Derwent Moor to Highshaw Clough from Cutthroat Bridge

Well, we’ve certainly had some good dollops of snow this winter!

I’m a big kid at heart, still very playful and boy, do I enjoy getting out and playing in the snow.

Sadly, where I live, we’re often sheltered from the worst the British weather can throw at us, though there was one year, December 1990, when we actually were snowed it!

My road back in December 1990.
While I know others have similar amounts of snow, and more, on a more regular basis,
for us to have snow like that, was quite exciting.

While I know others have similar amounts of snow, and more, on a more regular basis,
for us to have snow like that, was quite exciting.

So you can imagine my heart on Sunday 24th March, after we had been dumped on again with snow, and plenty of it and I couldn’t get out playing!

First, I read on Twitter, a tweet from the Highways Agency that the M1 had three incidents on it, close to the junction I would need to get on, then, the junction I would have used was closed.

I started to look at alternative routes, preferring to stay on the more major roads where possible, but alas, that wasn’t looking possible.

While I was looking at alternative routes, using the app on my mobile, listened to a radio station, online and broadcasting live on air, though I couldn’t receive it at home, to reports coming of roads closed and blocked.

Buxton was cut off from the rest of the world, the A515 between Ashbourne and Buxton was snow bound, the Snake and Woodhead Passes were, not surprisingly closed.

To be honest, the plans I had took in to account those two passes would be closed.

So Chris and I were looking at Derwent Moor or around that area, assuming suitable car parking would be available.

Bear in mind at this point, snow ploughs and gritters have one priority, clearing the roads and keeping them as clear as possible, so car parks and laybys are low on the priority list.

Added to that, any snow ploughing would almost certainly mean more snow being dumped on to these laybys.

It was at this point, I had to concede defeat. It was a no brainer to even get out of the house, even though the road outside was good.

Miffed, mortified, you name it, I just had to stop at home and dream…..

I did try to get a day off work, but even that was thwarted….

So I didn’t get out playing in the snow…..

Easter weekend was coming up, we had no family plans, my son was going to his Sunday job, my wife didn’t want to venture out, so Chris and I arranged to undertake the walk that was thwarted only a week earlier.

This was intended to be a short walk it was planned, based on the facts the pace will be a lot slower in snow and while we were still on GMT, not BST which we had just moved to.

Strange one that, Easter weekend and we put the clocks forward an hour!

We met up, got suited and booted and headed off to Cutthroat Bridge to pick up the path on to Derwent Moor.

The gate leading to the path on to Derwent Moor, by Cutthroat Bridge

Cutthroat Bridge, carrying the A57 over it.
I mentioned about Cutthroat Bridge and the gruesome tale it harboured

Last year, I wrote about a walk on to Derwent Moor “Derwent Moor and those funny shaped stones!”, where I mentioned about Cutthroat Bridge and the gruesome tale it harboured.

Unlike before, where we normally pre-plan the route, this one we just ambled along adhoc.

We started to ascend the gradual gradient of Derwent Moor, trudging through snow that in places as almost up to knee depth, before we reached Wheel Stones.

The start of the path up Derwent Moor

Still ascending Derwent Moor

Looking back to the A57 and where our cars were parked

Win Hill from Derwent Moor

On the way to Wheel Stones, I recorded a wind chill of -8.5ºC with a wind speed of 20.3 mph!

Kes letting us know, how cold it was.....

We sheltered at Wheel Stones, taking in the views across to Win Hill, Castleton’s Great Ridge, Kinder and Bleaklow.

Then, we did a route check, the objective being to head towards Moscar House.

So we set off back tracking the path we had just come up, to take the path heading south east to Moscar House, passing the Grouse Butts enroute.

Castleton's Great Ridge, from Derwent Moor

Kinder overlooking Black Ashop Clough from Derwent Moor

High Shelf on Bleaklow from Derwent Moor 

Once on the path we ended up walking head on in to the wind!

Believe me, that was one wind with a bite in it.

My sun glasses were not up to the job. They were good at keeping the glare from the sun down to a reasonable level, likewise the glare from the snow, but they just couldn’t stop the wind making my eyes water.

It was time to use something more substantial, my snow goggles.

Well, it was windy, there was snow around and it was brilliantly sunny, so why not?

I can tell you now, wow what a difference they made. Not just to the wind beating my poor eyes up, but also the clarity.

You may recall from a blog I wrote in December 2012; “What’s in my pack?” I mentioned I carry snow goggles. Well, they certainly came in to their own today.

I also put on my Microspikes, which proved very useful.

I had tried a budget brand called Snow Trax, which I mentioned in “Stanton Moor on a snowy Sunday” and also “A Peak Winter Meet, a Bunkhouse and Kinder”.

It was after Kinder, I decided to upgrade to Microspikes, and I’m pleased I did. While the Snow Trax were good, the M icrospikes, being better quality and more suited to that environment, were perfect.

A word of caution, Microspikes are fine for walking in the snow, but are no substitute for crampons when out climbing in the snow and ice.

Also, if you do intend to use crampons on serious ice and snow ascents, please make sure you get proper training from a proper and reputable instructor.

Not only can an accident cause serious injury, it could be fatal!

As we walked along the path, there were a few markers along the way, this stone being one.

The Grouse Butts and marker stakes

So we continued along the path, in a south easterly direction, passing many Grouse Butts, then a series of stakes in the ground, along the way marking the path, when we finally stopping at the last Grouse Butt to grab a bite to eat, take in the scenery and check out our next stage.

Looking down to Highshaw Clough and the overhanging snow

Hmmm, I wouldn't fancy getting under, or even close to that.....

We had a few options available to us, we could continue to Moscar House and return via the road to where the paths cross just to the south west of Moscar House, or even up the road and back through Moscar House, or, we could just turn right at the point where the paths cross and head back to Cutthroat Bridge.

Our path to Moscar House

Neither time nor light were against us, but we agreed it had been a good walk, even if it was a short one, and head back to Cutthroat Bridge.

I'm just short of six foot tall. The snow drift behind me did reach shoulder height!

The path back was easy going and straightforward, back to Cutthroat Bridge and then back to the cars.

OS 1:25000 Map coverering the area

Once back at the cars, we then got out of our boots and took a drive in to Bakewell, where Chris bought a water bottle and small karabiner for his pack and I bought some Bakewell Pudding and a bottle of Dalwhinnie Whisky.

There is a reason for that particular brand of whisky. June 2012 The family stayed with a family friend in Kingussie (pronounced Kin-oos-ie). Hile staying there, my wife and I visited the Dalwhinnie Distillery at Dalwhinnie, just off the A9.

We had a taste of the whisky, and boy, it was beautiful.

When I heard there was a shop in Bakewell that sells just whisky, and even that blend. So I promised myself, next time I’m there, I’ll buy a bottle.

I’m also partial to Bakewell Pudding; needless to say, I bought some as well….

Finally, happy rambling and thank you for reading,
Peak Rambler


  1. What a great walk, I enjoyed it! I remember your previous post about cutthroat bridge. It's no surprise at all you couldn't get out on the weekend of the snow, not many people could! There is still a lot of snow around now! I think it was just the wind that caused so much trouble, the ploughs were ineffective against all the drifting. The snow made for some fantastic photos though, I loved it, though I do feel sorry for the farmers and the birds and such!

    1. Hi Louise, I've been out on Bleaklow today, Tuesday. There was still a lot of snow there.
      The link below is for the Peak Rambler Flickr Photo Account, showing the photos from Bleaklow.

      I too feel for the country folk, along with the wildlife, not just in the Peaks, but across the UK.

      I understand sheep farmers in Snowdonia are in line for some money to help with the winter conditions.

  2. Sounds like a grand days walking. :)

    1. It was a superb day. with the wind chill, wind and winter conditions, it was a good test of gear.

  3. Glad to see you got out in the snow in the end, Mike :) Another excellent looking day!

  4. I even got to use my new Microspikes as well!