Saturday, 23 September 2017

Pennine Way

Torside → Standedge

torside-reservoir.jpg Distance: 13.04 miles
Ascent: 776 metres
Duration: 5 hours 43 minutes

« Not walked | Not walked »

crowden.jpg"How did you get on today?", asked the woman at the bar. "You know, with your walking." I didn't recognise her without her bulging rucksack and red hat. We'd talked yesterday shortly out of Edale. It was easy to spot the Wayfarers then, full of enthusiasm. Pragmatism has stuck in now, with the wild campers shedding excess food, the B&Bers thinking about baggage transfer services and everyone realising there's a long way to go yet. I suspect we'll meet up every now and then in pubs and youth hostels; share tales from the trail, but otherwise be very British about things (even now, we don't know each others' names).

emley-moor.jpgMany reviews of the Pennine Way describe the first two days as the toughest, and it's not hard to see why. Today, the path started with a slog up a stony track to crest Laddow Rocks, before creeping along the edge of a cliff overlooking Crowden Great Brook. After a gentle descent along sometimes narrow and rocky paths, criss-crossing fords through the Brook, we ascended the rough, bleak and boggy Black Hill, before making our way back down to the A635. A beautiful vista opened out from the top of the Hill: as West Yorkshire came into view we could make out Emley Moor Transmitter (the UK's tallest freestanding structure), a large power station, and a wind farm outside Holmfirth. There was a deep clough to cross on the way down, with a typical knee-wearying descent and ascent along steep, slippery tracks.

wessenden-frame.jpgThe way ahead, around the north of Wessenden Moor, was easier. Reservoirs came into view, acting as useful waymarks in what otherwise seemed like featureless moorland; the never ending Blakely Clough, which separates Black Moss and Swellands reservoirs, was particularly monotonous.

Near the end of the walk we passed a roadsign declaring this to be Saddleworth Moor, a vast expanse of moorland, which it is widely believed holds the as-yet undiscovered grave of one more of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley's victims. The Moors Murders took place round about the time that the Pennine Way was opened.

As our heads hit our pillows in the Carriage House Inn our new friends are comparing camping gear in the pub's garden. It's rare for us to find this level of community in our walking routes; hopefully, we'll see them throughout the week.

Posted by pab at 17:34 | Comments will be back one day. Please email me instead!