Hern Clough

Went out on patrol today, and apart from several groups from Derby Mountain Rescue Team who were out on exercise I saw virtually nobody. Visibility was pretty poor for most of the day, and boy did it rain, and boy did the wind blow. The picture above is of Hern Clough, along the bottom of which runs the Pennine Way. What is normally not much more than a trickle was right over the path in many places. Virtually all of the recent snow we've had has melted, adding to the general sogginess. I met up with a guy at Bleaklow Head who was debating on cutting short his walk and going back along the PW due to the conditions. I was making my way over to Bleaklow Stones then back via Grains in the Water to Snake Summit, so he asked if he could tag along with me as that was more-or-less his original route.

Rather than plough through the peaty mire that makes up most of the path between Bleaklow Head and Bleaklow Stones, I cheated and used my GPS, which allowed me to take a more circuitous but drier route through the groughs without worrying too much about having to keep on a compass bearing - isn't technology wonderful ;-) At the top of the Blacks I bumped into Neil, another Ranger who I dropped off at Woodhead earlier in the morning - funny how often that happens when there is so much moor to hide in!

They guy I at met Bleaklow Head had a 10 year old pedigree King Charles Spaniel with him, which was wearing a natty waterproof jacket. Every time we had to climb up the edge of a grough the poor dog looked up as if to say "Do I really have to?" - I felt quite sorry for it, but it kept plugging along very gamely. We lunched at Bleaklow Stones whilst the wind, sleet and rain howled around the rock we were vainly trying to hide behind. After a brief hailstorm swept through, the clag lifted, so whilst we could still see where we were going we made our way via Grains in the Water, up to Alport Low and then back to Snake Summit along the PW.

Sometimes I wonder why I do it :-)