Friday, 15 January 2010

It's grim 'oop North'!!

We'd done the last two walks from our door, as the roads were a bit 'iffy' to say the least. This week, I decided that we'd travel North a bit, as we'd heard all the stories in the cafe about how Bakewell was like another world, compared to the high ground. I'd seen the Flash village webcam, so knew it was a bit dire up there, but how bad was it in places like, say, the Ladybower reservoirs chain? Again, I knew the snake pass, which runs across the reservoir, was closed, but hey - how bad could it be?

Well - bad enough for all the car parks to be closed! I just dumped the Honda in the gateway, we booted up, and set off into the white, blue yonder. This car has been superb in all the snow, and has tackled some pretty slippery stuff, and never said no yet.
A look over Ladybower returned a white sheet of a scene. I mean, I expected this, but would we be able to follow the 9 mile route up onto Derwent edge? Vis' wasn't good today, with the sky being grey, and a very fine snow falling all the time.

The start of the walk. It had been a struggle to get here, as the snow on the kerbs hadn't been walked, so was deep. It was deep here too, and only one or two other 'daft bugger' footprints.
A winter wonderland again, and we were enjoying it very much. All the problems it creates aside, we just LOVE snow. It makes journeys hard, kills business, disrupts things, but then we don't get it that often (or this much), so we're both philosophical about it, and I think it's good to be able to enjoy it.

We pressed on.

Look Sue, there's enjoying, and there's enjoying!
Stop showing off!

FABULOUS views, said the estate agent speak.
They don't mention this, though.

The poor sheep, we felt so sorry for them. They even LOOKED fed up and hungry!

Everything was covered in this beautiful mantle of white.
I could stand and stare at these trees all day, they're so lovely.

Now we were climbing, and the snow was just too deep to attempt to get up onto Derwent edge. There were NO other footprints either, so others had abandoned the idea too.
I decided to alter the route, and take us halfway above the reservoir, and then drop down to it and do a circle. That should be ok? The way ahead was calf-wrenchingly hard though.
We'd sleep tonight!

Evidence of just HOW hard things were for the sheep.
They had bitten and nibbled every exposed bit of vegetation.
We saw lots of saplings that had been stripped of the tender bark.

Some even resorted to nibbling the branches of low bushes and trees.

Some even started to accost passers-by!!

Again, this was a second path I considered for access to the tops, but one look, and I made my decision.

'Not tonight, Josephine!!'

So, it was 'about turn', and set off back down.

We had a giggle at this farm sign - the sheep on it has a nice white coat.

Residents up here were saying that they were thoroughly sick of it now.
I can understand that, as they get NO help at all with clearance, gritting, etc.

Still, you don't get views like this in the city, do you?

The reservoir HAD frozen over at the top end.
The ice looks brown because of the peaty consistency of the water.

The wildlife was having a hard time too.
We saw rabbits eating from the silage dumps left for the sheep.
This little one ran across our bows, and I was quick enough to get a shot in.

A beautiful scene among the rhododendrons.

Ladybower dam.
How nice does this look?
Full to capacity, and there's PLENTY more to come from all this snow.

We dropped down to the Fairholmes visitors centre. There were a few wardens there, tucked up in their warm office. I think they did a double take when they saw these two mad walkers, sitting outside having a picnic.
There were plenty of would-be guest for our picnic as well. This cheeky one actually took food from my hand, but we weren't quite quick enough to get a picture.
Have you ever hand-fed a bird, especially a wild one?
It's a special pleasure, that something wild has trusted you enough to do that.
You should try it sometime.

However, these 'gate-crashers' were not what I'd call wild.

Desperate, yes - wild, NO!


The view in the evening along Ladybower.
Grim, but somehow beautiful.

I had considered coming up here in the car this morning.
Glad I didn't, as there was nowhere to park - even the road has just been left.

The viaduct. Not much traffic, as this was the start of the closed Snake Pass.

With just a short walk back to the car in the fine, falling snow, we looked up the Snake road.
It doesn't look too bad now, but from here on it rises, and height means more snow.
I wouldn't want to chance it, would you?

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