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#43372 - 13/09/08 03:31 PM 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed.
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
My wife and I had a quiet drink or two and nice evening meal in the Nags Head in Edale on Thurday 28th August before retiring to our B & B at Weston House.

Friday 29th August Edale to Standedge 28 miles.
At 9am I waved farewell to my wife at the start of the Pennine Way, and was on my way. My wife was returning home to Chorley via shopping in Manchester.
The cloud was fast lifting from the top of Kinder and it was becoming hot and humid.
I came acroos a couple of guys outside their tents at the bottom of Jacobs Ladder. After a short descussion it emerged that they had set off from Edale the morning before at 9 am and thought they were near to the Snake Pass crossing. I was a bit bemused by this, being in an enclosed valley and the Snake Crossing being on an open moorland summit. It turned out they had lost their way looking for Mill Hill and hadnt realised that they had descended Jacobs Ladder after ascending the same earlier in the day.
I pressed on and at Mill Hill encountered swarms of flying ants, that were to acompany the Way for the next 22 miles.
Over Bleaklow, past Crowden and Laddow Rocks. I was now dehydrated in the hot clammy conditions sweat sheeting over me. My water used up, I was looking for a clear stream, but only finding brown, Peaty water. Then at last I found a clear one near Wesenden Reservoir. Drunk loads and filled my bottles. Got to Standedge and found a flat spot to camp for the night.

Saturday 30th August. Standedge to Lothersdale 33 miles.
Up at 4am, moving by 5am. Even this early it was very warm and again humid, sweating up straight away. Soon passing over the M62 footbridge and Blackstone edge. This was an easier section than any the day before. Past all the reservoirs, Stoodley Pike and dropped down into Calderdale after refilling my water bottles at a farm below the Pike.
A steep ascent took to the open moor once again and the long trawl past more reservoirs before reaching Withins Heights. Dropping down to Ponden Reservoir, just before the bridge and road, I came across another wayfarer taking a rest. This was Peter, he was spending 21 days on the route using B&Bs and carrying a fair sized pack, which looked heavier than my 30lbs, tent and all inside. I carried on and quickly ascended the steep fields beyond. During the boggy moorland that follows, I went to step on a submerged flag that wasnt there and went in up to my knee. My right boot filled with peaty water and by the time I dropped down to Cowling had a blister on the ball of that foot.
Here I met another Wayfarer again taking 3 weeks on the route. He was now wearing trainers on his badly blistered feet,with his boots slung over his huge camping backpack which must have weighed in around 65lbs, and his legs looked to be buckling under the strain. I left him looking for the campsite there and carried on to Lotherdale, ariving at around 7pm. I found the Bungalow that allows camping on their lawn, had a shower, changed and off to the pub for a meal and drink.

Sunday 31st August. Lothersdale to Horton 30 miles.
Moving by 5.30am arrived in Gargrave by the time the shops were open. Had an ice cream and bought some fudge in the cafe by the PW signpost and movbed on towards Malham. At Malham went in the cafe there and sat outside with a pot of tea and something to eat. The weather was now fresher than the previous days and no longer as humid. Round the Tarn and up Fountain Fell. Near the top just before the leftwards swing towards Pen y Ghent I quickly caught up with a slow moving fellow carrying a rucksac plus a holdall. I commented that it must be uncomfortable carrying the bag, but he seemed not bothered. During the next 20 minutes converstion this chap told me that he had walked the coastline of mainland UK, mentioning that he held the record for it. However he was confused as to whether the route we were on was the Coast to Coast or that one that finishes just over the Scottish border!!?? He also had to find accomodation in Horton as someone had stole his tent along with three others in Malham the evening before. Said he didnt fancy the climb over Pen y Ghent. I told, "Well thats the way the route goes", but it seemed he didnt mind shortcutting.
Caught up with another guy called Rob, on the descent track leading to Horton. Rob was about 27 years old and camping carrying 25Kgs, I told him that was far too much. He agreed and said he might abandon the camping after Hawes and go B&B from there on. He was on a 20 day schedule. I shown him the campsite and I went off to the Bunkhouse behind the pub. Got there around 7pm.

Monday 1st September Enforced Make & Mend Day.
My toes which had been extremely sore since the descent of Fountains Fell the previous day, this morning were very red swollen and sensitive and had kept me awake most of the night. I knew I could walk any distance day, in fact I couldnt get my boots back on. I felt this was the end of this trip. I then reminded myself of how long I had wanted to do this route. However the clincher was, that I felt if I gave up now I would be letting my wife down, after her final words before she waved farewell at the start, "Good luck, you will do it easy." After all she had been through recently, my sore toes seemed insignificant, and I knew I had to find a way to carry on.
I got a lift into Settle with two London guys with whom I had shared a meal and the bunkhouse with the evening before.
I bought some Compeed at a Chemists, found a Chyropodist, who trimmed my toe nails (OH! the Pain!)told me a blood blister was lifting my big toe nail, but not to pop it for fear of infection. He advised me not to go walking any distance, untill the toe inflamation had gone down. I replied that I had no choice and was determined. He didnt charge me!
I then went to the crag shop and purchased a new pair of boots a size bigger than the ones I been wearing and a couple of pairs of Thorlo Socks. Bus back to Horton, I agian met Peter who I had seen at Ponden. He too was in the Bunkhouse. We had a drink and meal together and I retired early for an early start the next day.

Tuesday 2nd September. Horton to Tan Hill. 31 miles.
Left the Bunhouse at 2.40am and at first walked slowly up that never ending ascent up the lanes to Cam High Road towards Hawes. Happy feet, and no toe problems with so much room in my new Scarpa Boots Toebox. I was at Hawes for 9am and had breakfast in a cafe there. Intermittant rain during the ascent of Great Shunner Fell, which was easy enough. The rain became more persistant and I was in full waterproffs by the time I got to Thwaite, where I had a hot choclate and slice of cake in the cafe there. Onwards over the hill to Keld, where I had intended to camp. However it was still early, 5pm and legs not tired so I decided to presson the extra 4 miles to Tan Hill. At the Tan Hill Inn, I booked into the Bunkhouse, got showered, changed then down to the bar where I met two lady walkers whom I had come across on Great Shunner Fell. Had a meal and spent the rest of the eveneing talking to them.

Wedesday 3rd September Tan Hill to Cauldron Snout. 30 miles.
Off by 5am. Down the road to meet the Sleightholme Road because of the increasing boggy conditions. Then that long haul across desolate moorland before reaching Gods Bridge and the road. More moor to Blackton Reservoir then Grassholme before dropping into Middleton in Teesdale. Everwhere closed (Wed afternoon?) no point in hanging about so carried on up Teesdale past Low and High Force to Cauldron Snout. During this latter few hours the rain came heavy with the wind and the path below the rocky escarment just before the Snout was flooded, so had to scramble across the boulders slightly higher up. I could really find an ideal camping spot so knocked on the door of a farm about a mile beyond the Snout and was advised of a flat area at the next stream bridge, which I duely found and spent the night there. It continued to rain heavilly during the night bt had stopped by morning.

Thursday 4th September Cauldron Snout to Alston. 29 miles.
Slept in slightly this morning, on the move by 6am. The mist was clearing as I approached High Cup Nick and gone by Dufton, where I spent an hour checking my voicemail. Then back up into the clouds to Cross Fell, a pot of tea, re supplies at the shop in Garrigil, and arriving at my B&B, soaked through in Alston. Soon sorted, and walked down to the pub for evening meal etc. Back at B&B for 10pm.

Friday 5th September. Alston to Hadrians Wall (Twice Brewed)
30 mile.
This section is described as uninteresting but I found it pleasent enough. After Greenhead I stopped at the visitors centre at Cawfields to replenish my water bottles etc. driving rainaccompanied me along the wall before dropping down to Winshields Farm and its camping barn near Twice Brewed. Soaking again, but the two good radiators soon had everything dried off. I had to put my now dry waterproofs back on including plastic bags over my trainers for the road walk down to the pub. Again a nice meal, few drinks chatting to other walkers, then the walk back in worsening conditions.

Saturday 6th September Twice Brewed to Byreness 29 miles.
Moving at 6am, driving rain into a headwind. Head down along the wall, I missed the sign at Rapishaw Gap and ended up at Housesteads Fort, back to the gap added on about about 1.5 miles. The valley below and the crossing of Jenkins burn was flooded and I ended up carefully wading through past my knees in water. Again at a flooded stream crossing a few miles further, more wading up past my knees. Goretex boots are great but once water gets in, it cant get out, so for the next 25 miles My boots were full of water. I now no longer had to walk round big puddles and flooded parts, now I just charged straight through. Met a few going North to South on this section. At Bellingham I took the advice of locals not cross that flooded moor as I was assured it would be impossible to negotiatte and would end up turning back. Up the road I went and met others coming the other way who were doing the same. Eventually into Kielder Forest and arrived once more soaked through at my B&B at the Byreness just before 7pm. Kate the landlady was an angel. She dried all my clothes after rinsing through, provided a lovely three course meal and Cider.

Sunday 7th September Byreness to Kirk Yetholme. 28 mile.
Kate left my breakfast out on the table together with my packed lunch, and I was off by 5.30am.
The first steep climb was no problem, but then soon up into the pea soup. Terrible weather head down with only 80 metres visibility all along the Cheviots. Getting cold, concentration on getting to the first refuge hut and making a brew, then getting to the second before at last dropping down below the cloud into the valley before Kirk Yetholme. Arriving at the flooded stram at the farm in the valley there was no way across. I backtracked, managed to get across then climbed the left hillside having to negotiatte fences to gain a better vantage point. From here I could see that my intended road was submerged in the flooded valley, but further along I could see it emerging from the water, and so I headed down to that point. Walking along the road , I was just preying that Kirk Yetholme and my B&B at the Border Hotel was not flooded. Being on a slightly higher level it wasnt. I was made welcome and shown to my superb room. Fed and watered later I made my entry in the PW log there and was given my free half pint. I was told it was the fastest this year and for some time. I was also told that flooding was worse the previous day and PW finishers had to be air lifted out from near that farm that I had passed.

I made my home via three buses and three trains the following day.
My thoughts on the way back home - Was this the challenge to finish with? Should I now just walk for enjoyment? Would I enjoy walking shorter distances at an easier pace or is it the hardship of the challenge that I enjoy?
Dave.

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#43374 - 13/09/08 05:42 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Slogger]
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Very interesting, Slogger, thanks.
I've used the Nag's Head many times, owned by the same company as Edale's other pub, the Rambler, which was on Radio 4 this week for charging customers for glasses of tap water.
If your wife's anything like mine she may well have spent a good deal more 'shopping in Manchester' than you did all the nine days on the Pennine Way.
Did those lads lost near Jacobs Ladder have compasses ?

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#43376 - 13/09/08 06:47 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Lounge Lizard]
Nick Mac Offline
Full Member

Registered: 27/07/06
Posts: 118
Loc: Cleckheaton
Flipping heck, what an effort!!!

Slogger I take my hat off to you again.

As someone who uses pubic transport to get too and from the PW, I am wondering about the reflection you must have felt on your return journey, as the hills whizzed passed at such speed?

Nick

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#43378 - 13/09/08 07:49 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Nick Mac]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
Hi Slogger,
Well Done, i enjoyed your journal.
yes you may enjoy shorter walks,
but if you are anything like me the long trecks will still be calling in years to come,
sadly i think in my case they are calling in vain.
_________________________
ern

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#43379 - 13/09/08 08:48 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: tim smith]
Robbie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 151
Loc: Cheshire, UK
Slogger, that was some effort and a great read, I am well impressed! Somehow in your words I can sense you will be having another go!
Robbie

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#43380 - 13/09/08 09:07 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Robbie]
tonyk Offline
Full Member

Registered: 16/02/04
Posts: 1033
Loc: UK
Bloody hell,Dave,that effort would be impressive if you were thirty,but at sixty two! If you enjoy the challenge keep going.Provided your health remains okay there is no reason why you can't perform at this level into your mid-seventies.

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#43381 - 13/09/08 09:48 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Nick Mac]
Lounge Lizard Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 2013
Loc: Stafford
Originally Posted By: Nick Mac
Flipping heck, what an effort!!!

Slogger I take my hat off to you again.

As someone who uses pubic transport to get too and from the PW, I am wondering about the reflection you must have felt on your return journey, as the hills whizzed passed at such speed?

Nick


NM. You've reminded me of when I had completed the Offas Dyke path in six days and caught the train back to the Midlands from Chepstow. I would not have imagined how in a week walking so many hours a day ones body would get so accustomed to just four miles an hour that in the train the speed of the fields and everything else whizzing past at such speed was somehow almost beyond comprehsion. Very strange indeed for a while but after a few hours everthing was back to normal.

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#43382 - 14/09/08 07:28 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Lounge Lizard]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Thanks everyone. It was certainly a trip I will always remember. A week on and my legs are still very tired, not a problem during the walk, but when youve stopped, thats when it hits them. The balls of my feet, especially the left foot continue to burn. This is new to me, having never before experienced it.
We went back to Horton today to try to recover the boots that I had left under the bunk, but they had gone. Still we had a short walk and a nice Sunday lunch and even the Sun was out.
Back up to the Munro's in a fortnight, to help a pal tick off his final two.
Dave.

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#43384 - 15/09/08 08:00 AM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Slogger]
Kate's Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/06/05
Posts: 274
Loc: Derbyshire
What an adventure!

Full of admiration for what you achieved, especially given the extremes in weather.

9 days - and we thought we did well doing it in 14 days.

Great stuff!

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#43386 - 15/09/08 03:48 PM Re: 9 Day Pennine Way Detailed. [Re: Kate's Dad]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Kates Dad, thanks very much.
Kate (Im fairly sure thats her name) at the Byreness B&B told me you had stayed with them during your trip. I'm also sure you would agree with me that one could only fully recommend it as a stopping off point in Byreness for future Wayfarers.

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