Chrome hill - Altitude 425m (1394ft)
It was a very cold day, the day we decided to tackle Chrome Hill, also known as part of the famous Dragon's Back Ridge, in the Derbyshire Peak District.
Today's walk was to be a short, but rather sharp ascent in semi thawing and icy conditions, so I was wrapped up very warm and kept my trepidation in check.
The start of the walk was lovely and flat ... a great little warm up before the uphill started .
It was so beautiful out there ... the trees were decked with icicles and streams were still frozen over.
Towards the end of the road you see here, is the base of Chrome Hill, with the equally stunning (and in ice, too dangerous) Parkhouse Hill, to the left.
We reached a little gate at the base of Chrome Hill, I took a deep breath and we started the climb upwards.
The initial slopes were pretty steep. Only a few minutes of walking and the view back down was already stunning!
View of Parkhouse from the lower slopes of Chrome.
As you can see, the slopes are pretty smooth, which makes for easy walking in the warmer weather, but they were SO slippery in the snow and ice ! We passed so many skid marks made by poor, unsuspecting walkers making unplanned and hasty descents !
We pressed on ... the view up the hill was pretty impressive !
That tree was our first planned coffee break :)I really wish I had taken a photograph of the horizontal icicles on the stile ... they were fascinating, and showed just how windy and cold it could be up there !
We packed up the flask and pressed on ... me (doh!) thinking that the top of the hill in the picture above was actually the summit ... Oh how wrong was I ?! !!!!
Once the initial "Oh No!" moment had passed, I couldn't fail but be totally amazed at the ridge, once it showed itself behind that hill ... the view was just amazing and I really didn't care how knackered I already felt
The views were worth it by far !
My legs felt like lead and my knees like jelly by the time I got up to the ridge, but I didn't really care ... a brief breather and I was ready to carry on :)
Look at this view !!!!!
Rob (ever used to all this malarky) had bounced on across the ridge, in front, to take this photo of me :)
The walk across the actual ridge was a bit tricky in places ... some of the snow had thawed and refrozen, making it VERY treacherous, and the exposed rocks were coated in a glass-like layer of thick ice, but we picked our way across with a lot of care.
A few false summits later and we reached the top !
The view was so beautiful, it's beyond words really !!I felt quite emotional at achieving this goal, I can tell you !
This is the view from up there !
And Rob in his element !
You know ... I could have just stayed up there all day !We couldn't though ... damn shame !
We had to think about coming down.
The plan was to have walked across the entire ridge. I was a bit dubious about the ice though, which could have made the next bit of descent very dangerous.
As it happened, a couple who had carried on that way shouted up to us and warned us to go back the way we came, as it really was too dangerous.
I hope the lady got down OK ... she really didn't look too confident on the rock and ice !
The walk back was equally as enjoyable though ... I didn't mind not being able to do the whole ridge ... we'll be back in the spring !
I tell you what though ... this descent has been the hardest one for my dicky knees, so far ... there were some very steep slopes to get back down, and by the time we got to the bottom, my poor knees were shouting at me !
I really do think that I am going to have to start wearing support bandages on these hilly walks !
I did enjoy every minute of this walk though, ignoring my knees !I would have to say though, that this certainly isn't a hill to tackle if you're a total novice .. I don't think I could have gone up there on my own. From the bottom, Chrome hill looks so smooth, green and gentle ... as you have seen from my photo's, the ridge is quite sharp in places and very rocky.
I'll just round up this blog post with a photo I took of Chrome Hill a week or so later, once the weather had warmed up a little ... The tree to the right of the photo is where we stopped for our coffee break, and it's highest point is where we had our summit cuppa :)
I hope you enjoyed my wittering ?I really can't put into words just how beautiful and challenging the Peak District is ... All I can suggest is that you take yourselves up there for a visit ... see for yourself :)
Thanks for reading,
Edit : I just thought I'd add this route profile I just found ...
Well a link to it anyway :)