I had thought about a route from Hathersage to Stanage, about 8-9 miles, but wanted a bit more than that so opted for Stanage from Hook's Car Stitch, up to the A57 and over on to Moscar before returning via Cutthroat Bridge, Jarvis Clough and wandering over access land towards Bamford Edge and back to the car via North Lees.
It was an 'ok' walk (I'm really selling this here), I've been over Stanage quite a bit as you'd expect living in Sheffield. I was there too early for a lot of the climbers, even though I set off from the car at about 9:30! Maybe Friday night was a good one in town!
|Up to Stanage Edge from Hook's Car Stitch|
|View from Stanage to Win Hill, Lose Hill and Mam Tor with Kinder in the distance|
I remembered to actually bring my walking poles so felt like I was motoring my way up and over the edges. Walking on the gritstone again compared to the Buachaille last weekend felt like putting fluffy slippers on, especially where it had crumbled into the peat on the tops. There's some great names for some of the areas on the Edges, even on the OS map, with High Neb and Crows Chin. With it being a well known climbing area (there are several hundred routes) there's a plethora of names for different ways up.
I didn't really get my usual sense of peace though until I made myself stop, have a coffee (already made) and sat down to sketch. I had a cracking view towards Win Hill, with the slanted stones of Stanage in the foreground, looking over the peat patchwork of Moscar Moor. The heather is out in abundance now, the lighter lilac colour seeming to take over from the deeper variety I prefer.
So after messing around with some pencil work and then splashing a bit of paint on some very old Bockingford that the size had gone on, I propelled myself north towards the A57, hearing it from a bit of distance away.
|Initial Pencil Work before Daubing|
After another mile I passed an oldish guy who also had walking poles, but he looked as if he was herding virtual sheep with his, carrying them out in front of him. I wonder if I look like that? We exchanged a quick hello, nice day and all that and carried on.
After crossing the A57 I headed past Moscar Lodge through an avenue of Oak and Sycamore trees. It felt weird not to be out on the moors or in more hilly areas, but I'd picked the route so I can't complain!
Pretty soon though I was out into the open, following a grassed over cart track (Moscar Cross Road) that was quite good fun because the ruts were so deep. Plagued by sheep/horse flies I carried on down towards Moscar House which must be a very old farm. There was a lovely stone barn but the keystone holding the archway up looked as if it was about to cave in.
Just after the farm there was a ditch with flowing water and filled with watercress. I had a couple of leaves and enjoyed knowing what it was, that it wasn't going to poison me (me pretending to be Ray Mears here) but to be honest I'm not a great fan of it - how people can eat it in soup or in a salad is beyond me - too peppery!
From there it was an easy path down towards Cutthroat Bridge and re-crossing the A57. I must look up the history of the place! There was a nice but short bit of boulder crossing over the stream, and two fell runners passed me on the way up to the hills above Ladybower and Derwent (where they practised for Dambusters), and then headed back to cross the road, through a small plantation and to walk on under Hordron Edge.
Anyway once at the top the bracken gave way to heather with an underblanket of bilberries (all eaten now by the sheep) and I started grouse beating my way across the moor, finding a couple of numbered grouse butts and poles, I guess to help navigate? I made my way over to a stone built Pillar but all the while Win Hill was right there in front of me so navigating was never going to be a problem. It started to bucket down while I was on the top and it was great to see the rain clouds come in over from Kinder and Bleaklow, over the reservoirs and then hitting me. It was warm and my trousers are supposed to have a DWR covering so I just chucked my jacket on and carried on. Bamford Edge isn't a startling Gritstone edge such as Curbar, Froggat or Stanage, but it was nice, and it was interesting to be on the top compared to on the road at the bottom that I normally use when crossing the hills to Manchester.
I didn't see anyone on the moor until I got towards the disused quarry near High Lees farm where I was surrounded by a walking party of about 20 people. Some wanted to chat and some looked pretty miserable! They'd asked about the weather - the rain had stopped by then - but I just said you can see it coming before it hits you so it's not much of a problem, plus it was on-off showers and pretty warm - you're not exactly going to get exposure! I put it a bit more tactfully than that but it made me wonder about peoples attitude to the weather and how much being cosseted with central heating impacts getting out doors. I know when I spend too long inside I get 'nesh' as they say up here!
The next bit of the walk, back to the car, was the most challenging in terms of navigating, just because of the maze of paths and roads, but I started off well with a bit of road walking, relieving the boredom by using my walking poles as twirling batons and swatting the flies away and singing along (I Did it My Way among others). Probably a good thing that I didn't meet anyone other than in their cars!
I dropped onto a path under Bolehill Wood, messed about through some paddocks and cut through to Outlane. At the lovely Green's House I met with a Treasure Hunt party and feebly tried to help a Scottish lady and her friends work out some of the clues they were struggling with! I failed to make any headway for them (they wanted to find out about a by-way) so carried on, past the remaining end wall of the Chapel at North Lees, which I believe is where Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre. You could also see Hathersage Church in the distance, where Little John is supposed to be burried. It's all going on in Hathersage!
At this point I'd run out of water and forsake a wide shallow stream for a tiny brook emerging from a bank. A nice little wooded bumpy lane led up to the road under Stanage Edge and then I had a bit of a route march thang going on to get to my car. I should have parked at the car park there rather than at Hook's Car Stitch but I prefer the start up that end - otherwise you don't get the whole Edge. A plus to this was that I got to gawp at a lot more climbers than had been there in the morning. Even from the road you can hear them speaking (shouting?) quite clearly, and all their jangly equipment singing away. It's fascinating to watch them work their way up, and people of all different skill levels use the edge; I don't know if they do it now but they used to use it for training for climbs on Everest at one point.
With the extra bits of wandering about and parking further away I think the walk was about 11-11.5 miles. I'm not too hung up on mileage and felt like I could have easily done more, but once I'd made the turn towards the car the sense of any journey seemed to leave me. With all the messing around sketching and bush wacking it probably took me about 6.5 hours to do all this, but I did mess around a lot!
I'm planning on getting out again in the next few days, hoping for nice weather to do an overnighter, maybe around Burbage or Padley Gorge, so that I wake in one of my favourite places on my birthday! Kinder Scout is starting to draw me back though so maybe I'll do that. We shall see!