A Weekend of Winter – Higger Tor

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The weather had taken another turn to winter towards the end of the week and temperatures were plummeting. With snow falling in the Peak District and more to come there wasn’t really much decision making to do about which area I’d be walking in this weekend. Both days were spent in the Dark Peak and what fun they were.

Saturday I drove down with the idea of returning to Higger Tor again, where I’d walked just a few weeks ago, this week it would be covered in the white stuff. Driving into the Peak from Owler Bar, Sheffield it was obvious I was in for a good day. The snow was everywhere, roads thankfully were nice and clear though and parking was easy as it seemed only crazy people were out today.

Parking up at Surprise View car park I got kitted up with the snow still coming down, a quick check I had everything in my pack and it was time to head into the hills. The climb up to Higger Tor was on paths that had become very icy, I did have crampons in my bag but didn’t think them necessary today. At least I had the option though if needed.

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The short climb down from Over Owler Tor was a tad slippy in places but plenty of conveniently placed rocks provided effective hand holds to assist. Then it was onto Higger Tor itself, skidding along the hidden ice and then being passed by a large group of runners who seemed happy to continue at a fast pace despite slipping around, see only the crazies were here today.

The path up to the summit was again quite slippy but there was plenty of fresh snow in places that assisted with the ascent and didn’t make it too tricky. A quick scramble up the rocks on the West side and I was there, along with very few other people. The views down into the valley were obscured by the cloud and snow today but it made a nice change to be up here and have it mostly to myself for once.

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A brief stop at the summit and then it was time for the descent, sliding my way down to Upper Burbage Bridge, before beginning the return journey over Burbage Moor to Burbage Bridge, sometimes these names make me feel like I’m walking through a chapter in Lord of the Rings, Gollum didn’t pop up from behind any rocks to start gabbling on about his precioussss though thankfully.

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Then across the road to Padley where I couldn’t help myself and stopped to build a snowman. I think it’s an epic masterpiece and shows great promise. I’m happy to take orders for future snow sculpting projects all at very reasonable prices. You best get in quick though because I expect the queues to be out the door with this level of artistry on display.

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After spending hours on the snowman (ok maybe it was only five minutes) I followed the stream back and then up over Owler Tor and back to my car.

An absolutely fantastic day and it’s great to have winter here again and finally a winter where the ground is frozen and I’m not wading through inches of mud. Maybe we’re gonna have a good one this year.

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