Hope to Castleton via Win Hill, Roman Road, Kinder & Hollin’s Cross
Despite the disappointment at my new lens still not being in stock, this week we were back in the Hope Valley again, this time joined by my good friend Craig and his other half, Dom. The MWIS had us believe that, whilst it was going to be pretty windy and therefore cold up on the tops, (up to 60Mph gusts), the rain would have accordingly blown off by early morning and patches of sun might develop. Having acquired a misplaced trust in the MWIS forecast over the past few months, I figured that I’d leave home without any hard shell protection, going for a more insulative, Vapour-rise and Primaloft, combo instead. That was, I believe, somewhat of a schoolboy error.
We started off at Hope after getting the somewhat empty train from Sheffield, taking the path from Edale Road up towards the holiday homes at Twitchill Farm, (apparently they have an indoor heated swimming pool). The extent of the aforementioned wind became evident the moment we set eyes upon the bridleway, and the unanticipated rain, around the point at which we were reaching Win Hill summit, where it was blowing a bit of a ‘hoolie’! I almost lost one of my Cokin graduated ND filters, as the wind sent it flying, shuriken-like, through the air towards Craig’s head. Thankfully it missed, and was retrieved, safely, from the dying heather by Dom. Nice one!
We trudged west on the, at times, sopping wet path and dropped down onto Roman Road, where we were forced aside by a group of MTB’ers, around 20-strong and of varying respect. Anyhow, we stopped for a bite, at the point where the path up from Ladybower joins the ridge, then we went on to Crookstone Knoll, where we ascended on to the Kinder Plateau. We had initially planned to head up Jagger’s Clough, which would have made for a more exciting walk, what with it’s scrambly finalé, but decided against it in light of the wet and the wind.
After reaching this, the highest part of our route, the wind picked up considerably, and with the wind, the rain shifted from a fine drizzle, to a pretty reasonable, driven pelt. It was at around this point where my choice of clothing started to properly become overwhelmed. By the time we arrived at Ringing Roger, my TNF Plasma Thermal, (scroll down at the link), had given up, leaking heavily at the pit-zips, (a continuous stream at one point), and taking on substantial amounts of water around the hip-belt area at the waist and lower also, around the drawcord region, whilst my Vapour-rise Guide trousers, (again, scroll down at the link), had become sodden on my right leg, (as the wind was blowing in from a NNE’erly direction). Another gear failure that became evident during this onslaught was my Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid boots, (scroll down to boots where I speak a bit more about this debacle), which after around 6 months of everyday and hill-walking usage, for the first time took on a significant amount of water in the forefoot region.
For Craig and I, our short lunch stop at Ringing Roger was a bloody cold one I tell you! To this though, Dom was oblivious. She had had the good sense to purchase, and wear, a Buffalo Systems Alpine Jacket, (which you can see in some of the pictures above), this effectively kept the wind at bay, and kept her warm despite becoming pretty darned wet, (a claim that in this case, the Primaloft One and Hyvent Alpha of my Plasma Thermal simply couldn’t live up to!). Yet again, Buffalo gear, (scroll down to ‘Winter Kit’ at the link), stands up to the challenge whilst sticking two fingers up at the British inclement weather.
In contrast to the beating we’d just received up on the plateau, after dropping down into Edale, and taking up the path towards Hollin’s Cross, we spied patches of blue sky, and the sun eventually came out. Better late than never eh!