New toys and nights under the stars

Dewent Edge camp by Wheel Stones – a picture I’ve been hoping to capture for quite some time

Sat here with aching shoulders and sore limbs as a consequence of the last few days hiking in the Peak District – the whole trip already feels like a distant memory. And it usually is when they’re memorable. That almost alien experience is exciting in the moment but becomes blurred and faded as time ticks on by.

As in previous posts, I’ll leave the pictures to do the talking. Before I do though, I’d like to mention how bloody arduous it was at times in the snow on the hills. It’s not that it was full on winter conditions and I was climbing rock faces or anything – just that with recent thaws and then fresh dumps of the fluffy white stuff, some routes were really quite tiring and time consuming. Be it slush, then mud or slush and mud or all of these with thick ice – and then a good few inches of snow on top.

Consequently, with my gear laden pack it made for hard work and dampened my enthusiasm on occasion as I chased views and vantage points in the Upper Derwent Valley area. So, it really was a trip of ups and downs but it’s those pain free joyful moments that stand out the most thankfully.

It was a pleasure meeting up with backpacker Yuri aka Moonlightshadow for a night on the flanks of Win Hill one night (though I’ll not forgive him for making me climb up the hill from the Yorkshire Bridge Inn after a few pints!). Also a quick mention to James and his adorable dog Reuben from Backpackingbongos. After a tough day out on the moors, I bumped into them on Bamford Edge while filming some scenes and though it was sadly a brief meet, it helped my sanity somewhat at that time of day.

Otherwise, it was a cracking trip and one I quickly learnt which outdoor kit I’ve had on test don’t cut the mustard for winter backpacking (more of which in another post soon) and how some of my new video gear soon packs up in freezing temps.

I have to say, I’m really getting into this photography lark. The fun I’ve had with my new camera and various lenses you’d think I’d won the lottery. I suppose it’s just another creative string in my bow and that’s where I get my kicks from.

Anyway, the following pictures were taken from a Panasonic Lumix TZ8, Samsung Galaxy S 2 and a Canon 550D.

Friday nights camp on Derwent Edge. Winds were bitingly cold so I was thankful to find a wee cove in amongst these
distinctive rocks to use as a place to relax outside the tent.
Looking south from camp along the escarpment. This picture clearly shows the light pollution from nearby Sheffield.
The following morning I woke to even more snow and discovered I had company! This wee fella came to within 6 feet of me.
I really don’t know what it is about me and wildlife of late but they just aint bothered by me. Which is handy for video!
Not much of a view at dawn but the weather did improve eventually. The Terra Nova Solar Competition 2
performed extremely well in snow and strong winds on this trip, too.

After some filming on the Saturday I met up with Yuri on Win Hill.
Cosy and warm in the tent, peeping out on Sunday morning.
Strong winds and heavy snow put me off packing up. I wanted to stay inside!
Come mid morning, the clouds parted and revealed a stunning landscape under blue skies. Perfect weather!
I bid Yuri farewell and then began my walk over to Bamford Edge seen here.
While filming the landscape from Bamford Edge, I bumped into James and Reuben.
We took in what some consider to be the best view in all of the Peak District – I disagree. There’s much better to be had.
Bamford Edge beginning to glow by the setting sun.
The sunsets over the Hope Valley. At which point James and Reuben left me to camp on the moor.
Camp on Bamford Moor. -6c air temp and hardly a breeze. It was a superb end to a fine day.
It wasn’t long until the stars came out up above.
I’m not savvy with constellations – but they looked mightily impressive from camp!
Bamford at night from it’s nearby edge. I wandered around capturing night time scenes of the Peaks. A project I’m working on for the next few months.
Another night time scene, this time of Ladybower and the Upper Derwent Valley.
Monday was a wasted day thanks to heavy rain and clag. But making my way back to Derwent Edge paid dividends. On Tuesday morning the weather was simply superb. All in all it was a tiring but very productive trip for me.
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