The Hulleys of Baslow bus from Manchester Rd in Sheffield at 1342hrs didn’t appear. I waited. I scanned the QR code at 1339 and the 1342 wasn’t even listed. ‘Well that’s a bit crap just not running the bus’, thought i.
I had planned a quite hard walk from the top of Snake Pass and was trying to ensure i caught the last bus home at 2003hrs.
I managed to scrounge a lift towards the Pass. Before we got to Strines i saw my bus in front of us. The accelerator was gunned and i was dropped off in front of the bus at Ladybower Inn. I hopped on and asked about the 1342 ? The driver was polite but exasperated.
The Ladybower / Bamford junction roadworks were causing havoc. ‘But wait ‘til you see Fairholmes’ he said !!
Derbyshire County Council recently double-yellowed the entire road (bar the carparks) from the A57 to the visitor centre. Rules 238 to 252 of the Highway Code are fairly easy to understand. Both sides of the 2 miles or so of road were blocked by cars parked on both sides. People walked their dogs up the middle of the road. Verges trashed. Gates blocked.
The bus driver explained that this leg, plus the Ladybower roadworks, were causing chaos with the ability of the bus company to run to any sort of timings. On the return trip to Manchester the bus was being delayed up to half an hour on this section. Multiplied by a few trips per day and the timetable is quickly all to cock.
Hulleys may sadly have to stop running the Fairholmes leg of their X57 service which will end access to the Upper Derwent Valley by public transport. The irresponsible drivers of cars causing the removal of access to the moors by bus users. There are words for people like that.
I eventually hopped off the bus at the top of the Snake. I never left the noise of the road all day, but it did recede a little as i went across the flagstones towards Mill Hill. It was obviously the time of the day (3pm ish) when Pennine Way walkers on day 1 (having set off from Edale and walked across Kinder) were about to cross the road and head towards Bleaklow. I must have passed 20 backpackers in the first 10 minutes. One of whom, and elderly chap, had an old battery operated wireless radio sticking out the top of his sack and was listening to the cricket.
By Mill Hill it was ‘quite’ hot. The pull up from the hause to the ring contour at 600m on the NW corner of Kinder was also ‘quite hot’. So began a traverse of the N edge of the plateau. Never have i done this walk without having to navigate. I could see at least 20 miles. The edge, the Dark Peak, this part of England lay out before me.
A vole. A family of red grouse. A curlew. Climbers topping out (in splendid isolation) on Fairbrook Naze. Views for miles and miles. I helped a group of 4 walkers navigate back to their car. They had left Birchen Clough, hadn’t found the Downfall, and now couldn’t find the way off. I set them off down Gateside Clough towards Snake Inn. Just visible beyond the Snake was Oyster Clough Cabin.
So far so dry of foot. But Kinder had a reputation to uphold. I had been making good time. I spied a trod from the head of Blackden Brook straight to the ‘590’ trig point. I took it. I spent 40 minutes wading through bogs. Kinder delivered.
After the trig i cut across to the S side and was treated to a perfect side on view of the Great Ridge. On to the top of Jaggers Clough. I was on the Edale Skyline route now. Just follow the prints of a hundred pairs of fell shoes. Down past Crookstone Barn (a bikepacker discreetly asleep on his thermarest behind a nearby wall). A nice sit down and some rations at the Guide Stone. A cooling wind. Hardly a soul around.
Tired legs. I wasn’t going to get to, up, and over Win Hill and to the Ladybower Inn for the last bus. Oh well. Bloody car drivers !! The Roman Road to Win Hill was a joy in the evening cool. Lambs, Skylarks, a cuckoo somewhere. I hadn’t been up here since …. 2pm the day before (when it was rammed).
The walk off and a few messages to see if anyone fancied picking up a calorie-deficient walker with minging feet and a bit of sunburn.
A grand hard evening out on the moors. The sun setting behind Crook Hill ended it well ….
• Hulleys have advised me that they use Facebook to live update their services.