Starting from Crowden campsite is a bit weird. The way you are supposed to go is
West along a track, up a slight rise to the Pennine way sign and then strike north
along a bold path. Boldly etc. Nuts to that.
There is, however, a much better, if slightly more complicated, route which we
discovered because we are incompetent navigators who should on no- account
be allowed to walk the Pennine Way unattended.
After leaving the campsite to the main track there is, in front of you, another track
that sets off northward rising slightly. If you follow this to a gate (left) by a run-off
channel full of brackish water and then go along the channel roughly northwest,
you come to a footbridge over a dam. Cross over, admiring how the river in spate
has moved huge stone blocks. At the other side, cross over the style to the right
and folow the path up the hill to the PW. If this doesn't work you are lost.
It is hot again but very hazy, as are we. We are going very fast and the sweat
pours off me in rivulets. It collects at my shoulders and form lakes which overflow
and flood my shins, leading to a good harvest along the Nile.
We zoom up to Oaken clough and pause.
J dangles his feet in the water. They make a noise like 'shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh'
and the brook is obscured by steam. The view back across Crowden, Torside,
Bleaklow and apparently Some of Kinder, is fantastic. J leans on his stick, which
"Thats what its all about isn't it" He smiles and takes in the view some more. The
day warms and so do we. Mark finds some biscuits from somewhere and shares
them round. Biscuits???
We Climb to Laddow Rocks and sweat some more. For some reason I keep
seeing the ground in front of me waver as if through water. I feel cold and shiver. I
pull myself together and go on up. Must be just tired.
Laddow Rocks. They are much taller than they seem in this picture.
The view here is even better, and we sit down for a while to savour it. Mmmmm
Lime flavoured view! I consult the folds in my shirt and decide we are on- track.
Far away south, down at Crowden there is a rumbling noise followed by a distinct
percussion and an obvious shockwave. A small dust cloud emerges from the
trees and heads, at fantastic speed, north in a straight line towards the PW,
ignoring property, fences, rivers etc. Livestock runs in panic. The earth trembles
slightly. Flocks of birds fly.
"That'll be Clive then" remarks Dunc.
We look north. in front of us rises bleak moorland (as usual) but on the skyline
broods Black Hill. Even on a day like this and at this distance it forebodes. It isn't
really much to look at but even just looking you can hear it squelch somehow.....
There is a bit of PW just here where you are supposed to cross Crowden Great
Brook then cross back again...Don't cross! - just walk round. I expect its what the
path does now. Clive however has a story about this......Which he relates to us at
the end of the day......