DERBYSHIRE PEAKS and DALES

28th Oct 2009: Chrome and Parkhouse Hills Circular   A web page by Bryan B (aka Yeti) & Sunnydale

Start/Finish near Parkhouse Hill, Derbyshire

Highest point: Summit of Chrome Hill, 425m

Distance: circa 6kms

Weather: Fine/cloud/fine

Vertical altitude gain: circa 350m

Time: 3 hrs

Wednesday lunchtime 27th saw Sunny and I at Longnor, near Parkhouse Hill, (above). Not to start our walk, but to enjoy a light lunch of ham roll, salad and a pot of tea. Did I say light lunch? Oh no!! There was far more ham than roll! Very yummy and all at a price that made this Southerner wonder if he’d stumbled into a 1970s time warp, with prices to match.
Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont Lunch over and off to the walk: Chrome and Parkhouse Hills. “Come on Yeti”, (my nickname!), said Sunny, heading to the South side of Chrome Hill. “There must be a path that will get us to the other end where there's a more interesting ascent”. And so there was! It looked like a sheep trail, even though there was a gate part way along! (clever sheep in this part of the country, knowin’ how to open a gate!). I knew there would be some scrambling later......but as the path abruptly ended at a stone wall, there was no choice but to climb over! Of course, we were very careful not to dislodge a single bit. Then more yomping and a stile that got us onto an obvious track, (above).
Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

So after all that effort, we were, at the West end of the Hill. And near a decent, nicely laid out, easy to follow, gently climbing path that twisted it’s way around lots of steep uppy and downy bits. Oh good, I can relax now and gently stroll up the hill.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

“No, not that path! We’re taking the ridge line!”, said Sunny. And what Sunny said, we did! Up and down. Easy bits. Little scrambly bits.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Well. They were easy scrambly bits for someone! I struggled up as always, but with Sunny pointing out
the footholds etc to me.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Easier going now, with the summit almost in view.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

A look back down at the ridge line, most of which we'd come straight up! Gulp!

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

I nervously passed a rocky outcrop that seem to be held by will power rather than anything else, hanging over a steep drop. I increased my pace in an effort to get past asap....but Sunny had other ideas. “Hang on Yeti! You do trust me don't you?? Next thing Sunny was sitting on the outcrop, then telling me to do the same.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

And yes, I do trust Sunny!

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Well at least I leaned against it! And enjoyed the view on towards Parkhouse Hill.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont No hanging around on the summit today, it'll be dark before too long. So down we went, back to near where we parked. With a view to Parkhouse Hill all the time.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Near to the bottom of the descent from Chrome Hill, I looked up at something very similar to the North face of the Eiger. “We're goin’ up there?” I gasped. ”Yes, but not that first tower. We’ll walk round that and scramble up to the ridge line from behind it”.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Sunny raced up the first bit of what I could see was a fairly defined footpath but I knew we wouldn’t be on path for long! Off the path and onto slippery limestone rocks with bits of slightly wet mud in between.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

“Put your left foot there, hold onto this bit and then right foot onto this” was the instruction that was to be mirrored on the very short but exhilarating scrambly bits as we made the short ascent.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

I wouldn’t have done that route without Sunnydale. Not in the damp anyway. But she gave me lots of confidence and I did actually enjoy it!

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

No surprise to see Sunny on the summit first!

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

I even stood right on the small bit of rock at the summit with, amazingly, no sign of the vertigo that so often hits badly on any section that starts to get exposed. That was all down to my walk leader for the day: thank you Sunny.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

A quick look back down at the ridge line we had mainly followed to get to the top of the small, but very interesting Parkhouse Hill. With the higher Chrome Hill still close behind us.

Chrome and Parkhouse Hills, 28 Oct 2009, cont

Getting off Parkhouse Hill followed a path to start with, but then became a ziggy zaggy traverse down the very steep South side, getting us back to the car just as twilight fell. A really lovely afternoon walk.
Sunny and I had done this walk on an overcast day. But my walking companion had walked this route on a much better day early in October. So follow the links to see how a local expert saw the walk a few months earlier.