I had a really good day today despite the weather being far from ideal, as illustrated by the photographs below. Some idiot had the idea of turning the clocks back last night, which I was oblivious to when I agreed to leave at 0630. So in effect that was me out of bed at 0430.
Paul picked me up at M6J10 and we headed off to Glossup via Congleton. The idea was to park on a hairpin bend just outside Glossup on the road running out to the East. We drove past this bend without noticing and didn’t get to pursue the planned route. Even at this point we were immersed deeply in cloud.
We stopped at a layby which we discovered to be that at Nether North Grains, and decided to head up the Doctors’ Gate path on to the Pennine Way.
We planned to take in Bleaklow, and Higher Shelf Stones which is a Nuttall that Paul hadn’t completed. If it was clear and we could see across on ascent, then we would probably take Higher Shelf Stones first.
I think that it is quite fair to say that I had a relatively blond day today, displaying both my lack of experience of walking in the Peak District and a distinct lack of sleep. I spent the day referring to the Pennine Way as the Cumbria Way, and to Higher Shelf Stones, for some reason, as Clough Head! Fortunately I did not walk around all day with 99 red ballons in my head like t’other week at Langdale!
We had a brief view of Higher Shelf Stones from the Pennine Way, but we were too low to cross to it, and by the time we were high enough all visibility had gone. We proceeded straight up the Pennine Way and up on to the summit of Bleaklow.
After some deliberation, due to the visibility, as to if we should proceed, I set the compass to a SSW bearing, and off in to the wilderness we plodded.
Much to my amazement, and even more so to Paul’s, we hit the embankment where it drops steeply exactly as intended, bumping into some guys from Bedford before pausing for lunch at Lower Shelf Stones.
We then duly proceeded on to Higher Shelf Stones. It was a bit of a jaunt to rejoin the Pennine Way, I think I was guilty of over compensating to the North to avoid any steep drops to the South, but eventually we found the path, and proceeded back down it to the car park. Here we bumped again into the group from Bedford, before going back to the car.
The visibility was as poor at road level as it had been on Bleaklow, and it was this that put me off reascending up on to Kinder, so we had a browse around the Buxton Book Fair instead…..going out to bag something else tomorrow – I have the suncream packed!