A High’ish Route; Hope to Edale via Win Hill, Roman Road & Ringing Roger
Last weekend, (18th), I was back in the Peak, making my way from Hope to Edale. I decided on taking a high, (624m of elevation gain), but round-about route, (just over 9 miles in total), via the eastern side of Win Hill, Roman Road and Crookstone Knoll. A lone walker again this week, but to be fair the weather was a bit demoralising given the time of year.
It began as a miserable day, wet and uniformly grey from the start. This wet winter we’ve been having has left the Peak valleys brown and sodden. At low levels it was a trudge, from field to sludgy field, sometimes ankle deep, always a slip away from a coating.
A far cry from last year’s magnificent winter.
I had opted for a path out of the back of Hope station, accessed from the platform heading east. Walking in the direction of Thornhill, I passed a couple of farmsteads via some properly grubby fields, which I alluded to earlier. I headed along more saturated ground and though more mudbaths, taking the path upwards, (and NNW’ish), just before reaching the Derwent Valley Heritage Way. I contoured above it, around towards the Wiseman Plantation and eventually met with the most direct path that links Ladybower and Win Hill.
A persistent spatter of rain accompanied me for around half the route, and as I reached Win Hill summit, this and a thick clag scuppered any chances of me taking advantage of the extra alone time, and therefore photographic opportunity.
I dropped out of the low cloud almost as soon as I came off the summit and the rain fizzled out for a while once I hit Roman Road. Here I stopped for lunch, and came across the first people of the day, (save for those on the, once again busy, train of course). Two groups, a large one of kids and accompaniment, another of young, but mixed age, and also an older couple. I only mention this because it appears that people seem to think that predominantly older people populate the hills these days. I beg to differ as at least on weekends, I ‘mostly’ see younger people around these parts, (probably 18-50’ish), and often in larger groups.
Crossing Crookstone Out Moor and en route to the eastern Kinder Plateau, there is a tree, or actually two trees, each of which can be seen to complete each other’s arbourisation. Quite lovely really, and somewhat poetic. A metaphorical uplift in amongst the, (then), murkish drab.
Once up on the plateau there was an almost constant wind, akin to the earlier conditions atop Win Hill. I had re-entered the cloudbase and as I pressed on, it continuously rushed around and past me. I ran into only one other up there, a Páramo-clad fellow, who I’m sure I remember from the previous week on Lose Hill summit across the Vale.
I decided to make this walk shorter than previously envisioned, whilst it had remained dry it was getting noticeably colder and I was still insulation-less, so instead of continuing on to Grindsbrook/Low or Jacob’s Ladder I opted to drop down at Ringing Roger. As I did so, the plateau and the upper reaches of Grindsbrook remained enshrouded whilst I dropped down below.
Once off The Nab, the path back into Edale is a straight-forward one, bringing you out at the back of the Nags Head, (not to be confused with the delicious one at Castleton!), perpendicular to the start of the Pennine Way. A quick pint in the Rambler Inn and the, (again busy), train home followed soon after.
Whilst the past few weeks have been quite moody and atmospheric, here’s hoping for some successive sub-zero temperatures and some snow!