It’s become a tradition to go winter camping at Woolpacks on Kinder, and this year we managed to pick a properly cold night to do it! We left our car in Hope and hiked up Lose Hill before taking the path round the southern side through Brockett Booth plantation. By this stage it was snowing lightly but with high cloud the views were lovely. Since I’ve never seen the Mam Tor landslide up close, we headed down to there from Hollins Cross, and then climbed Mam Tor, getting there just as the rather cold wind was picking up, and the light was starting to fade. Rather than hang about in the cold, we headed back down the ridge to Hollins Cross and then dropped down to Edale for dinner at The Old Nag’s Head.
After a pleasant dinner, a couple of pints, and the chance to warm up, we went outside to find it pitch black and snowing steadily. We climbed the steep track to Grindslow Knoll and then – unlike last year when I spent ages floundering around in peat hags in thick fog – quickly found the track on the South edge of Kinder that goes towards Jacob’s Ladder. At Woolpacks we managed to find a nice flat sheltered spot tucked underneath the rocks, and quickly got the tent up and crawled inside.
It was pretty cold in the night – apparently it was -4 in Hope, so we’re guessing as cold as -10 where we were. However, after a reasonably restful night, we woke up to a cold clear day. Sadly our flask of tea made 24 hours earlier was only just above body temperature, so breakfast left a little to be desired.
Eventually we left the warmth of our sleeping bags and got into our frozen shoes. It had stopped snowing in the night and our sheltered position meant there were only small drifts against the tent walls. We got the tent down and headed back along the edge of the plateau thinking of a warm breakfast in Hope.
The walk back was lovely, with fresh snow on the rocks, occasional hints of sunshine, and not too much wind. The path was quite slippery in sections though, as everything was frozen solid. We finished with sandwiches and hot tea at the Woodbine Cafe in Hope!