Day Out The Bleak Burbage Valley

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Full Member
Feb 17, 2018
With an unexpected day of no work, I decided that rather than wasting the day sofa surfing, I'd get out on the hills of the Peak District. I lobbed some gear in a rucksack and jumped in the van after breakfast.....

I'm due a night in the van and I'd been looking at the area around Burbage Valley, as there are some gentle walks (I'll have my son with me), some exciting stuff to look at and a good pub or three if it goes pear shaped!

I took light gear as I wasn't due out too long. Kit list was as follows:

Deuter Groden 32 rucksack
Jerven Original
3 ltr Camelbak
Primus LiTech 1 Ltr kettle
Beer can stove with fuel
Woolly hat
Marmot Lightweight Waterproof Jacket
Victorinox Rangergrip 78
Fire steel

I parked the van as the drizzle started. I donned the marmot, woolly hat and gloves and set off. Crikey, the drizzle soon became actual proper rain. The wind was rather strong as well, but coming from the SW, with me heading NNE up the valley on its eastern edge, the back of my legs were soaked within just a few hundred metres. I don't wear waterproof trousers, I just cant get on with them, never have. Wet legs don't bother me and today I was doubled layered on my feet and legs, triple layered torso, so I was feeling golden. From the first step I knew I was going to be in for a wet day...


I took the gentle path for the first kilometre, so I could get my legs moving. I passed an eager dog Walker and we exchanged cheery chat briefly while his pup muzzled my hand. Feeling braver I took a steeper path up onto the escarpment and right into the full force of the wind. The path up had turned into a small stream and I was glad of my Goretex boots for now, but not so much later.....


Once up on the escarpment, I then had the wind and driving horizontal rain hitting me off my left shoulder as the path took me northwards. I stopped by this cairn for a breather. I always wander how they start? Does a keen bunch of troopers lug each rock up and build it all at once? Or are they built of years as each passing hill Walker adds their own stone.......?


Despite the weather I was really enjoying myself. It's been a long while since I put myself over any decent distance and I hoped my fitness hadn't suffered too much. Just as I was grinning to myself for being motivated enough to attempt the walk, this sprightly chap bounced past me... that put my effort back in its box!


Pressing further on, I wasnt walking close to the edge despite the awesome views. Today wasnt the day to cause a scene by being foolish. But hey, those views.....


I came across the popular rock (cant recall its name) where the outdoorsy Insta-types stand or sit and get that ever-so-perfect selfie. Not for me today thanks, I didn't have my tripod and I didn't trust my phone camera to stay still. Maybe for another time... so you'll have to imagine my weather beaten self sat on the lip of this beautiful spot....


At the head of the valley I took a brief flirtation with danger and decided to step across the now raging river, instead of being terribly sensible and walking over the bridge. 'One small step for man....'


By now, breakfast had worn off and I was looking for a lunch spot. Looking back down the valley whence I came, this wood looked inviting. The cows looked friendly enough so off I trotted.


Halfway to the wood, I stopped by a huge rock, thinking 'my daughter would love to climb that', when I spied a discarded Redbull can.... I crushed it under my foot and muttered 'don't worry mate, I'll carry that out for you...' I put it in my side pocket and carried on...


I hot footed to the wood. It was water logged but I found a dry spot in the crook of the roots of a pine tree. Down went the jerven as a waterproof rug. I sat down and got the water on to boil. Lunch was a simple affair. Protein and Carbs. Boom.



A half hour later and with a hot meal in my belly, everything was packed away and I shrugged my rucksack on back. The rain had come in heavier still and I had actually eaten my lunch wrapped up in the Jerven. Getting back out into the rain only happened after some little thought....

I decided to make the return leg along the bottom of the valley as the wind and rain had only grown worse. It was here that my rusty map appreciation skill came out and I very quickly realised that I had entered an area of very waterlogged terrain, with hidden sunken streams and 'ankle breakers' everywhere. I laughed at myself and took a bearing on Higgin Tor. Then I stopped laughing. The ascent to the Tor didn't look inviting..... 15 min of hard graft later, my puffing self made it onto the ridge. The climb had been quite hard on my legs, but was definitely easier than I had originally thought. Still fit enough then....


Back into the driving wind and rain I went, almost with a little skip in my step. I was genuinely enjoying myself and I allowed my mind to wander and plan my next visit with my son. This caused my second little mistake. I had gone too far along the escarpment and it was a while until I realised, (a 2km while it seemed.....). The scenery had been amazing, the terrain easy enough. It was bleak but stunningly beautiful. This was the last picture I took, before getting my act together and getting back on my route to the van... like I said, bleak... but beautiful. I'll be back on friday!


Sent from my SM-G970F using Tapatalk


Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
Superb, thanks for the view. The last pic sums up moorland for me, whether it’s Dartmoor or the Peaks, it’s often up in the clouds. Catch it on a sunny day and it’s a real joy to see it all lit up.:)
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