Sunday, 3 January 2010

New Year visit to Doctor's Gate

The usual New Year mayhem finished and a forecast of sunshine all day, I thought I'd try and catch up someone off the forum for a walk. A last minute call to Mark and Jim meant meeting up near Ladybower was Sunday sorted. Until Saturday night that is when Snake Pass was closed. I'm never one to believe this sort of thing until I see it with my own eyes so i headed off early Sunday morning (7.45 am is REALLY early for me)......and guess what, it was closed. Jim had other ideas though and had decided to 'drive over the top' now I'm not sure what vehicle he was in or what over the top meant, but I was pretty certain my car wasn't up for that.

I managed to get into Old Glossop (just) and then headed off passed Shire Hill and along Shelf Brook. You can tell it was early as the sun was just catching the hilltops

Even with temperatures down to -4C overnight the area by the side of the stream was still pretty boggy

Normally it's really old people marching down the mountain that make me feel unfit, with their 'where were you at 6am?' looks, but today some pillock had carried a pair of ski's up to the top for a 40 second descent. You can see the tracks in the photograph (if you look closely)

After some waist deep dragging myself through the snow for another 40 minutes I was eventually met with this view, as the access route to Bleaklow just after Doctor's Gate. No footsteps to follow and not a gate in site!

I eventually made it onto the top to see the footsteps of a long gone Pennine Way walker

It was then time for some pictures before heading back into the snow drifts

This was the view towards Ladybower and Sheffield where I should have been, although I'm not sure I would have kept us with the Fast Boys in this snow

And finally the view along the Pennine Way to the quietest parking spot I've ever seen on Snake Pass.

It was pretty chilly on top so I decided to head back down the valley and into the snowdrifts once more. It really is a lot more fun jumping down into the snow rather than trudging uphill. Still at least I wasn't carrying the skis! Hope Mark and Jim made it through the snow too.

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