Notwithstanding my rather sombre introduction to the year, I recaptured a sense of the restorative effect of one foot ahead of the other on my birthday.
The plan had been to head to the Derwent Valley and kick trails through the snow on its edges. Overnight flurries conspired against us however and the Snake was closed.
A local ramble on Glossopdale was presented as an option only to be rejected by the other half, favouring the familiar territory of Lantern Pike from Hayfield. The snow would offer an alternative take on this agreeable ramble.
This being a Thursday the car park at the countryside centre was empty. Donning hefty footwear, we ambled along the Pennine Bridleway before heading to the slopes and higher ground. The summit maker was soon reached and we celebrated my 41st year with coffee and chocolate cake.
Our descent took us ‘behind’ the Pike and to Birch Vale where we enjoyed tea at the excellent Sett Valley Café, a sure-fire stop for summer bike rides both on and off road. From here, we simply retraced our steps to the car.