Last night I managed to take my first trip in the Peak District since moving to Glossop. It was only a short trip, and planned at the last minute, but it was an adventure none the less. Feeling slightly uncomfortable at the thought of heading out at night on my own I knew that it would make it all the more exciting once I was out there and would turn into something I could look back on and be proud of.
So with that I packed my rucksack, said goodnight to Jenna and the boys and got in the car heading for Stanage for a wild camp. I would be spending the night in a large horizontal break in the crag (more like a ‘Dug-out’) which seemed like it was built for bivvying, right next to Robin Hood’s cave.
At about 20:30 I parked up at Stanage Popular car park (SK 245 829) and started walking up the track to the T-junction (SK 246 833) with the path that runs atop Stanage Edge. From here I measured 300 meters on the map from the junction to the cave (SK 244 836) and started pacing.
The wind was fierce; the sound as it hit the crag face and blew over the top was incredible! This was made more dramatic by the darkness and loneliness from being the only person out there at this time of night. I was glad I had opted for the cave rather than bringing my tarp as pitching it in the wind and expecting it to still be there in the morning would have been very wishful thinking. Plus, it had started to snow by the time I reached the cave and I didn’t want to hang around outside.
After following the light from my head torch along the top of the crag, and with my pacing bang-on, I followed the slope down to the cave entrance and crawled inside. I was immediately sheltered from the wind but the snow was still being blown into the front area of the cave. I crawled further inside and positioned my bivvy bag with the head at the deepest end of the cave taking full advantage of the shelter it offered. I unpacked the important things – Bivvy bag, sleeping bag, pillow & wine and got wrapped up for the night.
I woke a few times during the night due to the noise from the winds battering the crag but felt warm and comfortable enough to fall back to sleep without any problems. In the morning I woke up at 07:30 to see the silhouette of a rabbit a couple of feet away from my face having a nosey, probably wondering what on earth I was and how I came to be in his cave. I tried to reach my camera without disturbing it but it was spooked by my movements and darted into a burrow the other side of the cave. I reached for my Jetboil and made some coffee and porridge whilst contemplating where I was and how happy I was right then.
After breakfast I packed everything away, took a couple of photo’s of the morning view from the cave entrance and headed back down to the car. The views that morning were incredible. The depth, the layers and the colours down the valley were worth stopping for just to stand and stare at. Unfortunately my battery had died by this point so I was unable to take any photos, however this does mean that I will have to do this again!