Peak District - A Bleaklow Round 03/12/2011

Distance - 20 miles
Ascent - 4500 feet
Time - 7hrs 50min

The Bleaklow Round brief route - 20 miles

Starting from Birchin Clough car park -Over Wood Moss - Hern Clough - Bleaklow Head - Bleaklow Stones - Grinah Stones - Barrow Stones - River Derwent - Slippery Stones - Howden Reservoir - Alport Castles - Hayridge Farm - Snake Inn - Car Park

Map of the route

An early start saw me and Radder arriving at the Birchen Clough car par on the snake pass at 6.30am. The rain was coming down but by 6.45am we were ready to set of walking. We started of by taking the very steep accent on Birchen Clough but still being dark helped alot as you could not see the full steepness, as we reached the top we headed on a compass bearing over towards grains in the water. With a clear sky  and plenty stars in the sky we  made good progress as we hit hern clough we followed this on to the Pennine Way just as it was getting light. As we headed towards Bleaklow Head the sun was just rising and Mark took this amazing picture of the sun rising over Bleaklow.

But this was going to be the only picture of the day as the weather look a turn for the worse and stayed like this for the rest of the day, we was getting hit by rain, hail, wind. This was not good as we were just about to start naviaging the hardest part of the route, the pathless route to Bleaklow hill, bleaklow stones but as we failed to pic up the wood stakes that help you. We had to get compass out and follow a compass bearing to get us back on track hitting the Bleaklow stones. The fog was still down but we did pic the path up that takes you to Grinah stones then on to Barrow stones where we stopped for 5mins for a quick bite to eat and drink.

All fuelled up we headed over the moors to pic up the very start or the River Derwent which is a great river to follow and is like a proper walkes version on Padley Gourge. We folllowed this river all the way to the top of the Ladybower where we saw the 1st person of  the day. The road lead us round to are next big accent of the day which took us up to Alport castles. I have done this accent a few times and it never gets any easier we then decended straight back down to Alport farm then the path to Blackden View Farm, following the path through Cowms Moor and the last sting in the tail was Oyster Clough, which after all this walking this was a tough accent to the roman road that took us back to the car.

We arrived back at the car very wet and cold but was a great walk and would recomended this to anyone who wants a challenging day out in the Peak District