The Shivering Mountain - Mam Tor and the Great Ridge
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Starting in Castleton in the Hope Valley, this walk takes in some of the most stunning parts of the Peak District. It is the first of a Peak District 'double-header' this weekend.
The Great Ridge, stretching from Mam Tor to Lose Hill Pike, is considered one of the best ridge walks in the UK and provides superb views over the Edale and Hope Valleys and across to the edge of Kinder Scout (weather permitting!).
The highest point on the walk is Mam Tor, meaning "mother hill" - so called because frequent landslips on its eastern face have resulted in a multitude of "mini-hills" beneath it. Mam Tor is also known as the Shivering Mountain because its shale and gritstone layers are prone to landslips. Look on an old map and you’ll see a road along its eastern flank – now crumbled and closed to cars, but still open to those on foot.
As we set off from Castleton, we will make a short diversion into Cave Dale to visit Peveril Castle, before heading up to Mam Tor and out along the Great Ridge. Passing Hollins Cross and Back Tor, we reach Lose Hill Pike before turning back towards Castleton.
This walk is slightly shorter than the Sunday walk, but will be a little more demanding, with more elevation gain.
This is one of a "weekend double-header" of day walks Skip is leading in this part of the Peak District. The other is The Toad's Mouth - Padley Gorge and the Burbage Valley day walk on Sunday 20 January. Why not make a weekend of it and do both walks?!
The leader will be staying in Castleton on the Friday and Saturday nights - there are several accommodation options, including the nearby YHA Castleton Losehill Hall as well as several B&Bs and hotels dotted around the Hope Valley. You’ll need to make your own arrangements for accommodation (and food), should you make a weekend of it. Don’t forget ODL members receive a 10% discount on advance YHA accommodation bookings using the code on the member benefits page.
Feel free to contact Skip with any questions you may have.
Image credits: Ridge towards Mam Tor: © Chris Heaton; In Cave Dale - looking to Peveril Castle: © Neil Theasby; Peveril Castle Keep: © Chris Downer all used under licence
What to bring
It will be mid-winter in the Peak District, so wrap up warm and wear windproof, waterproof clothing.
Although the paths on the hills themselves are well-trodden and maintained, it may wet and muddy underfoot after rain, or covered in snow as it was last year, so you'll need decent boots and preferably gaiters too.
Note that this is only a guide and you will need to consider the weather forecast closer to the weekend.
If you're unsure about any of the items in the standard kit list, please message Skip.
Boots: Hiking boots are the most essential piece of kit when hiking just about anywhere. You should make sure that your boots are both waterproof and breathable, and provide good ankle support.
Socks: Good walking socks are essential to keep the feet warm and dry, and to prevent the development of blisters. Sports socks and other socks not designed for walking may become waterlogged, or damaged, which will in turn blister your feet.
Gaiters: Gaiters attach to the bottom of walking boots and extend to just under the knee. They provide waterproofing for the bottom half of the leg, and are essential in keeping feet dry.
Walking Trousers: Walking trousers should be windproof and made of a rip stop material that will stand up to walking through ferns and undergrowth. Ideally, they should also be water resistant, or at least not gain weight, and lose their insulation properties when wet. Jeans should be avoided, as they are heavy when wet and provide no protection from the elements.
Waterproof Trousers: Waterproof trousers are essential in keeping the legs dry, as water resistant trousers will not keep out any significant rainfall. You should look for waterproof trousers that are breathable to avoid sweating too much.
Base Layer: A breathable base layer should let sweat escape from the body. This should ideally consist of a breathable synthetic, specially designed fabric, though a cotton t-shirt would suffice.
Mid Layer: A mid-layer goes on top of the base layer and ideally should be made from a 100 weight micro fleece, or a rugby jersey style thick shirt. The layering system is important as it allows walkers quickly to adapt to changes in the weather, as well as body temperature.
Outer Layer: The outer layer should consist of a windproof jacket or a thick fleece. This is the final layer and you should ensure that this layer provides ample warmth.
Waterproof Jacket: A good waterproof jacket is one of the most important pieces of kit you will need when hiking. You should look for a jacket that is both waterproof and breathable - although not cheap, a good quality Gore-tex jacket is a sensible investment.
Hat and Gloves: a decent beanie hat and waterproof gloves are essential for walking at this time of the year.
Food & drink
Please bring a packed lunch, snacks and a flask with a warm drink!
There will be nowhere to buy food after leaving Castleton.
There are several options in Castleton for breakfast before the walk starts.