"Sun God" and "Inversion King" status – still intact.

High Wheeldon summit one cold Saturday morning

The skin on my face is tighter than a drum and beginning to peel and my toes and fingertips are only now returning to some sense of normality – and on top of that my limbs ache a little and my mind is still in a daze.

Yes, I’m back from a few cold days and nights out on the hills and moors of the Peak District and am feeling the consequences of a tough few days walking and camping. It was intensive to say the least – a quick run up and down High Wheeldon one morning to retrieve my mobile phone (I left it on the trig point) didn’t help as I eagerly waited for a local bus to take me miles elsewhere.
All said and done, it was a fabulous trip and a real morale booster on many levels. Not only did it prove productive for my work but gave my spirits a big lift after recent jaunts out cut short due to stormy conditions.

Thursday night was spent somewhat awkwardly on Ramshaw Rocks. Not exactly ‘wild’ camping but handy nonetheless
for the work I was doing. Paid off though with a lovely sunset.
Ramshaw Rocks at night from camp. Not a great picture by any means but it does prove the influence of man on our
national parks – especially here with light pollution!
Fortunately, the nearby road was quite as a mouse for most of the night enabling me to get a sound sleep. The next
morning I woke to a beautiful cloud inversion as far as my eyes could see all around.
Looking north I couldn’t make out if the sheet of inverted cloud enveloped all or most of Peaklands valleys
It made for some cracking video – some of which I’ll use in a future video featuring The Roaches.
The previous evening I met a wonderful local photographer called Brett Trafford – while chatting and taking in the views
I commented conditions looked favourable for a cloud inversion the following day. Fair play to him, he headed back out
before dawn the next day to see these wonderful sights of the hills.
Unfortunately, the cloud avoided the actual ridge I was on – shame as it would’ve made for more aesthetically pleasing scenes on video.
Work done in The Roaches, I made my over to High Wheeldon to camp the night (after spending the afternoon
in the pub, mind). A fantastic end to the day with wonderful weather.
And so I got to work on some photos for another project – the Peak District at night – and so here’s the village of Earl Sterndale.
The night time view (one of many pics) from High Wheeldon looking west to Chrome and Parkhouse Hills. I think this view and area is
my favourite in all of the Peak District, to be honest.
Some good friends of mine live in the nearby Wheeldon Trees farm and holiday cottages. Little did they know I was out on the hill nearby.
Come dawn, there was a thick frost on the ground – even a thick coating on my sleeping bag, which took me some time to
dry out in the sun when it finally arrived.
The view from High Wheeldon again – this time under moonlight. Bit different, eh?
Clear skies, mean cold nights generally – and so it was no surprise to see so much frost that very morning.
The nearby farm again but at dawn. Martin and Deborah the owners caught sight of me a little later and popped up to see
what I was filming. A nice morning was spent in the sun until we headed out the chilly air and inside for some coffee.
The sun didn’t get at the frost very well at all. My down bag was still a little damp when packing away.
Note the strips in the fields – remnants of a bye gone age of farming.
The following night was spent on the moors near the Cat and Fiddle pub where I hooked up with a friend. We had a few ales
before heading out onto the moors. It was even colder now as winds had become more brisk.
I’ve had some issues with the Vaude Power Tokee UL tent – even so, it’s growing on me now. Review coming soon….
Here’s me the next day wearing the very versatile Paramo Core jacket plus sleeves. Excellent bit of gear so far. Kept me warm despite
the quite severe wind chill (though you can’t tell in the photo).
Rob headed home back ‘darn sarf’ and left me to wander the hills and moors near Chrome Hill for the day.
It really was quite treacherous at times heading up the narrow limestone ridge of Chrome Hill – though I took my time on the ascent
I still slipped a couple of times. Not good. But it ended well in the end with this fine view.
Another breezy and thus chilly night was spent on Chrome Hill. Dawn proved to very atmospheric – I had a field day up here with my cameras.
And so it was the end of another great trip out on these modest hills in the south west corner of the Peak Park.
You could say I’ve been having a right field day with my new DSLR of late (though some pics above were taken on a Panasonic Lumix TZ8) – I’ve certainly tried to hit the ground running though admittedly with mixed results. I did try to take some nice pics of Parkhouse Hill at night which proved very difficult in the stiff breeze. So, I’ll have to head back for some shots I have in mind for that area. But concentrating on video and taking photos has proved distracting. Both are different in techniques and of course mindset. I suppose it’s really one or the other I should concentrate on with some trips. So, we’ll see how that develops. 
I’ve still much to learn on the photography front and kit to buy in time, too.
I’d like to thank Mike and Sharon, two wonderful owners of the Pack Horse Inn in Crowdecote at the foot of High Wheeldon. They’re hospitality was excellent as always and the range of ales was exceptional and in tip top form too (no wonder I spent 3 hours in there, eh?).
And thanks to Martin and Deborah at Wheeldon Trees, too – enjoyable company as always. Coffee was delicious and so was the cake. And it was good to see and speak with other friends on this trip as well.
It all goes towards making me love this whole little-visited area of the Peak District even more. I don’t just like it because it’s quiet – but more it’s rural charm, friendly locals, poets and folk singers in the pubs and so on. There’s a real sense of community round here set amongst some of the finest walking country you can imagine. It really is a hidden gem of the Peak and I’ll no doubt be back there again very soon.

Oh and of course the title of this post is meant firmly tongue-in-cheek. I may well have another foul trip next!


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