We left from Churchill just after 7am in the morning in one minibus and Helen's car. It was a cold morning and snow had fallen and settled overnight in Cambridge. The forecast for the Peak District was -4 to -5 Celsius on the peaks with strong winds, some snow, but good visibility. There were 17 of us in total, not including one person who was originally down to go but unfortunately did not make it there for the departure.
For the first time in my memory (not counting Edale trips) we had a minibus driver provided by the rental company rather than a Club member driving. The driver was very flexible and willing to go along with pretty much whatever we wanted to do, and drove the minibus safely and speedily.
We initially planned to meet Helen's car in a parking spot on the west side of Erwood reservoir. However, when Helen’s car arrived there, they found that the road was icy and difficult to pass in a car, let alone a minibus, so we changed our plans and decided to start instead from the Cat and Fiddle Inn on the A537 at an elevation of 505m.
There was a great deal of strong, very cold wind, and a fair amount of snow around the inn. The bus driver assured us that he was happy if we wanted to leave early, but we continued with our plans and split into two groups: one with 8 people led by Andrew and walking around the Goyt Valley in the anti-clockwise direction, with a nominal length of 15km, and another with 9 people led by Tom and Valerie A and walking the clockwise direction with a nominal length of 18km. Both groups started walking at 11am.
The route of the first walk went from the pub to wild moor, across the north side of the Erwood reservoir, then to up to Cats Tor, followed by Shining Tor and then back to the pub. They arrived back at the pub at around 3.30pm.
The second walk went from the pub, to the summit of Shining Tor, just a short 54m ascent from the inn. The view was magnificent with no clouds or mist. From there we continued to Cats Tor, then to Pym Chair, at which point there started to be less snow on the ground, to Windgather Rocks, then Overton Hall Farm, by which point there was no longer any snow on the ground. We stopped for lunch on a couple of public benches, then walked back through the forest on the west side of the Fernilee Reservoir, crossing between the two reservoirs to ascend the impressive Bunsal Cob at 332m, then across the snow covered Wild Moor to meet up with the road back to the inn. We arrived back at the pub at 5.20pm.
The bus driver went to Bakewell to find a Bakewell Pudding (or possibly a Bakewell Tart), then went “for a drive”, had a roast lunch at the Cat and Fiddle, and listened to a rugby match. He said we were crazy to walk in the weather, and that he thought it was cold enough just walking from the car park to the pub.
We left for home at 5.40pm, stopped at a fish and chip shop in Buxton for dinner, and were back at Churchill around 10pm.
Tom A, Valerie A, Andrew W, Andrew K, Helen P, Sarah S, Matthew M, Tom H, Mark N, Austen S, Mike S, Irina S, Hyungsun K, Benjamin W, Shane L and Aileen C.