Can I have my ‘good weather’ baton back now, please?

Lose Hill with a good dusting of snow

As mentioned in a previous post – I took myself off for a few days in the Peak District last week – not only to clear my mind and take stock of some important events in my life but also to capture some specific wintry scenes on video.

Having already recorded video of the Edale valley at large in summer and autumn – now it was time for winter.

Saying that, it doesn’t always go to plan. Some shots just don’t cut the mustard for me as nice as they are and in this trips case I will be going back for another attempt.

Even so, once I set foot onto platform two at Edale train station my spirits soared – the skies were clear and the snow was glistening under the winter sun. Bloody marvellous it was – but cold, too.

Looking over to Ringing Roger

Nearing the summit of Grindslow Knoll, it soon became apparent this was not going to be a ‘walk in the park’ night out on the hills. The wind was flying around with gusto and the temperature as a result was low enough to put most home freezers to shame. Nevertheless, I took my time with some filming as the setting sun cast it’s pink and purple rays over the vast winter wonderland below me – a sight I’ll never tire of. Scenes like these are works of art – forget 3D movies and other such fake frivolities – this was the real immersive deal.

Humbling as always – to say the least.

After a brief chat with a fellow hiker (curious as to what I was up to with camera kit all over) I then strode onto the summit into horrendous winds!

In human years – this tent is about 90

Realising my elderly Laser Competition (LC) tent may not last the distance, I pitched in a wee hollow just below the ridge as it heads south to Edale. Kicking and kicking, shoving and scrapping – I reached the ground through about a foot of snow and pitched the legendary flimsy shelter.

Noting some late descenders nearby sliding on their rears and glancing over at some crazy fool by a tent – it hit me that this may not be a comfortable camp for the night. The LC was having a bloody fit!

Reluctantly, I took the tent down and headed off elsewhere for a more sheltered place to pitch – leaving behind a fantastic sunset over the distant high moors near Shining Tor.

Eventually, I found a ‘reasonable’ spot hidden under yet more deep snow on the lower flanks east of Grindslow Knoll. ‘Reasonable’ as in one is happy to pitch in a wind tunnel with the odd gust of 42mph!

It was getting dark, I was cold and hungry and just didn’t care anymore – I should’ve done, though. The winds whipped up into an almighty frenzy during the night and in turn undid a previous repair on my LC. I was not a happy bunny – as I were to spend another 2 nights out on the hills.

Sure, I tried the ole duct tape route – but this stuff fails to stick to SilNylon flysheets. I needed some seam sealer or something but no matter. The tent could stand if sheltered and so I altered my plans from then on.

Capturing the sunrise over the Great Ridge

Which reminds me – wind speeds. Folk often say how they camped or wlaked in 50+mph winds – really? I’d take it with a pinch of salt.

Being the owner of a handy gadget such as the Kestrel 3000 and others – I get to see average wind speeds, max and current. Even in 30mph winds it can knock you about a bit never mind a tent – you’d be surprised. The wind speed is often much lower than you’d imagine. I’ve camped in 50mph winds on exposed summits (sometimes deliberately) in the Lakes and elsewhere and believe me – you know about it.

Whereas you may experience the full roar of Godzilla outside your tent (literally next door) in ever higher wind speeds you get the added bonus of Godzuki, too!

Come the next morning, I took in a wonderful sunrise over the Great Ridge overlooking Edale and the Hope valley – marvellous! But the wind was still about – if only less in ferocity as during the night (Met Office don’t give night time forecasts – shame, really).

I nipped out on to the Kinder plateau for a short time and then decided to head back down for a pint or two.

The aim was to now get some scenes on video from Win Hill – but alas as the morning progressed, the weather God’s decided to take some annual leave and left me with low cloud, sleet and…..you guessed it, yet more wind.

The rest of the day? Not much to say really. I headed up Win Hill, found a nice secluded spot in the woods and relaxed. And the next day?

I headed down to the pub again – this time in Hathersage – and from there to the Fox House Inn.

The scenery was dull, my morale was “Can’t be arsed!” – a waste of a day, really. But it picked up when I met fellow backpackers Dave and Paul.

Both from the north-east on their first trip to the Peak Park we chose to camp out on the moors amongst some trees. We shared some tales and drinks and stood in awe of Dave munching away on his rump steak dinner! Yep! He packed a steak and cooked it at camp – what a legend and thoroughly nice chap he is.

Steak for dinner?
Dave’s enjoying it!

You can see some of Dave’s Wild Camping videos including munching on various cuts of beef here:

Dave’s Wild Camping Videos

And here you can view Paul’s practice run for winter wild camping here (he has his tongue firmly in cheek on this one):

Wilder Camping

And just before I sign off and head back out to the Peak District for another few days hiking and filming – you can view a short clip I put together here (hopefully to capture more of the same):

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Mac E says:

    A bit of a rough night Terry, at least you made the decision to re-pitch when it would have been easy to sit tight. I suspect you're right about some windspeed claims by the way.

    Is that you at the end of the video with what looks like a CCF mat rolled on the top of the rucksack?

    Like

  2. terrybnd says:

    Hi Mac – no that's not me. It's Moonlightshadow. He joined me one weekends trip.

    As for wind speeds – I honestly don't mean to sound rude about it to anyone, but it's true.

    I've been in winds I thought were bad and took a measurement and been flabbergasted at what the actual wind speed was (ie, less than I thought – alot less).

    Too often folk out on a rough day go “Oooo yeah, was 35mph winds up there” because that's what they saw on the Met Office etc. It's perceptions. Like wind chill. Often -5 is bad enough. But to ordinary folk it can feel like -30c πŸ˜‰

    Only once have I experienced 60+mph winds – I had to sit down and crawl, it was that bad. Goodness knows what the gust speeds were like.

    But there you go….

    Like

  3. Paul says:

    yea Terry it was a good camping trip the drunkest I've ever been lol, (not blaming you) was nice to finally meet up

    Like

  4. Dave M says:

    Hi Terry thanks for the mention they are fine photos and what a great looking steak that is, great to meet you finally πŸ™‚

    Like

  5. Moonlight Shadow says:

    I'm gutted I've failed to meet my (food) wildcamping hero, I would have brought my finest bolo and pasta along…

    Just a cheap mat from GO btw MacE πŸ˜‰

    This week-end, I'm deffo taking the mofo Ridgerest Deluxe…

    Like

  6. terrybnd says:

    @Paul and @Dave – Was great meeting you guys, too. 'We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when….'

    @Moonlightshadow – the steak was spot on. Smelt gorgeous. Put my basic energy food to shame!

    Like

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