It’s a while since I’ve been running at night, but the return trip from a meeting last week gave me the opportunity to get out around Burbage and Stanage.

Dark Peak

Written by Haydn Williams

It’s a while since I’ve been running at night, but the return trip from a meeting last week gave me the opportunity to get out around Burbage and Stanage.

I pulled into the car park at the bottom of Burbage just as the sun dipped behind the horizon, and managed to get up the valley without my torch. I put it on for the awkward pull up to Cowperstones and out onto Stanage, where the going gets easier again.

Top of Cowperstones, blinded by my own flash. © Haydn Williams 2015
Top of Cowperstones, blinded by my own flash. © Haydn Williams 2015

I exchanged cheery “hello”s with another runner along the top, before finding the descent I was looking for near the Plantation end. I remembered it’s usually green and slippery, but I needn’t have worried because it was just a running stream this time instead.

This wasn't the plan. © Haydn Williams 2015
This wasn’t the plan. © Haydn Williams 2015

From there I climbed back up to Cowperstones, then across the top of Higgar Tor (snow!). The waxing moon was nice and bright for the periods when it wasn’t hidden behind clouds, with just enough light to navigate by if you switched the torch off.

I knew I'd find snow of some description somewhere. © Haydn Williams 2015
I knew I’d find snow of some description somewhere. © Haydn Williams 2015

A quick crossing of the valley and I was back at the car, having seen a total of two people. A nice reminder of how much your mind can play tricks on you when moving and navigating in the dark, but also lovely just to be out in complete silence along two of the Peak District’s busiest areas.

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