The Great Ridge and Rushup Edge
One of the classic walks in the Derbyshire Peak District is the 5 mile return walk from Mam Nick (the National Trust car park off the A625 out of Castleton) to the summit of Mam Tor, along the ridge to Hollins Cross up Back Tor and then up to the top of Lose Hill. Once there its time to retrace steps back to the car park and away. It's a truly lovely walk on a nice day with terrific views, just enough ascent and descent to make it a good bit of exercise and, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, a good chance to watch paragliders take off from the top of Mam Tor. At weekends and for much of the summer the area is extremely popular of course as it is so easily accessible from many large towns and cities. Being so busy makes it difficult to get photographs that I want, so avoiding such times makes the chances of a less busy scene much more likely. Out of hours also has the advantage that the light is likely to be better as an added bonus.
Whilst the view of the Great Ridge (named as such by W.A. Poucher who became a well known mountain photographer in the UK and wrote a number of now classic walking guides) from Mam Tor is great, it has of course been snapped by thousands of cameras, including my own:
(2007-1003454) Great Ridge from Mam Tor, October 2007. Leica M8, 50mm ASPH lens
The example above is to my mind a rather mediocre example - the light is poor, visibility is not great and there's little to keep attention for more than a few moments.
A change in the weather can of course provide a very different photograph:
(2008-1369) Great Ridge from Mam Tor, March 2008
Another rather mediocre view, although the change in weather has provided much better visibility and light - although not exploited in this example. This was taken on Easter Sunday (March 23rd) where the UK had the most snow all year so far!
But a change in view can also provide a much better photograph. In my opinion a better view of the Great Ridge can be seen from the adjacent Rushup Edge. This view also takes in Mam Tor:
(2008-1398) Great Ridge from Rushup Edge, March 2008
I think this provides an example of how it is well worth while taking the time to view the subject from as many different aspects as possible. Sadly the small web based image does not compare to the large print that I now have in front of me. Also the Great Ridge is not very accessible from many different directions - although many more somewhat more distant views can be had from nearby hills.
The walk up Rushup Edge adds another couple of miles to the walk noted above, but I think it should not be missed as the changing views are simply superb. For a photographer this provides a great illustration that changing lenses will not change the view (although does change the composition) and in my mind nothing beats a zoom lens as a pair of legs!
I have also added a couple of additional views of Rushup and Kinder Scout taken from Mam Tor.
(2008-1364) Rushup Edge from Mam Tor, March 2008
(2008-1376) Rushup Edge and Kinder Scout from Mam Tor, blizzard approaching, March 2008
All photographs were taken with a Canon 1Ds Mark 3 and 24-105mm f4 IS L lens apart from the first image (Leica M8 and 50mm Summicron lens).