Whenever there’s a bit of a hiatus in the walking exploits, the mind inevitably turns to things that could be done.
One thing that I’ve been thinking could be done is a walk from Malham to High Force based on an idea in AJ Brown’s 1931 book Moorland Tramping about which this blog has already touched upon.
I was thinking that AJ Brown seems to poo-poo the idea of heavy use of the map and compass, so I wondered if this journey could be completed without either – and no GPS or anything like that. Just, in fact, with the sense of direction.
It seems to be around sixty of your Queen’s miles from one place to the other and, it seems true that the entire journey could be completed by following the Pennine Way. Now the Pennine Way, in my umble opinion, could probably be very easily followed without a map or compass or, indeed anything which infallibly points in one direction. So this wouldn’t do. A more direct line is called for.
So, the plan is to set off with a tent and a large supply of scoff and walk between the two points in as direct a line as is feasibly possible. It seems highly likely that any route will coincide with the Pennine Way for a chunk. I will not plan where my overnight stops will be but will listen to my body. When the corpse says its time to stop, then I’ll stop. If it says go, I’ll go.
I’ll follow bits of the Pennine Way, but also cut off corners and loops and, from Tan Hill, I’ll follow the Durham/Cumbria County boundary across the tussocky flat desert of Stainmore. This will be fun. I may visit Great Knipe.
I may go North to South because:
1) High Force is much easier to leave at than arrive at if you haven’t got anything to navigate with.
2) Its not far from home and I might be able to get a lift
3) I might get a nice tan by heading into the sun, as opposed to a burnt neck.
4) There is no 4.
The only question is “when”? I fancy the summer. I might have to postpone something else already planned.
June would be good – lots of daylight, skylarks, a fresh, blue breeze… beautiful Pennines. Four or five days should do it.
This is the plan. There is not much more to it. (I have to choose the food and buy the gas…)