20090419-am_Mam Tor to Lose Hill Ridge Walk and Castleton (reprise)

20090419_Mam Tor to Lose Hill Ridge Walk and Castleton (reprise)

When : 20th April 2009

Who : A group of young people on an outdoor activities weekend including me helping out with adult leadership and supervision

Where : Hope Valley, Derbyshire, Peak District, England.

Maps : 1:25000 OS Explorer Map OL1 – The Peak District-Dark Peak Area.

Start Point : 124, 832

End Point : 162, 825

Approx Distance : 5.4 miles, 8.6 km

Heights up : 1020 ft (about 310 m)

Heights down : 1750 ft (about 533m)

Parking : There’s a car park just to the south of Rushup Edge/Mam Tor off the Castleton to Chapel-en-le-Frith Road.

Yesterday’s morning walk was deemed such a success [both logistically and from a strenuosity point of view] that we decided to do exactly the same walk again with the last of the three groups. They’d done the off-road cycling and climbing on the Saturday, meaning they were now due to do the walk on the Sunday morning.

We all gathered outside and once again morphed into the three groups and it wasn’t long afterwards that we’d once again driven up through Winnats Pass to the car park near Rushup Edge/Mam Tor.

After parking, we set off, uphill for the sharpish, but short, climb to the top of Mam Tor. The day had a different feel to it than the morning before, much calmer and hazier and the breeze had dropped considerably. The views (obviously) were exactly the same as the day before, but the change in the weather had altered the feel of the vistas. The edges of the hills were softer and somehow everything seemed farther away. I don’t think I’ve ever before walked exactly the same route on consecutive days and I found the differences to be quite surprising!  

The youngsters had a different approach to the walk as well, much quicker when walking, but wanting longer rests when they stopped. It was quite interesting seeing how this panned out, as the less fit struggled a little more on the uphill sections. I wouldn’t say there was any real difference in the overall abilities of the groups, so maybe the pace taken and distance between members had both a physiological and psychological affect on the back-markers. I certainly had to work harder on this second walk in encouraging one or two on the uphill sections. This wasn’t a problem (it’s what leading is all about), just an interesting observation.

Another interesting observation I noticed, the individuals who struggled the most (on both days) were, by and large, the ones eating sweets and chocolate the most often … errrmm … there’s got to be link there somewhere.

One difference that’s also worth noting is the way the two groups descended off Lose Hill. At one point there was a quite steep grassy slope. The Saturday party sort of wandered down chatting away quite happily, the Sunday group decided to lie on the ground and roll down bumping over the rough grassy tussocks, each other, their ruck-sacks and sheep droppings as they went … you’d think they were 5-year olds not in their early teens. Now I’ll tell you the main difference between the groups … maybe you’ve guessed already … Yep, the Saturday lot were all girls and the Sunday bunch, all boys!!! That obviously says something about gender differences … I’ll not say anymore, but leave it to you to make your own conclusions.

During the day there were certainly many more people about, the ridge between Mam Tor and Lose Hill especially was very busy, in both directions, obviously Sunday is used more for leisure time and the weather had improved considerably, probably one of the best days of the year to date.

I especially liked the silhouettes of the passing groups along the edge … people look so little and insignificant in the landscape.

  As well as the increased numbers of walkers, there were a good handful of para-gliders and hang-gliders throwing themselves off the top of Mam Tor to soar up on the thermals rising from the valley below. It’s quite a common sight here, but quite worth remarking none-the-less.




My earlier post <link> has much more in the way of route description, so I’ll just give a bit of a quick summary here …

  • Car Park just to the south of the gap between Rushup edge and Mam Tor and steps up to Mam Tor Summit.
  • Views back over Rushup Edge  and into the Edale and Hope Valleys and beyond.
  • Drop eastwards along the ridge down to Hollins Cross.
  • Rise over Barker Bank to the short climb up Back Tor.
  • Craig’s Tree on Back Tor (see earlier post for why it’s called this!).
  • Lose Hill Summit (otherwise known as Ward’s piece) followed by a drop through low level countryside into Castleton including views of Peveril Castle.
  • Walk through Castleton Village.
  • Minor road to Pindale Camp Site.

And that was it …. The second group had completed the walk, and it was time to head home, once we’d loaded the mini-buses to the gunnels again.

Just as an aside, if you wanted to make this into a circular walk, it’s quite easy as there are various paths from Castleton that can be taken to climb back up to the car park near Mam Tor; including the superb Cave Dale, The old broken road and another that passes in front of the famous show caves associated with Castleton.

Hope you enjoyed my scribblings,

Bye for Now, Gary.


Other walks of this weekend =




Next walk after these 3 outings = 20090508_Park Wood-Bluebells Walk With Dad.


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