High amongst the heather

Expecting a damp and windy afternoon on the moors, the sun was a welcome sight as we set out on the climb along Mickleden Edge above Langsett reservoir. It is a popular area though never as crowded as the valleys immediately to the south in the heart of the Peak District. And the drop back along the edge is one of the better descents of the area, especially at this time of year when the heather turns vast tracts of moorland a vivid purple.
There are a few steeper sections but the ascent is ride-able throughout, though with little wind and soaring temperatures it was thirsty work...
...leading eventually to Cut Gate and long views towards Kinder, Mam Tor and Win Hill. It is an area I have largely avoided, despite climbing often enough on many of the crags hereabouts over the years, preferring the less frequented moorland edges and seemingly empty spaces a little further north when seeking landscapes such as these. Still, it felt wild enough here, high amongst the heather and peat littered with rough gritstone.
Despite the sun, a storm was brewing on the horizon, giant cumulus towering over the moors and we turned to make the run down to Langsett, racing the weather.
A wonderful section of singletrack snaking between the heather...
...which gives a fast run, interrupted only by one short climb, back to the reservoir.