Still some snow left up on the hills so Clare and myself decided to go for an old favourite, Win Hill.
Win Hill sits in the heart of the Dark Peak just across the valley from Losehill. Legend has it that two medieval armies camped on each hill prior to battle the next day – I’ll let you work out which one won.
Driving in from Manchester, I almost considered calling the whole thing off as there was thick fog limiting visibility to approximately 100 yards. I’ve done a lot of hikes in mist and fog and they don’t present any great challenges for me, but standing on top of a mountain staring at grey clag instead of sweeping vistas can be a bit frustrating to say the least. Sometimes I’ve thought that I might as well have walked round an NCP car park considering what I could see. All this went through my mind as I peered into the nothing and drove on, however, we were committed and you never know it might clear.
Driving past Mam Tor, that’s exactly what happened – it cleared.
Like pulling back a curtain we went from whiteout to blue skies and miles of snow-covered hills, in a second, it was a stunning.
After carefully descending Winnat’s Pass – lovely smell of burning brake pads – we made our way to Hope and the start of the walk.
Not a particularly long or hard walk, this, but with my current fitness level and the added challenge of steep compacted snow to conquer, it was enough for me on this day.
Once on the tops we were rewarded with panoramic views of Kinder Scout, Stanage, Ladybower Reservoir and Derwent Edge. The actual summit of Win Hill is a little outcrop of rock giving the impression of mountain top on a much smaller scale – great one for kids this one, similar to Shutlingsloe.
We sheltered from the wind and ate our sandwiches, basking in the surprisingly warm sunshine – once you’re out of the wind!
All of sudden it became quite busy with lots of people appearing from nowhere and swarming all over the rocks, so we packed up, took a few more photos and started off back to towards the car.
Walking down we could see the fog starting to pour over the top of Rushup Edge in the distance. Like an overflowing bath the fog had reached the hills and been held back, building up until it finally spilled over into Edale Valley – good time to get down we thought.
Quick stop at little café and then back into the car. Driving back we climbed Winnat’s Pass and straight back into the gloom and 75 yards visibility. This stayed with us all the way home, so dense it was amazing to think there were blue skies not so far away.