High Peak Recce

January 11th, 2009 by Simon C

Derwent EdgeLast November, a few of us (Alan, Will, Carmen and I) put a team together and applied for this year's High Peak Marathon, on the mistaken belief that we stood no chance of getting a place (it is always oversubscribed by at least 300%). Sadly our hopes were cruelly dashed last December when we were told that we were in. 40 miles of the finest peat hags our country can offer, starting at 11.30pm on a Friday night in March – should be a doddle.

This weekend, we'd hoped to head for the Lakes for some winter fun before the ice melted, but having established that we were a day too late, we switched at the last minute and decided to investigate part of the HPM route. Will and Alan were both busy due to the complete lack of notice, so it was just the two of us. After a lazy start, we parked at Cut Throat Bridge at about 12.30.

We took a cross-country route to get onto the Edge, to check whether it would be feasible in the dark (it should be). Progress was then rapid for a few miles, courtesy of a paved path for most of the way. After Lost Lad the route leads down to a checkpoint by Abbey Brook (not sure why the route doesn't follow the watershed here, possibly conservation problems, or a vastly increased chance of getting totally lost!)

The next section heads back uphill and regains the watershed. We managed to lose the path at this point, which doesn't bode well for doing it in the dark! A short flat and featureless section follows before we picked up a good path again towards Margery Hill and then Cut Gate, and since it was by now almost 3pm we decided to call it a day and descend to the valley, where we followed a forestry/water board track back. This was rather further than it looks, and hard on the joints as it's effectively road running for most of its length, luckily we won't have to do this on the day.

Got back to Cut Throat Bridge just before 5.30. About 17 miles round trip, and quite fun (except for the valley bit) despite the bitterly cold wind.

Here's the route we took.


One Response to “High Peak Recce”

  1. pebbles says:

    "Will and Alan were both busy due to the complete lack of notice, "

    And you fell for their story? Bet they were sitting by a blazing fire eating tea and crumpets over the sunday papers

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