Monday, 4 January 2010

Winter walks .....or ' Back to the Thermals, Part 2' !

Traditionally we have usually spent Christmas with our extended family and New Year has always been for friends. This year was no different and 10 of us had a jolly pleasant night at our house seeing in the New Year, singing 'Auld Lang Syne' (badly, in my case!) with the wonderful Pete being dispatched outside with a lump of coal to do the 'first-footing' as the bells stopped ringing!

Tradition also has it that we go for a walk on New Year's Day to blow the cobwebs away ...so off we went!
It was a very cold day and was threatening rain and snow so we went to the nearby Linacre Woods. It's owned by the local Water Authority and is a series of 3 small reservoirs in a valley surrounded by trees (no....really!)
The ground was rock solid underfoot but some icy remnants of the recent snow made walking a little precarious at times - especially downhill. We started from the top car park, but what goes up in Derbyshire must inevitably come down...and back up again!
We circled the top resi', staying up high ........

before dropping down and round to the retaining dam wall to look down on the middle resi'.


Quite a lot of the reservoir was frozen, causing mayhem for the birds and amusement for us!

Himself and Pete inspecting one of the overflow channels!

Fascinating eh?!

Looking down the middle resi' from the overflow channel.

The bottom resi' with the plughole just visible


I had a lovely photo of most of the semi-circle of the plughole but Blogger kept turning the photo through 90* and made it look really weird, so I eventually gave up in disgust ...so you'll have to settle for a bit of the plughole instead!!!

Saturday was grim - cold, sleet, snow - NOT the day for going out, but Sunday dawned with glorious clear blue skies and crispy snow - just the day to go out to the Dark Peaks for a decent walk! Curiously enough, the Gnomelets didn't want to come, so me and Himself donned our thermals yet again for a trek on our own- but first we had to get off the drive!

Ceefer cat was not impressed by our desertion of him!

We drove up to the Curbar Gap car park, with the road being like this most of the way ....oh I can get smug about having a Land Rover some days!

Leaving the car park we had to choose ....left for Baslow Edge or right for Curbar Edge? (or straight down the salt road to the village pub?!)

We went up onto Baslow Edge first and gazed longingly at the pub in Curbar village in the valley (well I did anyway!)

snow dunes up on the top

It was bitterly cold at minus several, plus the wind chill factor made it minus even more, so we did a circuit that took us back to and across the road, up onto Curbar Edge ......

...where the sheep knew where the sheltered spots were.

Both Baslow and Curbar Edges, along with Froggat Edge, form a horseshoe shaped gritstone outcrop that is famous for its climbing. Many Everest expeditions trained here - and as a young child I loved our Sunday family trips out here to go weasling and bouldering. Later, as a teenager, I spent many a happy hour climbing on here - never to Everest standards, but I wasn't bad...especially considering I'm only 5ft2 and my climbing partners were all around 6ft!!!
We followed on with family trips here and both Gnomelets have bouldered here many a time. I swear First-Born has glue on her feet - or is part spider!

The gritstone used to be used to make millstones and there are many incomplete or broken ones dotted around up here as you can see in this photo. The perfect ones were taken back to Curbar Gap, then down the salt road to Curbar and Calver villages down in the valley or across into Cheshire to the mills there.

Having finally gotten cold enough in the minus lots wind, we headed back to the car park
....and home for some mulled wine!
What a lovely way to end a glorious day!

Happy New Year and may all your days be as wonderful as this was :)

21 comments:

joey said...

The scenery is stunning, Nutty. Sounds like we are all experiencing this Arctic freeze! Your New Year's was perfect ... do hope the rest of the year follows in the same happy footsteps! *Warm Hugs*

Liz said...

Happy New Year Liz, glad to see you enjoyed yourself and your walks.

The scenery looks wonderful and can honestly say I've never been around there before... Well we went to the Three Merry Lads pub on the outskirts of Sheffield but other than passing the reservoirs on the snake I've never been walking around them and fully realise I'm missing out on a lot!

Growing up we always went Nottinghamsire way rather than Sheffield, so only recently discovered just how close to the Peaks it is once I moved here!

More snow due Liz, I hope you stay safe and warm :)

Phoenix C. said...

What glorious views up in your hills! I love the reservoirs too, the structure of reservoirs and all the channels going off them has always fascinated me.

I lived in Sheffield for a while and loved walking around the area, though I do not recall the names of the places you mention. Foxhouse Woods was one of my favourites.

Happy New Year to you!

leavesnbloom said...

You had a busy day - wonderful photos and great views from up in the heights. Oh that wind chill must have been bad that day.

Cheryl said...

Thank you for sharing two beautiful walks. Some stunning scenery.....
Mulled wine sounds like a perfect way to finish the day.

Hope 2010 will be a healthy and happy one for you.

Camellia said...

Fantastic scenries, and what a walk! You got it all there, is seems. It all sounds like a very nice tradition!
have a great 2010, Nutty! (and we're all assuming this is the year of the grand opening of the asian-scented pavillion...!?

Woody Wilbury said...

Great photos, Nutty. I know Curbar Edge & Curbar Gap quite well but haven't been up there in snow for a long time. They're good when there's a temperature inversion; the whole valley is full of fog and you can stand in sunshine looking down on it. It's hard to credit now but I have ridden a bicycle UP from the valley bottom to Curbar Gap. Perhaps doing that again should be a resolution?

Linacre Woods are Terra Incognita for me (Here be Dragons) but looking on my Xmas present OS map of Chesterfield I discover they're quite close. Must give them a go!

Happy New Year.

Di said...

Liz, beautiful! and thank you for the trip... I didn't even get cold. ;) Stunning panoramic views and the light/shadows on the snow dunes.. my kind of photo! Happy New Year and we hope it's a best! Diana

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I noticed you're not in your pond anymore in your sidebar picture, you look dressed for the cold weather now!
Your pictures of the reservoir and overflow channels were really interesting.
I love the snowy pictures, we still haven't seen any and I'm beginning to wonder if we will.
Happy New Year!

Natural Moments said...

These photos were indeed delightful with all of the snowy landscape. Everything seen was so bright and vivid. Loved seeing the sheep in the snow. May the rest of the year be as adventureous and light filled as your snowy excursions. It was also fun to see the cat in contrast to the white snow. Its fun having everything feel so fresh for the New Year.

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

Hi Liz

Absolutely beautiful up in the peak district. Proper snow.

Driving up through France at Xmas and Calais had 10 inches, through the tunnel and at Folkestone nothing.

Mind you, the roads were treacherous 'round my sisters near Chipping Norton.

Looks like you're in for some more 'weather' this week and possibly longer.

Happy New Year to you all.

Rob

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi everyone ...it's doing some SERIOUS snowing right now and I've got a snow day!!!

Hi Joey - and to think it's only about 6 miles from my house!I am so lucky to live where I do ...just don't tell the southerners or they'll all move up here! :)
You have a wonderful year too :) *hugs*

Hi Liz - haha, we went past the Three Merry Lads just the other day - wonder if you were in there at the time?!
The reservoirs on the Snake Pass (closed due to snow!) are Ladybower and Derwent resi's ...where the RAF practised the 'Dam Busters'bombing runs. They're a bit north of us, but I often walked round there when I was younger and lived in Rotherham.
You ought to venture out this way a bit more. Come and have coffee and I'll take you onto Curbar ...but not today, obviously, it's impassable! Stay safe and warm:)

Hi Phoenix C - gosh, fancy you having lived in Sheffield! Meet Liz (in the comments box) - she lives there now! I know Foxhouse Woods well and remember taking some scouts out on a winter hike through them many years ago!
Happy New Year to you too :)

Leavesnblooms - hi! You are right, it was SO cold ....chuffin' freezin' even!

Hi Cheryl - hope Kent hasn't got the snow as heavily as us. We're up to about 4 inches now, the roads are bad and they're warning people not to go into the Peaks because they won't get back!
This may be a good day for more mulled wine!!

Camellia, hi! Yes, if the snow ever stops then there should be a grand unveiling of the tea house at some point this year.....hopefully!!!
Have a wonderful 2010 :)

Woody - respect!!! I have walked (slogged!) up that road many a time but never, ever even THOUGHT about cycling UP it! Hell but you must be fit! I've been on Curbar when there's been a temperature inversion going on and it's stunning to see.

Linacre woods are lovely and there are loads of tracks through them - well worth a visit, especially as all the dragons are tame nowadays!!

If you come over, do pop in for a cuppa. If you look on your OS map, find the footie ground and we're a bit to the left of it - about 3 miles from Linacre :)
happy New Year to you and Wilma.

Liz said...

Bah Humbug, I wish I had a snow day!

Instead I'm now stuck at work, with no buses running and facing a lovely walk home, all because no one can possibly ever send us home yet almost every other school/college/office in the city is closed.

So I'm still in two minds whether to walk home at lunch and use flexi time or save the flexi for tomorrow instead since either way I'm forced to walk it makes no difference if it's at 12pm or 4.

Electricity is out on Arundel Gate, one of the other University Buildings has no elec... Wonder if they've been lucky and been sent home... Baaaah why is ours still on??! I'm on Howard Street!!

Now, where's that mulled wine??

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Di - glad you didn't get cold on my walk ...you must have flippin' good thermals!!!
I loved the snow dunes and the interplay of light and shadow - I wish the way the snow glistened showed up on photos!
Hope you and yours have a wonderful 2010 :)

Hi Catherine - yes, I thought it was time for a more wintery photo!
I've just been out to measure the snow and we're just over 4 inches now, it's mid-day and it's still snowing!!!! Don't worry - there's plenty of winter left for your snow to arrive :)

Hi Bernie. The sheep were really funny trying to gambol in the snow - they also got an awful lot nearer the edge (and a terminal plummet) than I was prepared to go!
Ceefer cat has ventured out a couple of times today, but doesn't like deep snow as it's up to his tummy now!
You're right about the vivid colours and the freshness of it all. I love the ephemeral feel of snow too.
I've just been down to the local shop to get supplies for the half a dozen teenagers who've just descended on us (Last-Born's school has shut early) and it's amazing how smiley and friendly people are when it's snowing - perhaps the feeling of potential adversary engenders comradeship?!

Hi Rob - it was lovely up there on Sunday but the local police have banned anyone from trying to get out there today ...wisely, I think. We've got a good 4 inches here, so they've got to be up to 10 inches by now ...and the roads were bad enough before!I think it's fair to say that our weather has arrived!
Glad you got home safely - have you got snow?

Liz - oh no, poor you! That seems so unfair. Do you want me to stuff the power supply then?!!
Strikes me that if you're walking anyway, you may as well stay put - in the hope that they might (just might!) get some buses running later and you can use your flexi time tomorrow and get a lie-in!!!
The mulled wine is here - but I don't expect you fancy walking to Chessi?!
Take care and stay warm :)

Liz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liz said...

Hi Liz,

Please do cut the electricity, that'd be great. Thank you!

We've had emails along the lines of 'manager's discretion' which basically means if you want to go you have to take holiday leave. Nice one.

So yeah, I'm going to take tomorrow off instead, I don't have enough leave left to have the entire week off though.

Still hoping the buses get back on... You never know. But since there's no cars/buses to melt the snow off the roads, it's unlikley to happen.

A walk to Chesterfield is just what I fancy right now... Or perhaps I could stop at my own home on the way there... ;)

Enjoy your snow day, I assume himself and the gnomeletts are enjoying it with you?

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ooh, what wonderful scenery, pout pout pout. This makes me wish I lived in England. I was planning to go for a New year's walk as well but it was SO COLD and windy I just couldn't face it. I love the idea of first-footing--thanks for the link as that's not a tradition I was waare of.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz ...I'm working on creating a power cut, so bear with me- it's bit tricky....!
Himself is at work in Rotherham - but the Land Rover is here! Heaven only knows what time he'll reappear tonight. In theory he could come home now as he's the boss, but...!

Both Gnomelets are here as Ruth hasn't gone back to uni yet and Laura's school closed at 10.45. Did I mention the other 5 teenagers that came back with her....?

The roads here are very tricky - can't actually see the road from the house, but I haven't heard any buses and only saw cars when I was out earlier ...and most of them were sliding about!

Take care walking home later - hope it doesn't take you too long :)

yummy-glutton said...

Very beautiful pictures! It's nice to see that someone sees familiar places the same way you see them yourself (oh, gosh, I hope you understood me :))
Most of my colleagues didn't turn up at work today cos of snow... But isn't it gorgeous! :) That a proper winter as I remember it when I was a child, and it makes Max and me just ecstatic :)

(It's Olga :-*)

Tootsie said...

oh you have some beautiful photos posted here today!!! wow...such a stunning scene to see!
I hope you warm up soon...I know just how you all feel!

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Monica - having done a lot of travelling over the years I really appreciate the beauty of where I live!We've had another few inches of snow since these photos were taken, but I've not been able to go back out into the Peaks to get more shots as all the roads are still blocked!
First-footing is a very UK thing ...it was a Scottish tradition that the rest of the UK pinched. Pete always does our First-footing ..being tall, dark and handsome! :)

Hi Olga - nice to see you my friend! I had a look at your site, couldn't understand a word of it -surprisingly enough I can't read Russian! I liked your pictures ...but your snowman's a bit grumpy!

I remember snow like this when I was a child and the winter of 1980/81, so I'm loving it ...and I got a snow day as the schools are shut! :)
You and Max must feel right at home at the moment :)

Hi Tootsie - it's about -5/-6 here at the moment (10.30 am)so it's a bit chilly to say the least! We've now got about 6 inches of snow with more forcast. Maybe I'll get another snow day tomorrow as well?!

Apart from last winter we've not had decent snow for many years. I don't remember having snow days since 1981 ....I had to walk 8 miles home in a snow storm that night! So I'm happy to stay here - I don't want to do that again :)