The long grind of the causeway gives way to Gritstone cliffs extending out either side. Beneath me, the ultimate climbing wall. I am half way across and above the Girdle Traverse of Stanage Edge. I ghost above the problems at my feet; End Slab, Congo Corner, Flying Buttress, Grotto.
In front of me vast silhouettes. Win Hill, Lose Hill, the Peak Ridge and looming ominously behind, the Kinder Plateau. I could run all day through the Dark Peak and still find new challenges, new places to lose myself, but today is a controlled affair, two hours of steady paced fell running through my favourite stomping ground. An outing of gritstone, graft and celebration of what lies on my doorstep, nowhere more so than here on Stanage. The basis of any traverse along the top is the same, but there are a myriad of route choices, diversions and features in the stretch between Cowper Stone and Stanage End that ensure it is a new adventure every time. Grouse drinking basins, discarded millstones, waterfalls, boulder fields, strength-sapping climbs and fast descents. All edged with a precipitous drop off the escarpment, only twenty five metres at it’s highest, but enough to warrant care and attention.
This is where I run.