Wednesday morning we were away from Selby fairly handy as we wanted to spend our last week in the Peak District. We took the most direct, if least scenic, route over the M62 then down the M1 to the Woodhead Pass. Much quicker trip than we estimated and we arrived in Crowden by lunchtime.
We are back with C&CC at their Crowden site. A real little gem that takes 20 vans and another 20 or so tents. Lots of Duke of Edinburgh groups in and out but still fairly peaceful. Its just a few yards back from Crowden Reservoir and the Pennine Way passes the top end. Nothing else around, no pubs or shops for miles but luckily we had stocked up for the week on the way over.
This morning we decided that as were on the Pennine Way and it was a blue skies day we really should take advantage and go for a bit of a) stroll in Iain’s opinion b) hike in my opinion. We bought a copy map sheet from the wardens and headed out just after 9.30 in a northerly direction. An easy amble for the first 1/2 mile then things got a bit steeper. It was literally like steps carved out of the hillside and it went on and on until we reached a plateau and then more climbing! The views are incredible in all directions and the track is right under the Manchester flight path, the planes coming in seemed nearly close enough to reach out and touch. Other than a few sheep and some ravens it really does feel like being a million miles from civilisation.
After 2 hours we were at 1750 ft and the path went way to close to a sheer drop for me. To be frank I bottled it there was no way I was risking the next bit, not so much the going up that bothered me, more the how the hell do you get back down! There was another path to our left (obviously trodden by the other like minded cowards) so we took that for a while out onto Middle Edge Moss at the southern end of Saddleworth. We stopped for a half hour lunch break near Chew Reservoir then started the long haul back. Its so much tougher coming down, a guy with two dogs raced past us making us look like a right pair of old slow coaches stumbling along. We had a few stops on the way down to admire the views over the Moors and catch our breathe as it was way too hot to be clambering around on rocks by mid afternoon.
Made it back to buy a celebratory Magnum lollies by 3 o’clock and now sat watching other walkers on their way down, most of whom long somewhat fresher than us. Tomorrow is definitely a rest day.
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