Peak District – Win Hill & Hope Cross in the Snow

Today’s walk was to be a relatively short one, I had limited time and I knew that my progress would be slowed slightly by the snow, the starting point was to be the Yorkshire Bridge Inn at Ladybower and thankfully the roads leading here were open today too. We have had a pretty heavy amount of snow in the last few days which has made a lot of roads impassable and many of the roads I used today were closed until 7am. Thankfully I managed to make it to the parking spot, getting kitted up and then get on my way without any problems.

Parkin Clough
Parkin Clough
Parkin Clough
Parkin Clough

The weather was stunning this morning, a very mixed bag with broken clouds and the odd snow shower. I made my way from the Yorkshire Bridge Inn towards Ladybower and then took the path along the dam wall. The path here had obviously seen a lot of traffic in the last few days as the snow was rather compact and it had turned pretty icy. Thankfully the fresh snow awaited me once I had crossed the dam wall and took the path that leads up Jaggers Clough. The last time I came this way was when I had Wild Camped at Wooler Knoll, walked down to meet my mate Andy at the pub and then walked back up and over to Alport Dale.

Parkin Clough
Parkin Clough
Parkin Clough Sign
Parkin Clough Sign

The climb up through the forest at Jaggers Clough is sharp but thankfully rather short, I’m a sucker for a pine forest and it was looking nice today under a blanket of snow. The path was icy in places but nothing that would have required my crampons, the time passed quickly as I was concentrating on my footing and I reached the cross roads in what seemed like no time at all. From here it started to snow once again, I must have been the first person to come this way today as I had to cut a fresh through the artic landscape as I headed towards the tree line. The wind became much stronger as I reached the eastern flanks of Win Hill Pike to the point where huge snow drifts had formed, thankfully they were pretty manageable at this point so didn’t cause any problems.

Parkin Clough - Win Hill Plantation
Parkin Clough – Win Hill Plantation
Win Hill Plantation
Win Hill Plantation

The views from the top of Win Hill Pike were changing every 30 seconds or so, the snow was coming and going the every so often I would get a break in clouds. I don’t have a device that can measure wind speed or wind chill but it was pretty darn windy and cold up there today. I only stayed for a short while as the weather upped its game once again, the wind was whipping up the snow and the clouds were dropping a fresh covering. I headed off to continue my journey and noticed that the western edge of Win Hill Pike had turned in to one massive snow drift. The snow must have been 4-6 feet deep in places so I made sure that I stayed well clear once I had taken the a few images ☺

Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike - Trig Point
Win Hill Pike – Trig Point
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike
Win Hill Pike

As I made my way in a westerly direction I crossed sections of ice, drifts and patches where there was no sign of winter at all. The wind was whipping and swirling the snow in all directions until I eventually reached the relative cover of the Woodlands Valley Plantation. The snow at this point was around 2 feet deep, it was more suited to snow shoes today and I could picture Ray Mears in my mind as I forged my way towards Hope Cross.

Vale of Edale
Vale of Edale
Vale of Edale
Vale of Edale
Vale of Edale
Vale of Edale
Snow Drifts near Wooler Knoll
Snow Drifts near Wooler Knoll
Walking near Hope Cross
Walking near Hope Cross

The views from Hope Cross down the Vale of Edale were stunning once the snow had stopped and the cloud had broken. The sun came out to illuminate a spectacular winter wonderland and I decided that it would be the perfect time to have a spot of lunch.

Hope Cross
Hope Cross
Hope Cross
Hope Cross

While I was having lunch I met another couple of walkers who we from Norwich, they were staying at the Edale YHA and getting out everyday to enjoy the snowy conditions. They were the only people who I had seen so at that point and they seemed like really nice people. I spoke to them about ShareYourAdventure.com and also gave them one of the business cards that the creator Phil Sorrell supplied me with. I forgot to tell them about PeakRoutes.com though 🙂

Ladybower - Woodlands Valley
Ladybower – Woodlands Valley
Ladybower - Woodlands Valley
Ladybower – Woodlands Valley

After lunch I took the path from Hope Cross that heads down in to the forest, I had decided to take this route as I’d not walked this way before. On previous occasions I have headed along the roman road towards Alport and then picked up the path back to Ladybower. As my mission is to walk as many new routes in the Peak as possible I saw it as an opportunity to tick off another path.

The going was good through the forest although the path was rather tricky to follow in places due to the snow. When I came out on a freshly logged clearing I decided to ditch the path and head off piste straight down. The views along Ladybower from this angle are stunning.

Ladybower & Crook Hill
Ladybower & Crook Hill
Ladybower
Ladybower
Ladybower
Ladybower

The route that runs along the southern edge of Ladybower is usually very easy, it follows a forestry track so the path is smooth and pleasant under foot. Today however the snow was around 1-2 feet deep as the accumulations hadn’t been whipped in to drifts like they had on higher ground. I pushed on through the snow while listening to the Bletchley Park Podcast.

Ladybower Sheep
Ladybower Sheep

I eventually made it to the point where the path swings towards the south and heads towards the dam wall. This section of path was very icy in places and I paused on a patch of snow to let a stampeding flock of sheep pass bye. I was in a world of my own gazing at views up towards Bamford Edge and I reached the road in not time at all. Al that was left then was to walk the final hundred or so metres back towards the Yorkshire Bridge Inn where my car awaited.

Ladybower & Bamford Edge
Ladybower & Bamford Edge

Thanks for stopping bye to read, view and listen to my exploits today. The YouTube video in this post was recorded and edited using my iPhone. A podcast version of this route will be available very soon on the Podcast page of the site, it will also be available from iTunes and many other podcast arching services via FeedBurner. Stay tuned.

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