So, we meet up in Castleton to debate the options and consult the map. We don't want the high road or the low road, just something in between. There is still some snow here, snuggled in pockets under walls and in the lee of hedges, and chalking the folds of the hills.
At last we make up our minds and return to our cars for the interesting drive up Winnats Pass (why do cars on the way down think they have the right to drive in the middle of the road?) then turning right, left and right again until we climb up and over the pass between Mam Tor and Rushup Edge before winding carefully down the steep road to Edale. The view that opens out as you crest the ridge and start the descent is nothing short of amazing. Pity we can't take photos whilst driving.
When we reach the valley bottom at Barber Booth we take the tiny road at the side of the River Noe, hope we don't meet any cars coming the other way, then park up in the small deserted car park. All we need to do now is kit up and get walking.
Yes, it is bitterly cold, there is the promise of rain and there's more snow on the hills in this valley, but we set off up the tarmac road with an air of expectation. We're familiar with short sections of today's walk, but not with the whole of it, and we do like going somewhere new.
The road takes us as far as Upper Booth where we take the right hand path through the cluster of buildings around a yard, following the line of the Pennine Way. A flamboyant cockerel struts around almost begging to be photographed.
The wet patches don't last long, and we're soon reasonably dry shod again as the path climbs fairly gently. There are plenty of sheep grazing in these low-level fields, which means that Mollie can't be let off the lead for a run, but that doesn't stop her running as far as the lead will allow.
We crest a small grassy mound beneath the bulk of Broadlee-Bank Tor and are immediately assaulted by a fierce wind that almost blows us backwards. It must channel up the valley and gain enough momentum to really hammer this slightly exposed spot. We manage to take a few photographs, the sunlight is playing hide and seek in between the clouds and it is illuminating the landscape in snatches, bringing out contrasts in colour and form.
Mmm, we'd forgotten how deceptively steep this wide grassy path is and are reminded again why we have never walked up Grindslow Knoll this way. However, today we're only going as far as the Open Access boundary before turning left and following the wall until we find a fairly sheltered spot and a tussocky mound to sit on.
We settle down with our sandwiches (and Mollie with her biscuits) then enjoy a warming coffee. Heavy clouds are gathering but we ignore them as the buns are brought out. Danish pastries with custard and almonds. Very nice, and almost a healthy option! PC starts her bun after me, but finishes first. It is amazing how quickly she can demolish anything sweet and fattening - or maybe it's because I spend too much time talking.
Eventually, though, the path begins to drop and we make our way down to a gate in the wall which takes us back towards the Pennine Way. Soon we're back on our outward path, but returning towards Upper Booth.
When we get there the cockerel is there to greet us, along with a small harem of hens, and as before he seems very pleased with himself.
It's an easy walk along the road and back to the cars, although the tiny car park is just about full. As soon as we've managed to remove our gear and get in the car the heavens open. Our timing was perfect, for a change.