The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday 6 December 2008

Sunshine on Stanage Edge

It was with the impediment of the rapidly sinking sun in our eyes that we struck out, off the trodden path, across the tussocky, boggy flatland between Rud Hill and Stanage Edge.

Had the sun not been so low in the sky and shining directly into our eyes, we would have been able to see where we were going, and perhaps would have avoided quite so many above-ankle dunkings in the thawed bog, and perhaps I wouldn’t have taken the comedy nose-dive into the heather.

But, had the sun not been so low in the sky, and the hour of sun-set so rapidly approaching, we would have taken a longer route and thus would not tackled the rough-going direct route.

The timing had been the result of a number of factors, primarily a complete failure to get out of bed at anything approaching the intended early hour, followed by a mission to buy Mick some new boots. As it went, we set out onto Stanage Edge with only a couple of hours until sundown, and with little intention other than the objective of a ‘short stroll’.

Stroll we did, for a while, along the Edge and then along a track that led us to Redmires Reservoirs. Then we left the masses (and there were a lot of people out on this day of perfect walking weather, with stunning blue skies and views to match) and took a permissive path.

We knew that we didn’t have time to complete the originally intended route before dark, hence the spur of the moment decision to do the tussock route.

Jolly good fun it was too. Even the nose-dive bit. Perhaps the soft landing in deep heather helped.

It seemed for a while, as the legs started to tire of the constant exaggerated steps required by the terrain, that we were getting no closer to the road that we could see before us, but by and by we did get there, albeit not before having a bit of a snow-fight with the remaining patches of the white stuff.

Back onto the Edge we went, so as to avoid a bit of road walking, and our timing was impeccable. As we reached the Edge the bottom of the sun was just touching the horizon. As we came to our exit point, the sun was just sinking below the horizon; we paused to watch.

We dropped back down to the car park, surprised to find it still almost full. Then we looked back up and saw snakes of people making their way back down; people no doubt as determined as we were to get the most out of the fantastic day.

The great shame on such a perfect-weather day was that I had forgotten to pick up a camera. All was not lost, Mick has one of those new-fangled phones that comes complete with a camera. It’s not good spec, but it took a few snaps of the delights of the day


  1. wow looks fantastic.... I could do with a good walk like that right now

  2. It was a great day for walking but sadly my gear addiction took over and I went along to the sale of Mountain Equipment clothing at their factory shop in Glossop.I have been to many of these sales but this was the most disappointing although we did manage to pick up a Sprayway waterproof for my son at £20 plus a ME Helium Ultra Down Jacket supposedly reduced from £150 to £60.My wife came along and we had lunch at Hathersage so we would have been very close to where you were.Called at Chatsworth House on the way back but very busy with Day Trippers.Can't wait to get out walking again but the immediate future looks bleak as having to write Xmas Cards,Shopping and visiting relatives.

  3. Jeff - we were probably exceptionally close to where you were yesterday - in that we too were in Hathersage at lunchtime!

  4. Hi Gayle,Sorry that I missed you both.It would have been nice to see you again.I was up on Stanage myself a few weeks ago with a friend and we had a really great day out.If someone gave me a pound for every time I've visited Hathersage I would be a very rich man-it's one of my favourite haunts.I can't resist the all day breakfasts at the little cafe & tearooms called Cintras.Can't wait to hear all about your new tent.Anyway,must get back to writing out those Xmas Cards.Best wishes JEFF