Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Snow Changes Everything

I went for a walk yesterday, Saturday even. The MWIS forecast of occasional light snow showers translated into pretty much all-day, persistent white stuff and the hills were properly plastered. Rubbish for bikes but ace for boots.

A gentle stroll across the park and its motley selection of shivering dog walkers, snow-buzzed, snow-balling kids and solemn ducks and then it was on past the pongy factory and onto Doctor's Gate. I've never really understood why anyone would ride Doctor's Gate, despite it being a bridleway - there's no flow, lots of bog and the only access is via the tarmac of the far too fast A57 Snake Pass - but it makes for a cracking walk and a really good run.

Especially when the path is completely obscured by fresh snow.

Something quite lovely about moving at a slower pace, looking around instead of looking for lines and noticing the fine details obscured at the speed of bike. Hanging icicles. Sulky grice - yes, if mouse is mice, then grouse ought to be grice, so grice it is in this house - and artfully camouflaged arctic hares.

Some faffing over the correct route beyond the footbridge, then a steady climb up towards Snake Summit, the final steeepening and the junction with the Pennine Way. I love the way heavy snow transforms landscapes. Up top the culvert that crowns the track had filled with drifting snow and the simple, flat white had robbed the perspective. Not quite a white out, but not far off and I managed to fall off a snowy bank that I'd walked up without noticing. Doh...

Quiet and eerie on Snake Summit. Wheel tracks but no traffic and, on the other side of the road, no tracks or visible path. A quick hack around and we decided to walk down the road and back into Glossop. Quite surreal walking down a road you've driven and biked so many times, but oddest of all was being passed by a grinning Vauxhall Astra driver towing a small 4x4.

A really nice and slightly odd walk down followed by coffee at Costa. Snow changes everything.

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