Last night I slept in a snowdrift, I loved it.
It was a bit of a contrast to the rest of the day the Heritage Crafts Association held our annual conference at the V&A in London. There was me in my best suit and Jeremy West shoes on the podium, after a long but inspiring day I took the train homewards to Macclesfield where there was no snow at all. As I climbed further into the hills the snow got deeper and deeper.
There was no turning back by this point and I finally got stuck for the night. Handy to have a camper van, shame I didn’t have a sleeping bag. I was woken at 10.30pm by some police who were very keen that I should not spend the night there in case I died, not only did I have half a tank of diesel and a heater, I had gas and cooker, there was also a house 250 yards away, when they had gone I brewed up hot chocolate before crashing out again. It was cold and I didn’t have enough insulating material so I slept 2 hours, ran the engine for 20 minutes to warm up then slept 2 hours all night. At 9 in the morning a JCB and snowplough arrived digging the road out. I have to confess to being slightly disappointed the night before I had been told there had been a JCB fast track with a snow blower on the front clearing the road and I was really looking forward to seeing it blast it’s way through.
Backing out, it was pretty deep by UK in late March standards.
I headed back to Macclesfield and after trying all the lower routes and finding every road toward Edale was blocked I drove to New Mills dumped the van and got the train. Edale itself is pretty snowy too. This is the road outside my house.
What I find interesting is that having heard about this most folks reaction is “Oh no how terrible”. Yet to me direct experience of the natural environment is one of the things I crave and miss most, the whole thing was a wonderful adventure, at no stage was I ever in the slightest danger and only marginal discomfort.