The Snake Challenge

1. The Snake Challenge

Saturday 17 June, 2023

A guided challenge walk as part of a small group from the shores of Ladybower Reservoir.  This fabulous new walk for 2023 explores high edges, fascinating rock formations,  a wooded clough and picturesque dales - a lovely route on quieter paths above Snake Pass and the winding River Ashop below.  


Climbing from Fairholmes Visitor Centre, we quickly lose the crowds as we cross the River Ashop and head high onto the eastern end of Kinder Scout plateau.  We walk the plateau's northern escarpment, along Blackden Edge, Seal Edge and Fairbrook Naze -  it's high level cruising at over 600m/2000ft with terrific views.  Dropping down onto moorland and the source of the River Ashop, we follow the broadening stream as it tumbles into Ashop Clough.  The Clough deepens through woodland along the 'Snake Path' until we cross the main road and take a lovely path which contours through woods and fields above the valley below. Passing Oyster Clough and Cowms Moor we meet the Rivers Ashop and Alport at their confluence.  Here, we strike north up Alport Dale, climbing high onto the edges above Alport Castles - there are extraordinary limestone formations, from which we begin our descent.  We take a high  moorland track which gradually descends, steepening through woodland above the shores of Ladybower Reservoir as we reach our finishing point back at Fairholmes. 


The distance is about 21 miles/34km with approximately 4,000ft/1200m of ascent. It will take around 9 - 10 hours for us to walk the route, depending on pace.  The terrain will be rough and stony in places and could be boggy in other places. There will be steep ascents and descents. Participants must be fit and able to complete a full day out on the hills and be comfortable walking all day with just small breaks.  There are no villages, facilities or public transport links on the route, apart from the facilities at Fairholmes Visitor Centre (see below).      


The cost to join this walk is £40 per person. 


Please book and pay below.  

Saturday 17 June


  • Places available

Meeting Place and Time

We meet at 8.15 am to be ready to set off at 8.30 am. 

The meeting place is in front of the toilets and Visitor Centre at the Fairholmes car park at the northern end of Ladybower Reservoir.  The nearest posts code is S33 0AQ, but that covers a wide area, so a sat nav might not take you to the correct place. Off the A57 if you are heading towards Glossop, turn right up the road that heads north up the west side of Ladybower Reservoir.  It is signposted to ‘Upper Derwent Valley’, or ‘Derwent Dams’. Drive up the road for just over two miles with the reservoir on your right, then look out for the turn on the right that leads into the main Fairholmes car park.  The car park is a pay & display and costs (currently) £5 per day.  The ticket machine may only takes coins.


More information and a map of the Fairholmes Visitor Centre is available here. 


Please be aware that there are no mobile phone signals in this part of the Derwent Valley. 


Further information will provided when you book. 

Further Information

What to wear and bring with you on challenge walks
A PWA General Information Sheet - Open
Adobe Acrobat Document 150.5 KB


If you need to stay locally, the villages Bamford, Hope, Edale, Castleton and Hathersage have accommodation. Please visit our Accommodation Page.