A short walk in wintery weather on eastern Dartmoor

It was far too long since I’d managed to get out on the moors and I needed to give some new boots a bit of action so I decided to make the most of a spare morning. The Haytor area is easy for me to get to so I headed that way. It was very cold but quite bright and clear. There were a few clouds over the main bulk of the moors however generally it looked like a good day. Looking towards Saddle tor

Looking back towards Saddle Tor (the tor in the centre) and Haytor it really looked like a good day for a walk and some photos.  The snow on the ground was enough to make it look interesting too.  However walking along the ridge and looking west towards Widecombe it was clear that there was a snow shower over Hameldon which might catch me in its path.  Given I had full winter gear on I was looking forward to it.  I’d just bought a couple of items of new winter orientated gear in addition to the boots so it might test those out quite nicely.

Snow passing!

By the time I’d got to the end of the ridge and started heading towards Cold East Cross I was in the snow.  As can be seen from the above photo the snow was not all that light and was filling the sky quite well.  Equally it was obvious I was only on the fringe of this shower which I congratulated myself on thinking it allowed some photography without any real exposure – I was a little premature as it turned out.

Some snow on my rucksac

Reaching the road the shower had cleared through and I crossed it and started up towards Rippon. A quick glance at the sky made it clear that I was not going to be on the fringe of the next shower which was close. For most of the walk up Rippon it snowed heavily and there was little visibility. Both my pack and I were well covered with snow on our west side – taking the pack off to get the image shook a fair bit off but my left arm and glove were also well covered.

Once the storm had moved on the sun came out again.  The images above show something of the aftermath.  The storm itself had an impressive cloud structure as it headed away (and the shot is taken looking roughly south).  Equally it had covered the western side of anything around as can be seen around the gate though equally the sun was coming through again quite strongly.  I stopped for a while at the top of Rippon to enjoy the day and the scene.  It is quite rare to get enough snow to be interesting without the roads being compromised as well as some sun to sit in.  Indeed I don’t recall walking in such snow as early in the winter as this before – 19th of November 2013 just for the record.

Cloud over Haytor

For Rippon I started down heading towards Heytor (or Haytor – there are several valid variations). The cloud over Heytor was one of the most striking I’d seen. I do love cloud formation however this one had a look of a genie having been let out of the bottle.  The new winter gear had performed well and who knows what the weather will bring on the moors this winter – I just hope I get enough time to get out and enjoy it!