Win Hill - A Winter Wonderland
15th February, 2018
By eck its a cold un innit? (Translation: Gosh this winter seems the coldest on record! Don't you think?)
Is there no end to these dark nights? just when you think we are done with the snow then 'ping' the yellow warning notification on your phone lights up again! nope sorry it says, any walking plans will involve high winds and sleet in your eyes like needles for the foreseeable future. Its endless.
But does that stop us, hell no! we love being punished by the gods. While we debate whether our ageing dogs and their arthritic joints can cope with another hike up Win Hill, we zip up the layers, don the ever so sexy waterproof trousers and head for the door, leaving the heating on for our return, and for the comfort of the dogs (although they see it as pure neglect) we decided to leave behind on this occasion.
Stepping out on a cold Sunday morning seems like an idiotic activity to some, and I have definitely questioned my own reasoning on many a winters morning, but once I drive past the Peak District Millstone that welcomes me in, that's it I'm sold, lets go! Sam's co-ordinates tell me where she's found us a meeting point and before long we are booted and ready to go.
We have taken to the snow topped hills and peaks most weekends this winter, and the one that sticks in my mind is Win Hill at sunset. It was 2 days after Christmas and we were all feeling the cabin fever. It was time escape.
Starting at Ladybower reservoir our little troupe of bobble hatted ladies was Myself, Sam, Janeen ('Spleen' to you and me), Milly and Holly. Our day consisted of taking ten steps then a selfie as per usual, the obligatory messing (or 'arsing around' as is known in Yorkshire) about in hammocks, sliding on and trying to stay standing on muddy hills and making weird noises, freaking ourselves out in a very darkened wood.
And then we walked out of the woods and was met with a very bright blue sky and a beautiful snow topped hillside at Hope Cross. Many, many selfies and dancing around in the snow, we eventually made our way in the fading light to the summit of Win Hill. It was cold but it was beautiful. We had been sheltered by the wind in the woodlands on the accent up to Hope Cross, but now we were exposed we were feeling it. The views across to Lose Hill were magical golden lit by the receding sun. Me and Sam picked up the pace of the group in order to get to the summit on time to see the sun go down, we were not going to miss this opportunity and we were not disappointed.
The panoramic views at Win Hill are breathtaking on any day, but this evening was special, it was bitterly cold and windy and the others did not want to hang around, but for me and Sam this was what it was all about! The early morning weekends climbing out of our beds and bracing the elements in the hope that you catch a day like this. We just grinned at each other, the wind was so strong at this point there wasn't any use in trying to voice our appreciation, but we just 'get it'. The golden glow from the setting sun was leaving its golden blanket across the Derwent Edge and casting a huge shadow over Ladybower below. The sky was pink and flecked with orange, and the snow topped views went on and on.
Neither one of us wanted to come off that Hill, but the wind was taking away the ability to feel our faces, and my eyes were going that weird colour when I get the onset of Hypothermia! And the fact that we were losing the rest of our party to the shelter of the woods, meant it was time to reluctantly go.
This was not the only time this winter that we have been frozen to a hillside just to take in the views, and I don't think we're anywhere near the end of this winters adventures, but this walk sticks in my mind probably because on a personal note, Christmas wasn't that great for me that Year and I was so ready to get out into the wild, and this day, with that sunset and with these friends, it felt like a gift.
We've become strangers to Nature,
The best way to live longer, healthier lives
Is to re-wild ourselves by returning to
Nature whenever we can.
If you would like to see the video of this day you can watch below.
Tell us your best adventures so far this winter.
Or are you hibernating? if so sorry shh, go back to sleep, not long now till spring.