Saturday, 24 November 2007

Every Thorpe Cloud has a silver moon lighting....

Determined not to let the short winter days get to me, I'm turning increasingly nocturnal. There was a beautiful almost full moon. What was left of the wisps of cloud were beginning to clear....
....until all that remained was a crystal clear sky. The moonlight illuminated the ground in that eerie way, and lunar madness gripped me. Packing all the necessaries, I headed off in the car northwards. After about an hours drive, some 40 miles and numerous sightings of barn owls hunting by the roadside, I arrived. The craggy tops of the Peak District silhouetted the velvet star spangled sky.

From the warmth of the car the thermometer readout of -6' seemed a little unwelcoming.


Dressed up warm and resembling 'Tony Hancock' on a bad day I stepped out into the cold.
It was now midnight as I stared up with trepidation at the towering hill awaiting my challenge. Thorpe Cloud, an easy climb on a sunny Sunday afternoon, but it was dark except the moonlight, the rivulets were frozen and a slippery haw frost coated the ground.



If it hadn't been for the reflective piping on her jacket, 'Ninja Jenny' would have disappeared altogether.
As we walked on the icy ground alongside the River Dove our eyes slowly became accustomed to the silvery light. My camera however, did not, hence the sparseness of pictures. We quickly realised that the steep but direct route to the summit was covered in ice. Much as I like adventure, the easy route seemed the best option. A glance at my phone informed me that there was no network coverage here and no one knew where we were, there seemed little point in taking any unnecessary risks.




Once out of the frost hollow of the valley it didn't feel so cold. The hill sheep were surprised to see walkers out so late and looked rather spooky with their eyes reflecting red in the light of our headtorches. There have been sightings of big cats out on the hills, but we reckoned they'd be more interested in a nice yummy sheep, I tried my best to appear 'unappetising'.
Eventually we reached the top and I took this great photo of the view....yes, I know all you can see is a rock, I could have taken that at the bottom!






This is what it looks like in the daylight. No, I'm not wearing a skirt, I'm in a bivi bag!





A quick blurry shot of the moon ( couldn't keep my hands still, it was soooo cold), and it was time to head down.







Back at the car a nice warming flask of coffee awaited. Unfortunately the lovely soft moist cookie I was looking forward to had frozen solid as a ships biscuit!
By 4 am I was back in my bed, warm and toasty. A goods night sleep and I'll be ready for some more perambulations.








14 comments:

Lesley said...

Great pictures! Your moon shots are far less blurry than any that I have ever taken.

somewhere joe said...

"Appear 'unappetising" heh. That could prove a valuable dodge in a number of outings. Is it difficult to learn?

JLee said...

Awesome photos!! (as usual) You do look like a bit of a serial killer though...haha

Jessica Foster said...

How very werewolf of you. V. cool moon shots!

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

Sounds like a great hike at night, the moonlight helps light the way, I have a great picture of frost on trees because of a frost hollow in a valley on my Hope Princeton Blog, see the side link on my Outhouse Blog, we have had some cold weather and now it has clouded over so may warm up a bit

Outhouse Capital of Canada said...

About appearing unappetising, I need that on my hikes here in British Columbia where we have Black Bears, Grizzly Bears and Mountain Lions, walking in a group works ok and the beasts stay away, but so do the deer and wild Bighorn Sheep.

Floderten said...

I saw that full moon too. :P Except I wasn't out prowling like you; I was in the car with my boyfriend, NOT doing any naughty stuff, but picking up his drunk mother and step-father from a Christmas party. Awoohoo!

Still. Beautiful moon... I still find it fascinating that they can light up everything, like a huge lamp!

Lavender said...

This is what I really like about you, you have your fun - very cool fun - but you do it safely - I like that in a human being - it demonstrates posession of intelligence. Hope for the species yet. LOL
Love the cool moon shots, and Id bet the sheeps eyes were wild! Please send our regards to Ninja Jenny, Cheers!

photowannabe said...

What adventures you have there. insomnia has taken you to many interesting places.
I think you suceeded in looking unappetising...pretty scary stuff.

Mike said...

Slightly mad of you if you don't mind me saying so..... But good fun none the less.

Madwag said...

that looks cold and fun

Roy and Lori said...

Great pictures!

Jane said...

I think you deserve a medal - or locking up! I know the moon you're talking about though, I lay in bed looking at it through the window.

secret agent said...

I'm on flirt restriction
so I'm not allowed to make any snarky comments
especially nothing about appetising.