Peak District

Present: Claire (organiser), Alan, Keyna, James W, Maggie, Jo, Angela, Paula, Vanessa, James C, Sarah M, David, and Millie the Black Labrador.

Location: Thorpe Farm Bunkhouses near Hathersage

It is never a good journey up North after work on a Friday, and this was the start of half term, and we had snow – so it should have been awful. But in 3 hours flat we got from Newbury to Hathersage, never have we seen the M1 so empty!

Following the directions provided by the bunk house, it was easy peasy to find, up a long icy farm track – but not so for those and their satnavs, mentioning no names! The bunkhouse wasn’t that warm, but once everyone had arrived and we were well into the wine, you just didn’t notice.

With beautiful blue skies and a morning freeze, it wasn’t long before those with mini crampons or yak-traks had them on to get up icy Mam Tor – Paula soon regretted leaving her crampons in the bunkhouse. Some of the icy paths proved quite a challenge, but leaving the path on a Maggie “short cut” across to Brown Knoll, Angela somehow lost her brand new Yaktraks. From Kinder Low we skirted around the edge of Kinder Scout, with the snow quite deep in some parts.

We somehow split up before reaching Grindsbrook Clough, with those in the front carrying on to the Knoll, and making their way from there down easy slopes to Edale. The 4 at the back – Jo, Maggie, Claire and Alan – met the challenge of descending the frozen waterfall which Jo and Maggie managed somehow without crampons. Keyna was bitterly disappointed to have been up the front and miss this adventure!

After some pints in the Old Nags Head, it was back to the bunkhouse for a sumptuous meal, courtesy of Jo, Claire and Paula, and a rather long winded shower rota (Angela ended up with a couple of kettles in the end). Maggie’s insistence of mood lighting had persuaded us to light tea candles, but leaving them burning to attempt some extra heat was not a good idea – as one burnt through the whole table!

On Sunday we parked up in Hathersage and did a circular walk across more icy fields and up onto dramatic Stanage Edge – where a number of Keira Knightley poses took place.

After walking the Edge it was back to Hathersage and a nice warm cafe for hot drinks and cake.

The perfect end to a great weekend, was yet another clear run down the M1!

Claire White (words & pics)

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