Tag Archives: Mist

Pennine Way – Day 19 – Torside to Edale (or Lost, Mist, Bog, Flags, Fin)

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Wondering aimlessly
Wondering aimlessly

As much as possible I have tried to avoid the weather forecast, after all it wouldn’t make any difference – we’d still have to head out – but at the weekend I did see a forecast in the Daily Mail which suggested that Manchester would have thunderstorms on Thursday. I was very glad to see that this didn’t happen.

A sign!
A sign!

The host at the Old House explained a “short cut” which would allow us to avoid going down about 20m before coming back up and we attempted to follow his instructions. This was a mistake. Later it would transpire that his instructions were sound but having thus far only followed our little blue line on the SatNav it seems we had lost any ability to live with out it. In frustration at one point I stormed off through the tussocks and fell over fortunately I did not twist my ankle (it would have been galling to fail on the very last day!) and we eventually made our way to the path.

Bog.
Bog.

The mist was probably the thickest we have had (even thicker than that which hid the Stooley Pike Monument) and there were no identifying features to be seen from the top of the hill. Climbing up towards the Snake Pass was difficult and the path was surprisingly difficult to find in places. At the top of the first peak we stopped for a brief lunch break and even with the GPS we managed to set off in the wrong direction! When we eventually found our way back to the path (which involved crossing the same stream at least twice) it was as a portion of flags were ending (which was greatly disheartening).

Three miles of flags!
Three miles of flags!

The American couple which we had met last night were planning to walk back from Edale and if they were to make it to Torside we would have expected to meet them somewhere around the Snake Pass though they were Alas no where to be seen. Once over the Snake Pass there began a beautiful path of flags which must be the longest single stretch that we have walked these last 19 days. It probably also represented the single greatest distance we ever covered in an hour some 2.8 miles.

Oooo a gap!
Oooo a gap!

The end of flags presented a reasonable time to have lunch even though it was at the foot of quite a steep hill. From a distance of about a quarter mile we saw a large party that were clearly out for the day on an organised walk who scrambled down the hill we were soon to travel and then stopped for their own lunch. I’m quite sure I saw one of them nipping round a hillock for a ‘wild one’ but of course from such a distance it was impossible to tell. I am certainly glad to have avoided the need for such activity and having deliberately chosen not to have a curry last night felt confident that I would avoid the need all the way to the end.

Goodbye flags.
Goodbye flags.

Scrambling up the hill was a bit tricky but as this was the last real climb of the walk it seemed to go by without too much difficult and once at the top dad had “remembered” that there was a “good path”. He was completely mistaken. While it wasn’t boggy there was no really discernible path and there were lots of quite big stones which made the going slow and cumbersome.

More moreland
More moreland

As we approached the waterfall below (which had some how created quite a large gouge in the rock) we did meet the American couple from last night. We recommended that they come off at the Snake Pass as if they carried on to Torside they would not make it until very late on in the day and would not be hugely enjoyable. They’d had some trouble with the mist (unsurprisingly). From where we met them, however, they were about to enter an area with some phone signal and the hosts at The Old House seem happy to come and pick one up from the Snake Pass so I am sure they got home safely.

A large detour for a small waterfall
A large detour for a small waterfall

I’m not totally convinced that the ridge we were walking on was anything other than dead flat but we did eventually make it to a place that the Ordnance Survey had satisfied themselves was an appropriate place for building a trig point and it seemed like a good place to break for our final second lunch. I am certainly going to miss second lunch once I return to Normalcy.

Atop our last hill.
Atop our last hill.

Well almost.
Well almost.

Now it was a simple matter of getting down in to Edale. Foolishly we decided to take the old pony track around Jacob’s ladder (a decision I think we also made ten years ago) only to see that someone had neatly arranged for there to be what looked like quite well maintained steps up the side. I can never decide what is the best thing to do as the “official” way went they way we went but it probably added a half mile and a good fifteen minutes compared to the alternative of going straight down the steps. Today being longer than we had walked for the last few days I was starting to feel really rather tired but from here to almost the end the path is exceptionally well maintained.

Jacobs Ladder
Jacobs Ladder

Arriving at the end was some relief. We had done it. I think my fathers ephiphany that Wainwright was infact simply a drunk who stumbled from pub to pub seemed rather apt as we drank our final pint and munched on our crisps before heading off to the station. When we set off I really did not expect that we should make it and I am confident that more preparation (especially on my father’s part) would have been a good investment. However, having said that we made it to the end and in only 18 days 10 hours 22 minutes and 13 seconds which I think is pretty good going really.

Journey's end
Journey’s end

Wait, have we come the wrong way?
Wait, have we come the wrong way?

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Pennine Way – Day 10 – Middleton to Tan Hill (or Mist, Mist, Mist, Mist, Mist)

Think this walk looks hard? Why not sponsor me here. I am raising money for my old scout group and donations can be made here.

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Mist
Yesterday was a long day and when we first arrived in Middleton I was a little apprehensive that it might be the last day. It was such a hot day I ran out of water and with it being over twenty miles when the first ten were over the usual ‘only six miles to go’ was replaced with an. ‘Eeek we are not even half way!’

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This mist is not rising.
We were away at a sensible time as today was another long (though not quite as long) day coming in at a little over 17 miles. However, with no where that I can find to break this journey there are no ways to get that distance down. Today was thus the first real test of the GPS and there is no doubt that it really excelled itself. Apart from a few tens of meters right at the start we were on the path all the way to Tan Hill.

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Half way there.
Due to Tan Hill’s position as the highest pub in England the walk today certainly felt mainly up hill. Perhaps the only problem with using GPS in the way that we have is that it creates a very strong insentive to follow the blue line on the GPS rather than letting local circumstances override. We learned this lesson the hard way over the top of Greenhead and for future walks I have thus been trying to plot the route to use the black dotted line that indicates a path over the green dotted line (or diamonds) that indicate a right of way.

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It’s not lifting
As we approached the top of our first hill we clearly came across our first set of South to Northers of the day. They were clearly quite a large group and had followed a path rather than the right of way (probably very sensible without GPS) and so they were about 100 meters away to us to our left when they passed. I wish I had a photo because they really looked like ghosts in the Mist.

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It’s almost a view
We met a youngish camper who was hoping to complete the route in 19 days who told us that the half way point was nearing. My GPS had told me it was much closer to Middleton but as he had a book I assume he is probably more likely to be right plus my count includes coming off and on at Trows farm and the spur to the top of the Cheviot (even though we did not do it!) so perhaps he is right.

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Will this be excluded in the prenup?
As the end of the day approached we met a couple of runners and I was at first a little concerned as surely if they had only got this far from Tan Hill today then they would never make it to Middleton. It turned out they weren’t from Tan Hill they had come from Hawes! Though they had stopped for a pint at Tan Hill and stayed long enough to be warned (and warn us) off the bog for the final approach into Tan Hill. They were planning to complete the route in 10 days. Thats a Marathon a day! astonishing really. Dad was most impressed by their T-Shirts and the fact that they “had” to eat 4000 calories a day just for the running. I imagine they will make it since they were already ahead of target.

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Still not quite a view,
This walk crosses a lot of grouse moor and there were clearly many people out shooting today. As we approached one road my heart rose a little as I thought that what I could see was clearly a burger van. I was confused though as there was only a dirt track on my map and I there didn’t seem to be any body about. Perhaps it was abandoned? Turned out to be for those out shooting and though we didn’t ask, I imagine was thus no taking open payment.

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Are we in Malham?
The shooting party did however seem to have a lot of dogs and one of them seemed overly aggressive. I do wonder what the legal situation is with kicking an aggressive dog in the face? Do you have to wait for it to bite you before you can strike? Who knows. The final approach involves going under a road (since we were not going on the Bowes loop) and we later recommended this a potential bivvying spot to a couple of Eastern Europeans we met only a couple of miles away from the pub.

I can see ... nothing
I can see … nothing
Having missed out the bog section and taking the 500m hit of extra road we arrived at the Tan Hill. I had thought it compared very well with Youth Hostels at £25 for two people to bunk but it transpired this was only for one person. Originally I tried to book a twin room but these were all booked so I asked to book into the bunk house instead. I don’t know why the owner thought I wanted a twin room when there was only one of me but only one bunk was booked. Fortunately we were able to upgrade to a twin room and after some hearty food a peaceful nights sleep was had.

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Invisible at 250m
Think this walk looks hard? Why not sponsor me. I am raising money for my old scout group and donations can be made here.