Above Dovestone Reservoir

Here is somewhere I have been meaning to visit for a while now. The area of Saddleworth is located on the top edge of the Peak District and so for me its quite a journey to get to. When Noah and I arrived at Dovestone Reservoir, I was surprised at how busy the car park was. It seems to be a popular area for dog walking and family strolls. It didn't take long though for us to leave the gentle, friendly paths behind and get into some pretty rugged scenery. Also joining us today were three of my friends who i met on the Everest Trek back in 2010. It was the first time i had seen Ian since. He still loves to pose for the camera ;)

After a pleasant stroll along the three reservoirs we reached Birchen Clough...Time to get dirty! The clough was alive with cascading water crashing around huge boulders. The scramble up it was exciting and required some difficult decisions as to the driest route up. We really needed to support each other across the very slippery boulders without being swept down stream. Eventually we followed a narrow track just above the falls. A slip here would have been nasty and the ground beneath our feet was peaty and crumbling away.

Finally out of the clough we topped out on moors. It was typical High Peak moorland up here. Up and down the peat groughs we went, trying to avoid the black boggy sections and being battered by some pretty strong winds. We soon came across a stone shelter to grab some lunch in and try to give our ears a break from the howling. It didn't help much though.

Noah warmed up with some hot chocolate and we continued on by following the cliff edges above the reservoirs, passing some fantastic rock formations and great views. Along the way Andrew made it very clear that he loved snowballs just as much as Noah!!

Pushing against the wind, it was a rare occasion when Noah needed a little encouragement. So when we reached Chew Reservoir and I called for a cookie break. We then made our way back through the very impressive Chew Valley down to the Car Park at the family friendly Dovestone Reservoir.

(The idea for clambering up Birchen Clough was again thanks to the book 'Scrambles in the Dark Peak' by Tom Corker and Terry Sleaford) see here