Saturday, 27 October 2018

Winter is coming

It's late October. Dale's allowed me to join in with a camp. Technically it's autumn, but the forecast is for around minus 2C overnight on Kinder with a 23 mph wind. Snow is forecast for mid morning the next day. So it's on the cusp of winter. It's Friday. The clocks go back on Sunday.

We head towards Edale Cross with our sights on a high, exposed camp. By 5pm we're settled and a brew is on.

Islay's had a Bonio and is snuggled in her bed.

It's cooling fast. My Skywatch is outside and I can see it falling. 1.9C, 1.8C...

I prepare a dinner of cheapo Batchelor's spicy arrabiata pasta with a chopped Pepperami chucked in for good measure. Delicious. To follow, on David's recommendation, Bird's Instant semolina. I've brought a dessertspoon of blackcurrant jam in a placcy bag and it makes a really tasty pudding. Islay tucks into her food with gusto.

I watch a couple of episodes of Fargo, series 3, on Netflix, before retiring. There's ice beginning to form on the tent. It's just below freezing. Islay has her fleecy PJs on and her insulated jacket too. Hunkered down in her camping bed (to buy one see here) she feels toasty warm.

As the night passes I wake a couple of times. In the early hours I check my Skywatch. It's minus 2C and the wind speed is 26mph. In these conditions it's comforting, listening to the wind, secure in the knowledge that all my kit is combining to keep me safe, warm and comfortable. I'm in my Rab Neutrino 600 bag, wearing some Rab long johns, a Montane Allez microgrid top and my Bridegdale liner socks. I'm supremely comfy but I think, for me, it's on the limit for this, my spring/summer/autumn bag. When colder I'll use my Rab Expedition 800.

I check Islay each time I wake. Despite occasionally squirming out of the cover of her bag, she's warm. I cover her again anyway.

I wake just before 8am. There's ice inside and outside the flysheet. But it's dry. The wind has dropped.

Islay and I breakfast in bed then pack up. It's begun to forecast. By the time I leave the tent, there's a thin covering. Islay plays in the snow while I drop the tent.

By the time I've packed the tent my fingers are numb inside my fleece gloves. Once Islay's panniers are on and I've adjusted my rucsac, I don my old, faithful Extremities winter mitts. As we begin to walk my fingers warm quickly.

We head towards Kinderlow End. Islay is loving dashing about in the snow. I love to see her so happy.

With a thin covering of snow we use poles to ease the steep descent off Kinderlow End. A slow pace keeps us safe from trips.

A first outing for my deliciously loud new Dijon, Rab Torque pants.

Home again, Chrissie, Dale and I muse about further trips over bacon and egg butties.

Winter is coming. Life is good.



  1. Nice. Tbe camp not those trousers.😁

    1. They'd suit you David. They'd match your eyes 😊


    Violation detail - offensive trouser colour

    Potential Penalty - rolling of eyes, tutting, sniggering behind offender's back, ostracisation, cat-calling, throwing of small stones.

    1. 😂 😂 😂 But where would all the grey people be without folk like me to moan about Rick?

  3. I was just about to say what a great post and trip and then I see you eating Semolina! Nasty stuff, bad memories of school dinners and my Nans version - bess her!
    Great photos and happy memories of watching my dog (Harry) when he used to love playing in the snow on his winter hikes

    1. Everyone seems to grumble about semolina but I haven't tried it since school and it was truly delicious 😋 😂

  4. I'm often accused of having a closed mind, but I am nothing compared to the semolina haters here and on Twitter who base their heinous prejudices on badly cooked school meals that they ate 30 odd years ago. Open your eyes. In fact, open your mouths. Try it with your more refined adult palates. You will love it. And if you can stir a spoon of jam in....gourmet heaven.

  5. Oh Geoffrey darling. We have never had disagreement or cross words. Ever. We are like star crossed lovers when it comes to our views on all things backpacking related. Take trail shoes for example....


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