On the occasion of the English version of the TGO Challenge Annual gathering at The Snake Inn in Derbyshire during which I camped in the Akto on some tilted soggy stuff and skilfully avoided the walk arranged by the Arranger Alan Hardy. His idea of a 14 mile walk through the Pennine Tussocks And Bogs plus thawing snow in 6 hours put me off a bit, and, in the event, proved optimistic.
So, I wandered off lonely as a cloud, not seeing any yellow flowers at all – and followed Fair Brook (which could have been Lairig Fairbrook according to the rocky/snowy/misty conditions) – up on to Kinder Edge, which I followed Westwards till it met the Pennine Way.
There was hill fog and a cold wind and lots of snow. The mist eventually lifted to reveal the usual drab Pennine moorland stuff and, as this is the Derbyshire Peak, there was no shortage at all of other walkers. Quite a bunch, in fact, on the Pennine Way.
The Pennine Way, which is normally a line of paving slabs, was, just then, a line of frozen slush – impossible to walk on with any kind of dignity. Any attempt at increasing the pace on this potentially easier going just resulted in cartoon-like revolving feet and a graceful exit left into the snowy bog.
As planned, I cut down Doctor’s gate into Lady Clough and followed this past the piles of debris from cars on the main road that had come to grief, into the woods, which were blocked by landslipped fallen trees at a few points.
It must be said, that the standard of driving on The Snake road must be pretty poor to result in this amount of car carnage. there are bumpers and dashboards and windscreens all over the place. Maybe its for the best. Weed out the weakest links – that sort of thing. It is just Nature, after all.
In the forest I met Martin and Sue Banfield coming nthe other way. they fed me briefly on Caramel Shortcake and did their best to cheer me up, but I was soon back at the Snake where a couple of pints of Guiness put me in the mood for a pre-dinner snooze in the tent. I made sure not to empty the bladder before retiring, just to ensure an early wake-up call to avoid missing any of the festivities…..
Which were grand. There were many other TGO/bloggers there who, no doubt will be reporting on the bash – and so, I will gloss over it ..with some gloss. Be soothed, though, with the thought that there was, in fact, plenty of scoff to be had, enough booze and various TGO-type-gossip-type-tall tales.
And then it was Sunday.
I had a quick visit to Chinley Churn – a smallish quarried edge with a cracking view of Kinder, just above the unremarkable village of Chinley. Its a nice, short walk with plenty of company again. The actual summit is difficult to get to, though and some combined tactics involving a wobbly wall with wire netting, barbed wire and an electric fence before the view from the trig can be enjoyed. The map is grossly inaccurate here and shows a footpath crossing and recrossing the wall. Hah! Nothing of the sort. Its a figleaf of the Ordnance Survey Office Friday night pre-Christmas, just finish the bugger off so we can all go home thing.
Then I went home.
There are no maps of these adventures because I can’t find the CD with the Midlands on it, and these walks are in the Midlands.
But I did 10 miles and 1500 feet on the first walk and 3 miles and 500 feet on the second one.
Thanks to Alan hardy for organising the “do” and its a “hello” to all the TGO challenger-types who were there. I won’t do a list.