Chrome Hill & Parkhouse Hill
Saturday, 03 October 2020
We knew as the weekend approached, that the weather was going to be wet and windy. The summer had been so fantastic that the idea of walking in the rain seemed strange and somewhat disconcerting.
Our friend had arranged the walk, and as the weekend approached, she had highlighted the fact that one of the hills on the walk, Parkhouse Hill, was incredibly steep and slippy even in the dry. Our friend recommended an alternative walk, but the rest of the group opted to stick with the planned route.
“It’s the peak district,” I thought. “How bad can it be?”
To comply with the latest COVID-19 rules, the group was limited to six people, and we all met at the small market square in Longnor and began the walk. The rain was a little late but made it just in time to join us as we set off.
On the approach to Hollingsclough, you get a panoramic view of Hollins Hill, Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill but the view betrays both their size and their difficulty. Engrossed in conversation, the group barely acknowledge them and continued along the road and down to cross the footbridge at the bottom of the Hollins Hill.
In fact, we were so absorbed in the conversation, that we missed the path leading up Hollins Hill and ended up walking around it, but nobody seemed to mind once we had realized.
By the time we had reached the foot of Chrome Hill, I was soaked. It had been too warm to walk with my waterproofs all zipped up but far to wet and windy not to wear them, and it was on Chrome Hill that we realized just how slippy things could get.
We reached a small cave where the path heads up steeply over some rocks set in mud. Usually, this would not present a problem, but the ground was wet and slippy, and the stone was no better. What should have been a leisurely climb up became a little scramble needing hands and feet.
Higher up the hill, it was not so bad, but we had to proceed cautiously and to avoid stepping on the rocks. Even in walking boots, there was no grip to be had.
Coming off of Chrome Hill, you get an excellent view of Parkhouse Hill. It was quite apparent that it would be a scramble rather than a walk although there was a more accessible option visible via the col.
As I studied the ridge, I heard a scream, and my attention immediately drawn to two dark figures halfway up the spine. The lower of the two seemed to be stuck and was struggling to move upwards. Going down didn’t seem to be an option for them either.
I watched intently and hoped that the stuck person didn’t slip. It would have been a fifty-metre slide to the bottom. After a few minutes, the stuck person started to move slowly upwards and managed to reach their friend, and I resumed my descent.
Standing at the foot of Parkhouse Hill, and staring up at that same spine, you get a new appreciation for just how difficult it is. It didn’t take long for the group to decide that it was too wet and too slippy to attempt it and so we opted to walk around it and head back to Longnor.
Sitting in the Cheshire Cheese public house at Longnor, it didn’t seem to matter that we had only managed one of the three hills we had planned to do. We had all had a good walk, good gossip, and a good soaking.
Hollinsclough. The locals are not very talkative.
Chrome Hill and Parkhouse Hill. They don’t look very big from here?
The elite team assembled on the footbridge to Hollins Hill.
Ascending Chrome Hill. Looks bigger from here!
Feels like this hole should have a name?
Coming off of Chrome Hill
Parkhouse Hill from Chrome Hill. Think we will skip this one!
The Bongo also doubles as a Dry Room….we hope!
Distance : 7 Miles
We started our walk from the market square in Longnor. There is limited free parking, a cafe, and a toilet here.
Click HERE for a GPX file of the route.