Mam Tor, October 16

Walk details

  • Route Hope – Lose Hill – Back Tor – Hollins Cross – Mam Tor – Windy Knoll – Limestone Way – Cave Dale – Peveril Castle – Castleton – Peakshole Water
  • Distance 10.25m
  • Duration 6 hrs
  • Getting there Train to Hope via Sheffield
  • Weather Foggy!

Why this route?

  • Iron age forts, a Shivering Mountain, and a castle – how could anyone resist? As is so often the case, inspiration came from the Walking Englishman.
  • Most guides to Mam Tor seem to walk clockwise, finishing with Lose Hill.  That was the original plan, but several facts made us reverse it. Firstly, the met office was forecasting mist at about 3pm, so it seemed sensible to do the bits with the spectacular views early on in case the fog came down early (it did!). Secondly, the clocks had changed the night before which meant we were cutting it a bit fine on time before nightfall. If we were going to risk finishing the dark, I wanted to be walking from Castleton to Hope, not down a steep hill I’d never seen before. Finally TOH’s knees were complaining after Whernside and the descent of Lose Hill was the steepest section, so I decided to tackle that as an ascent.
  • We’re planning to do some walking with relatives at Christmas, and I have no intention of forking out for a set of maps for an area I only visit once a year. This seemed like a good opportunity to try out a 7 day trial of the OS Maps subscription and use the OS Maps app.

What did we learn?

  • I love GPS mapping! I use GPS all the time but haven’t used it with OS maps before. By the time we reached Mam Tor the clouds had come down and they stayed down until we were halfway down Cave Dale. Clear visibility was down to about 20ft and total visibility down to about 60ft, so it was really good to be able to hit that button and see where we were. While of course checking it against what I could actually see and where I expected to be. I had printed off paper maps and of course we always have a compass, but the GPS was a big help.
  • Route recording only works with powersave off, or with powersave on but the screen open.
  • This is much more like the walking that I remember. Thus far the Dales have been limestone and peat, but not so much the good old fashioned muddy fields that are so familiar to me. I was extremely glad of my gaiters and not just because they keep my legs warm.
  • On which note, any guide to walking gear lists horror stories of inappropriate clothing that has been witnessed out in the hills. Based on this walk I would add knee-high heeled boots up a slippery path, suede shoes on a path that is currently a stream, and flat pumps that barely even lace up, the latter particular if you are carrying a baby in a sling on your front and you keep slipping over.

Walk highlights

  • The Great Ridge
  • Cave Dale and Peveril Castle
  • The view from Lose Hill – I’m sure Mam Tor would have been even better but we couldn’t see anything from there.
  • Autumn colours in the Hope valley

Photos

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