Alportdale - off The Snake Pass. Above, the hamlet of Alport - a cluster of stone farm buildings that predate the pine forest behind this isolated settlement. Below - The Tower - the central rock formation at nearby Alport Castles.
I walked above the Tower on barren snow-dusted ridges that overlook the winding Alport River valley. After a mile, and very carefully, I descended to the icy stream below, thinking I would make my way back to Alport along its rocky banks. However, in three places, progress was blocked by rock walls that were curtained with thick icicle sheets. Should I climb back up the treacherous slope to the ridge above or wade across this Arctic stream? I waded, three times, up to my knees, then squelched back to civilisation praying that the god of frostbitten toes would spare me.
Another invigorating Pennine adventure in lovely, sharp winter sunshine... Oh a rambling we will go/In the February snow/ And its nice to walk alone/ Without a mobile phone!