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Day 2 – Pennine Way – Legend in our lifetime

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Walking day two began after feeling thoroughly refreshed and nourished after our stay at Crowden YHA. It began with a stiff climb up Black Chew Head which eased the stiffness in the muscles from the day before.

It was grey overhead but the wind had eased to a gentle breeze and the trek across the steep sided ridge was pleasant and enjoyable. Progress was gentle across the moors to Dun Hill and beyond to the trig point at Black Hill where Tim and John where enjoying a brandy!

The views were well worth the climb and our onward vista was opening out before us. Harvey was struggling with heavily deteriorated blisters on both heels and urgent remedial action was required.

Upon reaching the road and the support vehicle Harvey’s wounds were tended and sustinance taken on board. Harv opted for trainers which proved a wise decision for the afternoon.

We strode off to be bathed in warm sunshine as we negotiated a series of reservoirs to finally finish at the now dry Redbrook reservoir.

We retired for a well earned pint at an inn where we were joined by John and Tim and our new walking acquantance Fred. Fred is a remarkably fit, weathered, compact yet muscular 69 year old carrying a fully loaded rucksack. We were mesmerised by his tales of how he was trekking the whole length of the country.

This was an awesome encounter and Fred was plied was a few pints of Black Sheep in exchange hearing about his exploits. We enjoyed dinner together with all our new found walking friends before adjourning to the 4 star Wellbeck guest house to refresh ourselves after the days toil.

John however also heavily blistered looks set to walk another day……..

By Paul Courtney

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Day 2 – Pennine Way – Crowden to Standedge

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Wow, what a day!

Crowden Youth Hostel provided a great night’s sleep (for me anyway!), ear plugs in, bottom bunk, no-one above – 7 hours kip sorted!

Crowden YHA is fantastic, I would actually consider taking the kids there for a weekend walking.

Great hospitality, cracking food, modern, clean stopover.

Thank you Crowden YHA!

The day started with a steady climb up the ridge of Black Tor with a sharp steep pull up Laddow Rocks and across the peaty path eventually to a paved path up to Black Hill, shared with our fellow Pennine Wayers Tim and John whom we had met at Crowden YHA.

By this time my feet, more specifically my heels and little toes had turned into blistered open wounds and a call to Sherpa Ian was made for a lunchtime meet on the A635 for a patch up and change from boots to trainers.

The last pull up to lunch was purgatory on my heels, it was a grit teeth and get on with it time.

My feet have always been an issue and even fulky fitted boots clearly make little difference.

A patch up of compeed and a switch to trainers made a huge difference, my pace took off again on a fantastic walk by Wessenden Reservoir, over Marsden Moor into Standedge, thankfully for my feet all tracked and paved.

A cracking day made all the better by a comfy bed and breakfast Wellcroft House at Bleak Hey Nook.

12 miles, 28 in total, 2 sore feet, 242 miles to go with blistered feet!

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Day 1 – Pennine Way – Edale to Crowden – First Day Conquered!

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20.50 and i’m lying in the relative luxury of my dormitory bunk after a satisfying day on the hills.

It didn’t all start so optimistically when we arrived yesterday in Edale with low heavy cloud cover and persistent rain. Things didn’t look much brighter either upon reaching our YHA accommodation.

It seemed we’d arrived in the land that time had forgot with it’s ancient facilities that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Harry Potter movie.

Our “dorm” was in a “cottage” high up on the hillside aptly named Jacobs Ladder probably because of the amount of steps required to reach it.

Our saviour and “sherpa” councillor Ian Greenwood rescued us and treated us to our “last supper” in the Old Nags Head before we returned to our dorm to find we were now sharing with some youths and some middle-aged twitchers who could snore for England! I should talk!!

Thankfully 7.00am arrived and provided a welcome opportuity to hastily depart our digs but not before a heartily satisfying in house breakfast.

Our sherpa drove us to the start, the waiting finally over. We donned our boots and posed for one final photo before the start of our quest.

The forecast was windy with occasional showers. It remained windy throughout and we were relentlessly buffeted by the bitingly cold wind.

We’d soon “layered” up and I’d got my woolly hat on finding it hard to believe only a week ago I was up here training on the hottest day of the year.

However rapid progress was made up Jacobs Ladder and we marched quickly to Kinder Downfall. Still windswept but luckily dry we left the Kinder Plateau via Mill Hill and across Featherbed Moss to Snake Pass.

A brief stop for lunch having broken the back of the first day we progressed purposely up Devils Dyke to attack the top of Bleaklow and proceeded on our long slow descent for the day towards Torside Reservoir and Crowden amidst stunning scenery.

What a difference the YHA at Crowden is, smaller in comparison to Edale but virtually new with modern facilities. We were greeted by Lauren, our superb hostess who invited us to take the weight off our feet and make a brew which was most welcome.

I’d said to Harvey the previous night my legs were itching for a walk, which they were. However three quarters the way through today they’d changed their mind!

The last couple of miles hurt and this was probably were all my aches and pains come from I’m nursing now.

Once camped in our superb accommodation and gratefully showered we went for dinner in house and was joined by two fellow walkers brothers Tim and John. Who had been following us from Edale intending to do half the PW.

Poor John was dead on his feet but we couldnt help but chuckle as he shuffled creeked and groaned across the dining room floor. We wonder what condition he’ll be in tomorrow and if he’ll make it to the end of the day.

I’ll let you know later……..

By Paul Courtney.

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Day 1 – Pennine Way – Edale to Crowden

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So the Edale Youth Hostel 8 bunk bed dorm was just as expected – a zoo.

I am sure they rounded up every person who snored and put them in our dorm. I suppose I should be grateful for three hours sleep under the circumstances.

Anyway day broke and breakfast lightened the mood. Apart from no porridge it was a full on feast so a proper stock up for the day ahead.

With dry weather (a welcome sight after arriving the day before in a downpour that had lasted all day) forecast with maybe the odd light shower it seemed like almost ideal conditions for the first day.

What soon met us was a strong cold northerly wind head on up the dale towards Kinder Plateau.

The ascent up Jacobs Ladder was made all the more strenuous by the wind however gratitudes were made for dry conditions!

Once the upward pull had been made and height gained to Kinder Low trig point the wind concocted up a chilling bite so much so that sheltered rick had to be saught to add layers. So much for summertime!

A quick pace then took us around Kinder Scout plateau, Kinder Downfall that was more like a trickle even after the previous days rain, over to Mill Hill with a 90 degree turn onto the paved track across Featherbed Moss to Snake Pass.

The welcome sight of Sherpa Ian met us on the pass for a brief lunch stop before heading off up Devils Dyke up to Bleaklow cairn.

The Way was dry and a little arduous but the best was yet to come with the route down off Bleaklow on Clough Edge alongside the sharp drops down to Torside Clough a real walkers treat.

Torside Reservoir then opened up down the valley in the distance as the valley target into Crowden.

A pleasant, flat final couple of miles around the reservoir to Crowden Youth Hostel was taken with sore feet and aching limbs and walking into the Youth Hostel yet again met by Sherpa Ian was a relief for the first day, still basically physically and mentally in tact!

Crowden YHA is a whole different ball game to Edale YHA. Small, quiet, modern, with an air of peace about the place. A dorm of four beds with only three in and no hike up to bed!

16 miles, 2 peaks, 8 hours walking. Day One Done!

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