A week off work with plans to do some of the Pennine Way. I didn’t have room in my rucksack for my proper camera which was annoying.
The day started off fairly well. This is the Vale of Edale from Jacob’s ladder. I had stopped to take this (and for a breather) when two chaps ran past me, the first of several fell runners I saw today. Barking.
On reaching the top it had become rather windy, and the further I went the worse the visibility got. I had planned to make a slight detour to take in the highest point on Kinder Scout but on reaching the trig point where I would have headed-off from, my sense of self-preservation kicked in and I decided getting lost on a flat featureless plain wasn’t a great idea. To begin with the wind was behind me, but as I got towards Kinder Downfall it came from the west – at least that meant it was blowing me and the other hardy souls up there away from the edge, but it made for very hard going. The rain cover was ripped from its mooring on my rucksack (fortunately it was attached elsewhere so just flapped around rather than disappearing), and I was actually blown over once when I stopped.
I kept going, there not being much other choice, and eventually the path went downhill a bit, and then I followed the paved route towards Snake Pass, which was surreal; I could see nothing around me except the path, glistening in the wet, the peaty moor and cloud/rain. Near the end of this section I suddenly heard “excuse me” and a couple of runners came passed.
I reached the road and checked the map, at which point a woman came over (she and her husband had overtaken me earlier) and offered me a lift. She said that the path wasn’t very clear on the next section, and as the wind was still strong and the visibility awful I gratefully accepted. They took me all the way to the campsite at Crowden that I was booked into. I was pleased to hear there was a drying room there – the bloke said he had slept in it once. He also checked the weather for the next day which was for gale force winds and hail. I decided that a plan B was probably required.
I decided to stay another night at the campsite, so I spent the day in my tent. There was, as forecast, some hail. It didn’t melt very quickly. I occupied myself with ‘A Murder of Quality’ and some sloe gin, and contacted my sister in Manchester to see if I could decamp there the next day.
I packed up and walked about 4 miles to Hadfield, the nearest train station. The route that I had been planning to follow from here, north along the Pennine way, was still hidden in low cloud, so I think not to continue was the right decision. Also I had forgotten my flipflops, which sounds daft but it meant that I had to make my way around the campsite with bare feet in my wet boots, which had caused them some irritation.