Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking

Search for the Source of the River Derwent

Its a long drive from home round to the Derwent valley, so yesterday I made sure I went all the way and parked up at Kings Tree. This is normally closed off at weekends, and was almost deserted, despite the promise of a lovely day. I took the path going north up to Slippery Stones, which they were today. It was then following the Land Rover track into the depths of the Derwent Valley.

Slippery Stones

It’s pretty remote around here, at least 6 km from the nearest road so it wasn’t surprising I only met one person all day (a fugitive from Harrogate Rambling Club, avoiding yet another walk up Ilkley Moor).

Turning west beyond the end of the track, the clouds disappeared to reveal a lovely clear blue sky. I was by now close to the river source, but it was time to gain some height, so I abandoned the search and climbed to Barrow Stones, meeting aforesaid fugitive from Harrogate. We watched some workers burning off the heather and scarring the Mountain Hares, which were still in their white fur. It’s a fine collection of stones there continuing around to Grinah Stones and Bleaklow Stones.

Grinah Stones

Barrow Stones

Now it was time to return to the car, I thought I would

go off track and explore the broad ridge called “The Ridge”. This was bounded by “The Swamp” and I should have realised that calling an area The Swamp would suggest its not easy to cross.

Early Lizard

Black Clough

Feeling like I was in Middle Earth, it was down to trudging across the ridge, but after 3 km of the rough terrain, I gave up and headed east hoping to pick up the track marked in the Harvey 1:25,000 taking me down through Black Clough.  No joy and for the avoidance of doubt in the future, there is no track down Black Clough, and after flogging across steep fell side, contouring across the top of the forest and finally finding my way through the wood there below was the forest track following the River Westend.

Then it was a skip and jump up the road to the car, finishing the dregs from the tea flask and hitting the road to enjoy the delights of rush-hour Glossop and Mottram.

Bleaklow Stones from Slippery Stones

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This entry was posted on March 15, 2012 by in Blog, Peak District and tagged .
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