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]

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Shining Tor

Peeking out of the window just as the day was thinking of dawning, a swift re-plan was had. With clear skies and not a hint of fog, compared with a forecast of rain and ‘almost nil’ probability of cloud-free summits for tomorrow, it made eminent sense to visit the more interesting-looking hill today, saving the less interesting for tomorrow’s poor weather.

That did mean that Colin would have to move, necessitating a flurry of activity whilst an explosion of stuff got re-stowed, but it was still before 8.30 as I set out towards Derbyshire Bridge for a trip up Shining Tor.

The frost was heavy and the views (particularly of the Roaches and Ramshaw Rocks) were truly superb as I trundled my way north, but the final approach road to my car park was doing a good impression of an ice rink. The road along which I then needed to walk for a while was similarly slippery, so I was glad to get off it, even though the temperatures hadn’t been quite low enough to fully freeze the bogginess I then encountered.

My ‘why are you working when you could be here?’ email to Mick from the summit told him that it was “either a grin-inducing place to be on a day like today, or a grin-inducing day to be in a place like this, but either way the combination of place and weather are mightily pleasing”. Unfortunately, my snaps from the summit don’t do justice to quite how far the views extended:


There was low level fog visible in the distance in this direction, as well as three valleys along to the east.

It certainly wasn’t a day for a quick out and back, so along the ridge I continued to Cats Tor. The path was getting busy by then, including a group of 20 or so who merrily took up the entire path, forcing me off it. Even so, they all got a cheery “good morning”. Later, having dropped down to the road and then veered off towards Errwood Reservoir, I wasn’t quite so cheery to the owner of a killer dog (although I concede that ‘Baldrick’ is a good name for a dog!).

Foxlow Edge took me back upwards for a while, which looked the better alternative (rather than simply heading down the valley) on a day like today. It was so nice up there that I declared it to be lunchtime at the top of the pimple, even though it was only 11.15. I do consider lunch to be a very moveable feast!

Down at Errwood Reservoir, there was a severe lack of water, but that added to the interest, I thought:


Gorgeous weather, and still frost in the shade

A couple of miles along the (still icy in places) road took me back to Derbyshire Bridge with 8.8 miles walked with somewhere around 1600’ of ascent.


What I should have done then (I now realise) was take a trip over to Shutlingsloe. It had been such a feature in the morning’s views, that I have no idea why I didn’t think of it at the time, given that I had plenty of daylight and energy remaining. Instead I headed back to Blackshaw Moor and …

…to be continued (don’t get excited, there’s no cliff-hanger. If I hark on much longer here, it’s going to be a ‘mare to get this to post; as it is I have to hold the laptop at an uncomfortable angle at the window to get enough signal.)

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