Feb 08 03
Pretty ice crystals
Birmingham received about 5 mm of snow on Thursday night; enough to whet our appetites for a snow-filled weekend, but definitely not enough for any sort of playtime. We decided that our chances of finding snow were greater up north, so we set off to Derbyshire. The plan was for Richard to start teaching me to ski, if the conditions allowed, or alternatively to go running/orienteering. On our way through Derbyshire, we realised that the skiing was not really possible, so we headed to the Edale Valley to go for a run. Having only set out with 2 tracker bars last weekend and got very hungry, we increased our food supplies to 2 tracker bars, one brunch bar and one 8 month out of date Nutrigrain Bar. We were prepared. We set off onto the Mam Tor Ridge, going up to Back Tor, then along to Hollins Cross, and onto Mam Tor itself. One chap, walking in the opposite direction, obviously thought we looked knowledgeable and stopped us to ask if he was going in the right direction for Brown Knoll; we said he was heading for Hollins Cross and he seemed pleased and continued in the same direction. We carried onto Rushup Edge, which was much less windy than Mam Tor and continued to traverse around the head of the Edale Valley. Here we had a quick look at the map and realised that we were, in fact, heading for Brown Knoll; which was where the previously mentioned man was trying to reach…. Obviously he was having a bit of a 180 degree error. We got to the top of Jacob’s Ladder and I hear this voice in my ear saying “Rachel, I’d really like to see Kinder Downfall in this weather, everyone says it’s so nice”. So, having made a quick calculation concerning daylight hours, we leaped off in the direction of Kinder Downfall. You can see from the attached pictures that it was rather spectacular and was definitely worth the treacherous icy conditions on the compacted snow on the paths. It was absolutely freezing at the Downfall and we decided to take the quick way home, across the plateau. This was a good choice. The peat bogs were frozen, the snow was powdery and the relief when we came out of the other side at the right place was fantastic. We descended at Grindslow Brook, which turned out to be rather icy, so made slow going. So much so, that we only just made it to Edale by dusk. It was a lovely 4hr day though and I’ve done nothing but eat since. We met Bill G. and Stevie T. in the Castle that evening and were given our next challenge; to rescue a frog from the bottom of Giants Hole! The plan is to go there next weekend, so we await to see if the rescue is a success. Bill left the frog a Mars bar, so perhaps it stands a chance?!?!? The weekend was rounded off by an orienteering event at Calke Abbey, followed by further feasting and 2 desserts at home.
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