I'd been to Snake Woodland a couple of times before. I'd been up Snake Path before. But I'd never walked along the ridge overlooking Ashop Clough, the northern edge of the Kinder Scout plateau. Today was the day.
A cold, slightly frosty Saturday morning with blue skies, what could be better? I started my journey in the very scenic Snake Woodland. At Saukin Ridge, the early section of Snake Path, I was surprised to see a fairly low River Ashop. This would mean the river would be fairly low further up, making access easier.
As I passed the pond at the foot of Nether Gate Clough the sky was still clear and blue. The reflections in the pond were amazing and screamed out for a few photographs to be taken.
Unfortunately, as Fairbrook Naze and The Edge came into view, so did the cloud. Not a thick, heavy cloud. But enough to take the edge off my photographs.
The temperature was in low single figures, just how I like it. As I approached the back of Ashop Clough, the low river became an advantage. I approached the area where a couple of years ago heavy rain looks to have washed part of the path away. This section, around the foot of Within Clough requires some care. It also makes gaiters pretty much an essential item if you want dry feet at the end. I did see two people head through this section in flimsy boots and one of them in jeans. I hope they made it through, but I wouldn't recommend their approach. The area is fairly remote, especially if cold and wet due to a poor choice of clothing.
On Ashop Head the path becomes a paved path, but it can be a bit dicey when standing water freezes on it. This section passes by quickly and brings you to the Pennine Way and the route up onto the Kinder plateau.
At the top of the steps up onto Kinder you come to a Cairn with the path for the ridge taking a turn to the left around the back of the cairn. As I approached the first rocky outcrop I found remnants of the snow from earlier in the week.
Once up on the ridge proper there was a fantastic view along it to The Edge running west to east, the northerly edge of the Kinder plateau. What a day it was turning out to be.
Things got better, the clouds cleared a bit letting through blue sky. I managed to capture a panoramic shot of my journey from Snake Woodland all the way up to Ashop Head, brilliant!
This is where I decided to stop and have lunch, almost an airline lunch the planes were so low. But I ended up with Lamb Stew with Pearl Barley, courtesy of Fuizion Freeze Dried Food.
Feeling more full and warmer I packed up and headed off along The Edge and Fairbrook Naze. The path along the ridge gets a little vague at times, but it is fairly easy to follow. At Fairbrook Naze the path takes an almost south westerly turn towards the head of Fair Brook and my route back towards my car at Snake Woodland.
The route down from Fairbrook Naze to Fair Brook is fairly rocky and caution is needed, especially in wet or icy conditions. This continues down quite a bit of the path on and off. The water in Fair Brook looked very clear, a good choice to filter. I must remember to pack my Sawyer Mini in future.
The path eventually brings you back into the woodlands valley and about a mile away from the car park in Snake Woodland.
The walk was great, the weather just about perfect. My sore foot, annoyingly Plantar Fasciitis, didn't matter. I'd had a good day.