January 18th:

Leaders: Tony C and Axel C.

It was a clear and frosty morning with an inch or more of fresh snow.

Members headed to the Anglers Rest in Bamford where joint leader Tony Crowther awaited them. Unfortunately, the Anglers had decided it didn't want our custom after all and so we had to move on to the Yorkshire Bridge. Tony, being indisposed with a double hernia stayed behind to inform any latecomers of what we were doing, and indeed did tell Hugh, and then went back home to return later to join us for tea.

At about 9:40 the party set off. Turning left from the Yorkshire Bridge pub, the Ladybower Reservoir embankment was crossed and then up Parkin Clough (which soon warmed us up) to the summit of Win Hill. The view was brilliant, all white on the ground and clear blue sky. After a brief pause the group moved on and took the path down towards Twitchill Farm.

Then along the muddy lane to Aston and the footpath to Hope Station and on to the main road and across the field to Brough bridge. Next, up the track to the top of Overdale, cutting off a corner by the footpath on the left. The leader had never walked that path, but seeing it had been used that morning, he decided he would follow the footprints in the snow - a successful tactic. Having arrived at the junction with Duper Lane, it was 12:30 and time for lunch. A short length of wall facing the sun beckoned for 20 mins of munching. Clouds came across and covered the sun as we ate. We next set off eastwards and took the path towards Stoke Ford, hoping to find the path from Offerton where it crossed. This proved uncertain with so much snow on the ground and eventually we struck off across Offerton Moor, path or no path. Fortunately, visibility was good and  navigation was easy. We descended to Offerton, right on target: then to Callow Farm, Callow Wood, Mount Pleasant and eventually to Leadmill Bridge. At this point the President decided to return through the valley, initially along the riverside path to Shatton Bridge. The remainder headed up the bank to join the Sheffield Road just below the Millstone and passing the Millstone onto the Ringinglow Road.  Here, the electric gate on the approach to Scraperlow caused some interest. Passing over to Mitchell Field we took the tarmac road downhill and then the lane to Toothill Farm whence to the back of Hathersage Church which could be glimpsed through the trees. We made our way into the valley of Hood Brook and continued up past Brookfield Manor and Bronte Cottage to Green's House and Outlane. Having crossed the road we headed for Upper Hurst Farm and it started to sleet, but not heavily.

We turned North to Bole Hill where we joined the road leading to New Road down to Yorkshire Bridge. It was quite dark by now but it was easy to follow the road. The light sleet had turned to light rain in the wind. We were back at the pub by 5:15 having walked about 14 1/2 miles. 

There, Tony, the President and Hugh were waiting for us, having already ordered their meal. Hugh, we learnt, had had car difficulties and had borrowed his wife's car. When he arrived at the Anglers he couldn't open any door and Tony had to lift the tailgate to speak to him. Tony directed him to Yorkshire Bridge where he had hoped to intercept us, but we didn't go down to the bottom so he missed us. He got to the top of Win Hill about 15 mins after us and at that point decided it was futile to try to guess which way we might have gone. Below is Hugh's account of his solitary walk. The writer understands that Ed Shawcross set off to join the walk but misfortune struck on the way.  Mike Johnson and Richard Harris having considered the road conditions prevailing that morning, rightly decided to give their apologies.

We were joined for tea by the three cavers who had been digging a hole under Eyam. They had made good use of the Club's new electric drill to break up boulders the size of a refrigerator, we were told. We await the next instalment with interest!

Hugh's account:

I climbed Win Hill up Parkin Clough and waited on the top in some glorious sunshine for 30 minutes waiting for the others but found later that they had gone over Win Hill 10 minutes before I arrived. I decided not to try and chase the others but to stay up high in the sun and snow.

I walked to Hope Cross and up to Kinder past Crookstone Barn. I went to Crookstone Knoll and then to Madwoman's Stones. They could have been equally well named Madman's stones because when I got there the sky was dark and threatening with more snow and the mist was descending. Up there it was bitterly cold with a piercing wind and the snow completely covering the heather up to 1 foot deep and I decided the best course was to turn and descend and head for home.

As I came back down the path from Kinder I met a young couple who had camped the night at Fairbrook Naze. They were going much quicker than me and pulled well ahead but they took a bit of a detour on the way to Hope Cross whereas I followed my direct route up back down and they were a bit surprised to find me in front of them again at Hope Cross.

I descended through the forest to the reservoir on the path you reach soon after Wooler Knoll. A very pleasant walk along the side of the reservoir back to my car. Brief statistics, distance 10 miles,800 metres of ascent and 5 hours.

Walking: The President, the Vice President, John E, Syd G, Geoff P, Axel Ch.

In addition for tea at the Yorkshire Bridge: Hugh C, Tony C. 

Cavers: Ed Samp, Rob P, Mike P