingers crossed eh?
Parking: Layby nearest The Grouse Inn (free)
Distance: 6.4 miles
Max height: 1,216 ft
Thanks for looking