After some ‘interesting’ journeys in fresh snow, with the Snake Pass road pretending to be shut, about 14 'Hardy' souls set off at 10.30am from Fairholmes, by Ladybower Reservoir, on this year’s Saturday Reunion walk.
We soon reached the Upper Derwent Reservoir's dam. A gentle pace was adopted, even by Graham Brookes, to accommodate the desire of Alan and Chris to compose award winning images at their leisure whilst the rest of the group provided a slalom course for mountain bikers.
Good views up the valley were marred only by the intermittent nature of the sunshine and the tendency for the snowy horizon to merge with the colour of the clouds above the horizon, but blue sky did feature quite strongly.
We decided not to continue further up the Derwent Valley, and headed down the road beside Howden Reservoir, keeping a wary eye out for Lancaster bombers re-enacting their Dam Busting raids. It was here that they practiced.
Soon after lunch, all but a group of five continued down the road and back to Fairholmes and an early bath back at the Snake Inn.
Eventually we reached Alport Castles and admired the wide ranging snowy Peak District views.
There's some interesting geology in the vicinity of Alport Castles, namely The Tower and Little Moor.
Many pictures were taken on the lovely afternoon, albeit the snow was melting fast as we strolled across the pasture.
We enjoyed views north east to the Featherbed Moss/Back Tor area where our original walk was planned.
After an hour or so on the tops, Ladybower Reservoir came into view and we commenced an easy descent back to a slightly slushy Fairholmes.
Soon afterwards we adjourned to the varying luxuries of the Snake Inn and Colin the campervan, where Mick and Gayle's café was doing a roaring trade, aided by our own cake and shortbread contribution. Andy Walker, looking as if he had just returned from an Arctic Expedition, soon smelt the cake and tried in vain to dent the stocks.
Here's our route - 19km with around 500 metres ascent, taking 5.5 hours.
The Snake Inn provided its usual hearty meal and a convivial evening was enjoyed by all, including a number of visitors for the evening who had ignored the discouraging signs for the Snake Pass, which continued its pretence at being closed.
There’s a 45 image slideshow here. Click the first image, then ‘slideshow’ for the full screen annotated slideshow.
Previous ‘reunion’ reports are here.