Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Frosty Win Hill Inversion

Hello again,

I'm getting a wee bit behind now... hopefully I'll put another post up midweek to try and catch up, but I'm gonna jump back a couple of weeks and show you/tell you all about my frosty, cold, dark Win Hill walk.

After doing Mam Tor and Grindslow Knoll for sunrise and failing to get an inversion, the logical next place (without repeating myself) seemed to be Win Hill. So after much weather checking and waiting, I finally found a forecast for a cold, calm morning and set off out. This was by far the coldest night of the year so far, and upon arriving at Hope all was looking good. There was a very thick mist which made my head torch pretty much useless - just lighting up the water particles in front of my face, obscuring my view, rather than the path and puddles ahead - and frost/ice everywhere. I've been out in colder days, but the fog seemed to have frozen everything solid which made it very picturesque - from what I could make out in the darkness.

When getting the train (which I have to), I have only a limited amount of time to get up to the top of these hills before sunrise so usually have to take the shortest, steepest route - which can become very interesting when this icy and in the dark. But about half way up, thoroughly out of breathe, the fog suddenly cleared and I could look out across the top of the clouds... this was the moment I'd been waiting months for!

I continued up, with my new boots continually impressing me in terms of how impenetrable they were to the onslaught of river down the path - and before long, puffing and panting, I arrived at the top of the moor - with just Win Hill pike to go.

As you can see, at this point the impending sunrise was looking promising... but unfortunately, after waiting around for 2 hours on the top (bloody cold!) - the cloud on the right seemed intent on blocking any nice light as it rose up with the sun. So I set about getting some snaps of the inversion, regardless of light...

A cloud inversion in the Peak District from Win Hill

A cloud inversion and wintry sunrise in the peak district

I also stopped snapping away for 5 minutes and filmed this video - which is a little sped up - but shows the cloud which was forming over Ladybower flowing down to fill the Hope Valley.

Since I hadn't been lucky enough to get both an inversion AND nice sunrise all in one day, I thought I deserved a walk instead (I had said to Keri I'd be back after the sunrise - she knows full well I get distracted and can't help a wander off - a 10 mile wander in this case). So I headed off through the heather, up the western side of Ladybower resevoir towards Kinder. 

Inversion panorama in the Peak District
Click to view large!

At this point I had Lose Hill clearly in my sights, so after heading down into the valley I attempted to follow a path up the northern face of the hill... a path which I'm certain no longer exists. I set off under a bridge on a well marked track, but it soon faded into nothing and I was left wandering through fields along what still matched the path on the GPS - only a somewhat difficult barbed wire fence stood in my way. I did successfully scale it (which was a miracle in itself after getting cramp half way over!) and headed off on my own way up Lose Hill. I've never been one for heights (surprising for someone who loves hills/mountains as much as me), but I'm slowly desensitising myself and this was my biggest challenge yet - I'd seen this side from the top before and it is certainly steep...

Pretty much 45 degrees! Not bad for me...
Upon reaching the top I had one final look over the mist filled valley - quite an inversion for it to last all day - before heading back down to Hope for the train back to Sheffield.

One more lovely walk through some of my more often frequented areas - but a nice new track for half of it this time... my exact route can be seen below. That's it for now, but I'll get onto my next post right away!

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