We started off in good spirits, having deposited the stone painted by my sister at the first fingerpost of the Pennine Way. We were accompanied for nearly half of the first day by Julie, a friend of Adam’s, which was welcome. I was initially a little worried, as it’s been a long time since I carried a rucksack as large as 70 litres, and it was a bit of a shock to put it on (yes, I know, I know – my own fault for not training with it). But after the first few miles, and after struggling up Jacob’s Ladder, I did settle into it.
We stopped at what can’t in all honesty still be called Kinder Downfall, due to the distinct lack of any kind of moisture in the river leading up to the waterfall. So we had lunch in a dry river bed. After some rocky unpleasantness, but fantastic views from the rest of the Kinder outcropping, the Way descends onto Mill Hill, then the seemingly endless moor of Featherbed Moss, now entirely paved with flagstones from one end to where it appears at Snake Pass.
This is where things started to get difficult.
The walking wasn’t overly difficult, but in the current heat, and both of us having nearly exhausted our water supplies (both of us had two large water bottles), the last seven miles or so seemed endless. The route up to Bleaklow Head from Snake Pass is only about three or four miles, but it’s via peat groughs, so other than checking your position using map & compass (or the OS Maps app) you’ve no visibility of your progress – it’s just a seemingly never-ending corridor of dried peat.
We got to Bleaklow Head, and then stumbled our way down the valley to Torside Reservoir. We were both in very poor shape by this point. We stumbled into our B&B, and without a word I just leapt towards the sink in the corner of the room to drink water.
We’re now at The Peel’s Arms in Padfield for an evening meal, where, coincidentally, we stayed at 20 years ago when we did the Edale to Crowden leg. We’ll see what tomorrow brings….
|Day #||Date||Start||Destination||Miles Walked||Cumulative Miles Walked|
|5||11/07/2018||Ponden||Thornton in Craven||11.5||71.2|
|6||12/07/2018||Thornton in Craven||Malham||11.9||83.1|
|7||13/07/2018||Malham||Horton in Ribblesdale||15.2||98.3|
|8||14/07/2018||Horton in Ribblesdale||Hawes||14.9||113.2|
|19||25/07/2018||Trow Farm||Kirk Yetholm|