The weather had improved a little, so today I decided to do the walk postponed from Day 1. It was a lumpy 9 miles with 2300ft of ascent which tested my stamina to the limit, particularly a climb of 450ft at the back end of the walk.
There was a steady climb of 800ft to start with and at the summit the visibility diminished in the mist where I met the friendly ram. I had hoped that I would be able to look down on Alport Castles (a landslide which resembles a motte and bailey castle). However, the visibility was so poor all that I could see was grey cloud & mist. I descended a few hundred feet for a better lower level view of the Castle and as sods law would have it the mist then cleared. There is one lone walker on the ridge looking down on the Castle – this is the view I should have had!
I then walked along the Alport valley before crossing the River Ashop at a ford where, thankfully, the water was only about 2” deep. The second steep climb of the day (400ft) then followed after which I was in need of a rest and some lunch. I hadn’t realised that there was a 3rd and even steeper climb towards the end of the walk and enjoyed the brief respite as I descended to the Haggwater Bridge.
The final killer climb soon followed as I ascended to Woodcock Coppice. The last mile or so was all downhill back to the Fairholmes visitor centre. The was perhaps the most challenging walk that I’ve ever done in the Peak District but I wouldn’t mind doing it again on a clearer day as the views would be fantastic. In view of the restricted visibility, I seem to have gathered a collection of pictures of National Trust signs which were close to hand.