Bleaklow is the wildest of the Dark Peak’s moorland expanses, stretching up from Alport and Ashopton all the way to Longdendale, 40 square miles of deep valleys and barren peat plateaux. While Kinder Scout’s tableland is renowned for its disorientating qualities, in truth it is hard to go too far wrong there Bleaklow on the other hand is uniquely disconcerting in its ability to turn you around and spit you out in the direction. The lack of paths and features on the high ground make it impossible to traverse in mist without a compass. Though it forms part of the Pennine watershed, the ridge is almost indiscernible, particularly the highest section between the ‘tops’ of Bleaklow Head and Bleaklow Stones. Where once there was a line of stakes leading the way through the great groughs and hags, now these are sporadic at best. The few remaining posts are clustered at the Bleaklow Stones end, leaving the route from Bleaklow Head to chance. In deep snow it is pure guesswork as the worn boggy lines through the groughs are invisible. I was thankful for the clear blue sky to be able to keep my eye on the horizon.