The Pennine Way: Lost on Kinder Scout - 9th October 2005

Nosher and the Old Chap had formulated a plan whereby I would walk from Edale - the start of the Pennine Way - and meet him a few hours later on the A57, a few miles down the road from Glossop. Ordinarily, I would have had a map, but made an assumption that, being the Pennine Way, it would be fairly well signposted (I did have a compass, for real emergencies). And for the first four or five miles it was, until suddenly any indication of the route of the onward path disappeared completely and I found myself in wilderness with nary a soul to be seen anywhere. Pressing directly north (the known direction of the road) was no good, as this went through a strange, creepy area of peat bog criss-crossed by deep ravines - an arduous task to navigate, both for the difficulty of terrain and the complete lack of features. Eventually, after back-tracking to a previously-noted waypoint (first rule of wilderness navigation? (apart from the "have a map" rule :-)) I found traces of a path in a stream bed, and followed the footprints in the sand for a mile-or-two. Eventually, I arrived on the top of "The Edge" - an incredibly steep scarp slope - and followed this for a few miles and past several tors with no sign of escape to the valley below (I'd long-since stopped taking photos by this point). At least the footprints had increased in number and the track was now visibly well-trafficked. By this time, daylight was dwindling so, on seeing the A57, I headed off the track again down the scarp slope (300m straight down) off the point at Fairbrook Naze through bulbous tussocks of grass interpersed with bog, patches of fern and the occasional startled grouse. After half-an-hour of totally knackering descent, with a bearing of an abandoned farmhouse and river in mind, luck changed a bit as after crossing a small stream, a bridge over the much larger river presented itself, and, in an improbable twist of fate, I actually ended up back on one of the official routes. The final push was back up the valley to the road - perhaps the most difficult thing ever - and a walk of a couple of miles along the dark, twisty Snake Pass (luckily with a mini Maglite which I always carry) to the Snake Pass Inn and an eventual pick up. Meh.Total distance: 10-12 miles.

next album: Macclesfield and Sandbach - 10th September 2005
previous album: Gislingham Variety Club's Murder Mystery: Live - 7th October 2005

A valley in between Whaley Bridge and Edale

The Old Chap pokes around in the car

Just up from Edale, a cow scratches itself

Valley near Broadlee-bank Tor

Abandoned shepherd's hut

Dead tree

Standing stones

A bull lies down. Luckily, it didn't rain

Footpath to Upper Booth

Postbox in a wall, Upper Booth

A woodworker's workshop, Lee Farm

Stack of logs

Pile of wood-chips

A wooden head, like the Moai of Easter Island, watches

A sheep stares at Nosher

Walkers mill around at the foot of Jacob's Ladder

Climbing Jacob's Ladder

A pile of stones

Near Kinder Low

Self-timer photo

Somewhere near Cluther Rocks

Cluther Rocks

Red Brook

Kinder Downfall (appropriately named, somehow). The end of the line for photos, but two hours short of the finish line...

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A valley in between Whaley Bridge and Edale