Snow has arrived on Dartmoor. In itself it’s not an unusual occurrence, the high moor generally gets an annual sprinkling above 200m however this year quite a substantial amount has fallen. Most of the roads traversing the deep moor were shut by Devon & Cornwall Police over fears of people becoming stuck or blocking access for emergency vehicles however there are a few places where access hasn’t been restricted so I decided to head to one of them and walk into the Moor from there.
I parked my car in the little car park at Blackaton Cross, high up on the edge of one of the Lee Moor clay pits. The road isn’t marked on the OS maps but it’s there. Turn just before Cadover Bridge and follow the road until you can’t go any further. You’ll find a car park at the end (SX570631). I followed the bridleway to ‘Big Pond’ where I was able to pick up a track following the boundary of the clay pits until it delivered me to the foot of Great Trowlesworthy Tor. Normally the ground around here gets very boggy and it was no different however I had the added trial of snow over the top of it so it was a case of a very slow ascent of the Tor as I picked my way through the snow-covered bog and tufted grass. There were many trips, slips, falls & expletives along the way.
The snow got thicker as I climbed up toward Great Trowlesworthy Tor and soon I was well above the snow-line and enjoying walking on deep virgin snow. There was very little sign of anyone else being up there before me, just plenty of animal tracks and a few sheep that had escaped being rounded up prior to the snow. I paused briefly at the Great Trowlesworthy Tor to take some photos of it as well as taking photos of the relatively snow free ground below.
I then followed some animal tracks toward the boundary works north-east of GT and then continued to follow the remains of the wall north for about a kilometre. It was at that point that Hen Tor came into full view as well as Ditsworthy Warren, Drizzlecombe, Gutter Tor and the ‘Scout Hut’. By now the clouds had started to come over and a slight wind picked up. The temperature up there had been unusually hot until that point but now I was starting to feel the cold and wasn’t sure if it could rain. Not having my waterproof with me and not wanting to take a risk of getting caught out in the ice and snow if it started raining, I abandoned my planned revisit of Hen Tor, turned around and followed my own tracks all the way back to the car.
It was a lovely few hours out on the Moor in the snow. As it turned out it was well-timed as it chucked it down overnight and it was mostly gone by morning.
RouteDownload my GPX file