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#54767 - 12/04/10 07:29 PM Help!! Edale to Crowden
marcgood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 5
Hi I hope someone can help, I am walking from Edale to Crowden and its my first time on the Pennine way. I can not really read maps and I was just wondering would I be able to navigate from Edale to crowden? are paths visable as I am really scared I will get lost. I am camping at Feild head April 23rd walking to crowden 24th camping at Crowden then walking back to feild head 25th - what are you thoughts? will I get lost?

I look forward to some replys!!!


#54773 - 12/04/10 09:16 PM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: marcgood]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
here's something I posted on another website yesterday.

I have no qualms about drinking from judiciously chosen streams, especially when they are flowing strongly (i.e. now) which means there's plenty of dilution even if a sheep just had a wee a mile upstream. Good places to fill your bottle on day one are:
near the foot of Jacobs Ladder;
at the upper end of Hern Clough, where perennial springs gush from a marshy bank.
A more dodgy place is ever popular Kinder Downfall, where uncertainty about water quality might persuade even me to drop iodine into the bottle. Once you're descending from Bleaklow there's water at the main stream crossing which is OK but might put you off because it looks peaty if you're a bit squeamish.

Path repairs
Works are ongoing between the Jacobs Ladder to Hayfield bridleway and the crags at Swine's Back, just before Edale Rocks.

It struck me that anyone on their first visit might expect the huge number of signposts in the Edale valley to continue on the higher ground. Forget that idea. People do wander on towards Hayfield in the absence of a signpost: innocence and poor visibility are a dodgy combination. Once you've climbed Jacobs Ladder you need to keep map and compass handy
I've seen people struggling to get their bearings near Swine's Back and Edale Rocks, where one might make wrong decisions. Here and at the trig point on Kinder Low it's worth doubting your instincts and getting the compass out. I suppose if you're a satellite navigator you'll be told what to do by the instrument, but I wouldn't know.

The route beyond Kinder Low is delightful, on random pathways (or none at all) with the moor to your right and the downhill slope to your left, and the direction of travel exactly what the map shows it to be. I am not being facetious, intentionally at least: people do go the wrong way, especially but not exclusively in misty weather.

Thereafter a far too common error used to be to walk the Snake Path instead of continuing to Mill Hill before turning right. There are signposts, but stay alert, and if you find yourself on a long and steady descent into a valley you're probably on the Snake Path, which won't make you happy. Almost any other error in navigation at that point would in fact be easier to rectify and would lead to more pleasant surroundings while rueing your mistake.

Once you've made your way out of Hern Clough by following the stone pillars adorned with arrows and acorns, you'll bump into the untidy cairn and wooden pole at Bleaklow Head. More than one path leaves Bleaklow Head. Do take the correct one, which is signposted by another stone pillar as you approached the cairn. A tour of Bleaklow at this point is almost certainly the last thing you want. Use the compass.

[As an aside, on those clear days when navigation isn't hampered by cloud, you might be able to see Penyghent from Bleaklow (and Ingleborough too). I've also seen both from Kinder Scout.]

Vegetation restoration on Bleaklow
Old codgers like me who've been wandering Bleaklow for the thick end of 50 years remember it as a mental and physical challenge in blackness dreamt up by the architect who drafted the plans for Bunyan's Slough of Despond. On a rainy day no wetter, squelchier, grimmer place could be imagined. In recent years reseeding has established a lot of grass, even on the steep sides of the peat groughs. It looks very odd just now, like a covering of fine straw, but I suppose it will look right in several years' time when heather and bilberry finally succeed the grass.

Anyway, there it is: Stottie's observations for what you make of them

#54775 - 12/04/10 09:25 PM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: Stottie]
marcgood Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 5
HI Thanks so much! I just don't know waht to do I have a free weekend and I really wanted to do this walk I cant read maps but I do have a GPS (a cheap one) I was going to drive to crowden and take a way point on the gps then drive back to y starting campsite feild head and start the walk if I get lost I will turn on the gps. Do you think that would work?

#54777 - 12/04/10 09:31 PM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: marcgood]
Stottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/02/07
Posts: 568
Loc: Derbyshire, England
do i think it would work?
no idea.
I've done all I can to help you in your uninformed and arguably unwise enterprise.
I wish you luck, and I now consider this correspondence closed.

#54778 - 12/04/10 10:24 PM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: Stottie]
Howie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 15/07/05
Posts: 70
Loc: Cumbria
The direction of travel arrow on the GPS will point you to
your destination but only as the crow flys so if you get lost
just after Edale although your GPS will point you to Crowden you will almost certainly stray away from the path as the GPS will only point you in a straight line. There is to much distance between Edale and Crowden to just be using one waypoint in your GPS so I would sugest putting a good few grid references in to your GPS for the length of the route between Edale and Crowden.
Better still instead of walking from Edale to Crowden on the weekend why don't you book yourself into a map reading & navigation course that weekend instead, Edale to Crowden will still be there to walk another day when you are more confident at reading a map & compass.

#54784 - 13/04/10 07:24 AM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: Howie]
Kate's Dad Offline
Full Member

Registered: 23/06/05
Posts: 274
Loc: Derbyshire
Marc - you really do need to be able to read maps. If you get lost in bad conditions you not only put your self at risk but also those who come out to rescue you.

Having said all that it is fairly easy to learn to map read - AND - navigate. The more experience you have the better you should get. Fully agree with Howie when he suggests that you book yourself into a map reading & navigation course.

Good luck!

#54785 - 13/04/10 07:28 AM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: marcgood]
Bliss 60 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/07
Posts: 273
Loc: Birmingham
GPS is something I have never personally investigated and so maybe that could help you navigate. But other than that I tend to agree with Mr Pete - you'd be crazy to try to get from Edale to Crowden without being able to use map and compass.

The Cotswolds Way - which see other thread I have just walked - its almost like if you don't see a signpost for half an hour you know you have gone the wrong way. It was very rare I had to consult my map and the compass didn't get a look in at all.

But the PW is the diametric opposite of that - barely a signpost anywhere - and a huge tendency all over for poor visibility. The first time I did the PW, I remember losing the path in cloud as soon as I got to the top of Jacob's Ladder, and it was only using compass and scrambling over a load of peat groughs that I found my way back. And I particularly recall finding the right path off Bleaklow (in full visibility at that time) was not easy.

But I am a map and compass man. Perhaps someone who works off GPS and who has done Edale to Crowden with it needs to advise you as to whether that will do it for you.

#54787 - 13/04/10 10:12 AM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: Bliss 60]
rogere Offline
Full Member

Registered: 15/12/04
Posts: 120
Loc: UK
Marcgood, the advice on learning to read maps and use a compass is good advice. It makes you learn to "read" the land and contours in a way that a pressing a few buttons on a GPS never would. I can't imagine not being able to read maps - it adds so much to the enjoyment, including the planning.

It is very satisfying to navigate with just a map and compass and safely arrive where you want to go. I have never used a GPS and, although I'm sure they work ok, I can't imagine it is as satisfying as reading the land, features and contours and plotting ones way through. I managed 284 Munros that way, so I must be doing something right!

#54788 - 13/04/10 10:22 AM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: rogere]
joyce taylor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 31/01/07
Posts: 317
Loc: byrness village
If you google YHA then from their home page go to the activities header this will drop down a list, click on training courses there are loads of locations and dates to choose from.It is worth delaying your adventure to keep yourself and the rescue services safe.
#1 place to stay in Byrness (tripadvisor)

#54792 - 13/04/10 02:23 PM Re: Help!! Edale to Crowden [Re: joyce taylor]
Janice & Rottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/06/05
Posts: 516
Loc: Coniston, Cumbria, UK
Hi Marc,

I did this stretch in thick mist and you do need your wits about you. I certainly can not take compass bearings, but I do rely on my compass for guiding me in the right direction.

I cheated a bit on the first stretch to the A57. About 1/2 mile after Jacobs ladder I came across a local guy who said I could follow him as he was walking part of my way....big mistake as even he went wrong and took me down into the wrong valley. As I had studied the map religiously I knew there shouldn't be a reservoir in view as I was heading down and out of the mist, and had to stop him in his tracks.

However, if it is misty constantly check your map, compass and the track and keep checking you are heading in the right direction and not eg. south if you know what I mean. Learn definitely to read your map and what it is telling you. There are excellent large scale PW maps which are very helpful, so get one of these so you can compare. On Bleaklow, head left from the trig point and check your direction as you head down.

If it is clear you shouldn't really have a problem but still you MUST learn to read a map. Going on a course is a great idea.

Good luck.
Janice & Harlie(dog)

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