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Very enjoyable hike with the Manchester Uni Hiking Club on Sat; gorgeous views around Edale from Kinder Plateau. Bit of rain towards the end but otherwise smashing weather. Nice little pub at the end.

Finished reading Iain M. Banks’ State of the Art. I can see where his big ideas have emerged from in this short story collection.

Finally got my Doppelganger CD; my first purchase off play.com.

Bicycle needs fixing. Football tonight and the pedals are coming off!

Great shows by BBC recently; I really enjoyed Horizon’s How Violent Are You? with Michael Portillo’s take on violence residing in us all yesterday. Also have to mentioned; South Pacific, Coast and The Weather.

Driving up to Scotland Tuesday.

Ladybower hike

Went to the Ladybower reservoir in the Upper Derwent Valley, Peak District on Sunday to do the walk along the High Peak ridge, see the Lost Villages, up to Back Tor and then down to Bamford House, through Derwent along the reservoir and back to the car. Co-hikers were Ioan, Jessy, Saadia and Rob.

The reservoirs in the Upper Derwent Valley are most famous for the fact that they were used by RAF’s 617 Squadron, the Dambusters, to practice their famous Dambuster raid against the Ruhr dams in Germany in 1943. The movie “The Dambusters” was also filmed here.

The hike was exhilarating, snow was predicted but we managed to avoid bad weather on the ascent. All was going swimmingly and jokingly until we reached the exposed moors on the ridges, when we had the fortune to see grouse flapping about and wonderful rock formations. We also saw vicious sleet coming horizontally, sometimes even upwards! My ‘Lifesystems ™’ 100 dB Mountain Whistle, bought at the princely sum of £3.50 and indestructible (Salesperson: “It can even be stepped upon!”), stopped working, leaving us with no method of summoning that rescue helicopter should we have needed it.

And then we sat in a little hollow to consume a modest lunch, when suddenly things turned nasty. The temperature dropped without warning and we lost good men to hypothermia.

We finally made our way down with a huge group of hikers, who had come all the way from Liverpool by coach just to be miserable somewhere other than where they usually are, I suppose.

Hot chocolate and brandy was at the wonderful Ladybower Inn, with great atmosphere and food, and homemade ice-cream. We made it in just in time before a blizzard hit and obliterated everything for 15 minutes.

And for the next adventure, I recommend the BBC’s excellent Railway Walks on disused and abandoned railway tracks that criss-cross the UK, which the even more excellent “hiker’s totty” Julia Bradbury showcased on telly yesterday.