Sunday, 25th January 2008

             

            

 

Walk: Lose Hill , Back Tor, Hollins Cross, Mam Tor , Oxlow Rake, Limestone way, Cavedale, Peveril Castle
Start Point: Castleton car park Grid Reference: SK 150 830
Distance: 10.3 miles Ascent: 2,450 feet
Time: 6 hours    
Weather: Dry, sunny, cloud above summits, excellent visibility . Cold wind on ridge.
Comments: Mam Tor or “Mother Hill” has long been occupied by Humans and is one of the oldest (and Highest) Iron age forts in Britain, dating back some 3,500 years and sitting at an altitude of 1,700ft. The Mam Tor ridge divides the Hope and Edale valleys and offers some excellent views along it length. 8 walkers took part as we started out from Castleton to head up to Lose Hill at the Eastern end of the ridge. From there we turned West to the steep sided knoll of Back Tor before traversing further along to Hollins cross and finally Mam Tor summit. The climb up to Mam Tor provided an excellent view of the former Stockport to Sheffield road (the A625 which was swept away by a landslide in 1974 and has never re-opened to traffic since that date. The road passes the former Odin mine and is now a permanent reminder of why Mam Tor is also known as “The Shivering mountain” due to the frequent landslips of shale after each heavy rain.

Descending Mam Tor we headed across the road and continued across the moor to Conies dale before swinging round Ox Low hill up Oxlow Rake to join the Limestone way. Our final descent into Castleton was via the delightful steep valley of Cavedale where we were afforded excellent views of the 11th century Peveril Castle which guards the entrance to Cave Dale before returning to the car park in Castleton.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Mam Tor, our main objective, can be seen across the fields from near the start of the walk

 

Landslips have gouged a great hole in the side of the tor

 

By the left 'Quick March'!

 

You can't hide behind the trees in Winter!

 

The group heads up Lose Hill . . .

 

and Sheila thinks the topograph is the perfect place for a photo

 

From Lose Hill we can follow the ridge to Back Tor and Mam Tor . . .

 

but quickly find a wall to shelter us from the wind for our morning break

 

We find an artistic cairn on Back Tor . . .

 

and admire the view across the Edale Valley . . .

 

and over some interesting 'hummocky bumps'

 

A trio of photographers (the third one is behind the camera!)

 

There is quite a drop at this side of Back Tor . . .

 

which you can see clearly from this angle

 

The former Stockport to Sheffield road swept away in 1974

 

Hollins Cross marks a meeting of pathways from all directions

 

 A group photo to celebrate our arrival at Mam Tor . . .

 

which is encircled by plaques . . .

 

to remind us of its Iron age period

 

The road from Edale and Kinder snakes up from the valley

 

Windy Knoll quarry provides some shelter for lunch

 

A 'gathering of troops' at Oxlow Rake

 

Heading down Cave Dale . . .

 

where we are walking on the roof of a gigantic cave, Peak Cavern . . .

 

the ground below us being full of limestone caves

 

The Normans used the natural steepness of the valley sides for defence - check out the garderobe (Norman Toilet)

 

There are lots of places to explore in Castleton (perhaps we'll do that on our next visit!)

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