Its 7:30am on a beautiful Sunday morning and spring has finally arrived. Winter is hanging on by the finger tips, photos from friends in the Lakes and Scotland showing fresh falls of snow, but here in the Dark Peak snow has long since gone.

Feels likes its been a long wet dreary winter here, no real snow to talk of, not like last year when I post-holed my way around Howden Moor with a friend, on a blue sky and white landscape day. That was a good winter. Two good winters in succession the previous year bringing a walk with fifteen foot snow drifts in Dovedale and no walls to mark the way, guiding a group who thought it was just great fun.

I am off out with the dogs to do a walk that my mind found just the other week, although I have walked this area many times. It suddenly occurred to me that it would be a good walk to include in the book, and there were no thoughts of keeping it to myself. Sometimes there are, then I have the internal debate on whether or not to divulge some of the secrets of the Dark Peak. I opened my mouth about a secret not long back and immediately knew I had done wrong. Some things should remain closed inside.

But not today.


Below Rocher Edge. Peak District National Park

What on earth has happened to winter. Last weekend I was reclining in several inches of snow waiting to be found by a SARDA dog on their assessment. Driving home from the Chew Valley Sunday lunchtime all you could see was white. People keep posting images on FB of their adventures in Snowdonia, Scotland and the Lakes. Here on the north eastern edge of the Peak District we have had a snap of cold yesterday, now the rain has returned to mush the paths back in to slurry.

The picture above was taken 21st January 2015. That was a real winter, last winter. The snow stayed for ages. I had many adventures in the Peak and a great weekend guiding guests down in Dovedale. We walked in to Dovedale on the Saturday morning and we were the first people there. It was like stepping in to Narnia. Snow muffled sound so we walked along in a sort of funereal procession, all quiet and reverent. The snow blanketed everything, smoothing edges, lots of soft curves. It was deep too. Deep enough for walls to disappear, making navigation over the hills interesting. Take away features and you are left with the contours and nav becomes a whole lot simpler. You had to watch for the drifts of course, some of which were up to fifteen feet deep. Something to remember that weekend.

Now it’s just grey rain, not even cold. Saved a fortune on gas but the electric is higher. A good time to knock off some more of the book, get some more walks written up and the layout sorted.

Tomorrow I am off in to the Dark Peak.