Source of the River Dove.

Andy ‘T’, Karen, Ian (Doncaster), Frank(South Manchester),Glenn

Given the weather and the time of year I was not expecting a large turn out today so I was glad there were a few of us to embark on our rather damp tour of the White Peak Dales and Hills.
The weather was truly atrocious as we headed out of the village and up the short sharp climb of High Wheelden. Normally the views over the Dove Valley are superb from the trig point. Today,the only sight we were blessed with were some rather sorry looking damp sheep. We pressed on and were soon tramping our way up the lush, green valley to the remains of Pilsbury castles….when I say remains, there is really nowt there except the mounds of where the Mott’s and Bailies were situated. Still I would imagine it was a formidable strong hold at the head of the valley in its day.
Over several fields and short inclines soon brought us to the High Peak Trail at Parsley Hay. Good progress was made along here…also the rain appeared to be easing off. More like a heavy ‘Mizzle’ now. Having reached the strangely named ‘Bull in’th thorn’ Inn, we were now heading towards Monyash, Flagg and Chelmorton Via field and Dale. Chelmorton is situated at about 1200 ft above sea level so as you can imagine, the whole village was in low cloud. I couldn’t even point out the locust weather vane on the church. Lunch was to be had here and once fed and watered, we were then en route to the more interesting second half of the walk.
Deep Dale was our next objective. Super narrow little Dale(Like a Mini Cheddar Gorge) but quite difficult to negotiate given the slimy Limestone and wet roots. This then leads into ‘Back Dale’ .. this time progress was made difficult by the various livestock animals that had trampled through the dale and churned up the ground.
Unfortunatley,we now had about ¾ mile of busy road to walk up prior to reaching our final peaks of Chrome Hill. The problem was we had to pass within ½ a mile of the cars. Temptation was too much for Frank who decided to cut his walk short and head back….He had strained a few muscled in Deep Dale though.
Once over the Hill, we were back in Dovedale .The weather was closing in again and all the views were obscured. Within the space of a few mins though, the cloud started to dissipate and the peaks of Parkhouse hill and Crome hill started to emerge in all their glory. From the North both hills rise from the valley floor like giant Limestone shark fins…with the broken cloud now disappearing they made for a very atmospheric sight. Ian compared them to ‘Stegosaurus’ Dinosaurs…which is a more apt description as I said they are also known as the ‘Dragons Back’.
Unfortunately, we had to loose quite a bit of height before we started the scramble up Crome Hill.
The climb can be made quite exciting depending on the route you take. As you gain height, the ridge becomes narrower and narrower…its possibly the only true knife edge ridge in the Peaks. Although there is a slight feeling of exposure, its not that high..having said that, a fall would be serious.
At the summit, the cloud had lifted and we were finally blessed with far reaching views over the valley. All that was left now was the rapid(if Slippy) descent of Chrome Hill and back to the cars in the Village.
Distance..19.8 miles.


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