LEJOG31: Crowden to Stanage

Today was intended to be a short day, only 12 miles, almost a mini-rest day by recent standards. I climbed up the valley into Crowden to reach Laddow Rocks, a lovely crag of rocks overlooking the sweeping sides of the hills leading down to the brook below. The valley was simultaneously furry from heather and grass tufts and rocky from boulders and strips of crags poking out from under the foliage. It was a bit of a effort to get up, and the inevitable fell runner overtook me making it look incredibly easy, but I know my pace and (for a change) didn’t feel too inadequate when he shot past, nor when he passed me again less than an hour later going the other way on the way back from having reached my mid-way destination in the time it had taken me to just get up into the rocks.

After a while it started getting boggier, and I bumped in Stewart who was debating which was the best way to proceed as the path appeared to have sunk into the wet grass. We managed to find the right way and continued on a flagstone path across moorland towards Black Hill.

Coming down from Black Hill the landscape opened up revealing a panorama of big hills, covered in yellow and brown scrub and glowing in the sunshine. I made it down to the A635, a ribbon of fresh black tarmac strung across the landscape. The contrast between it’s perfect surface and the rough texture of the moorland was even more striking in the mid-day sun.

I crossed the road and took a sandwich break wessenden moor. I couldn’t have been there for more than twenty minutes but in that time I was passed by a guy attempting to do as much of the Penine way as quickly as possible as part of his training for the Berlin marathon (and as penitance for missing the Man U European cup final due to losing his passport), a german couple on holiday doing sections of the way (and telling me stories of another LEJOGer theybhad recently met), and finally Stewart, whom I had parted from on the way up to black hill.

After this I continued on through hilly moorland. The weather slowly changed from blazing sunshine to drizzle by the time I made it to my final destination of Stanage, a place which is basically two pubs on either side of the A-road out of Marsden. I passed by series of old reservoirs whose purpose was to lubricate the inhabitants of the surrounding area. They were strangely beautiful in their stillness, and fitted in with the sense of solitude and isolation of the moors.

At the pub I requainted myself with the chap who was running the Berlin marathon, and we exhanged stories of getting lost on our first day. While I was waiting for a friend to pick me up, he was about to attempt to complete another 16 miles and get to my next days destination by the end of that night. I hope he made it! Just at the same time he left Stewart arrived and so I continued chatting on.

For the next two nights I was being looked after by Pete, a uni friend who lived in Leeds and was going to be joining me on the walk for the next couple of days. Ironically on the way back to his house there was an accident on the motorway and we were stuck still for almost an hour. I felt like a it would have been quicker if we had walked there. However once we got there we had a lovely time, and decided that the best way to prepare for a 15 mile walk was by taste testing gin and whisky until 1:30am.

Sent from my iPhone

1 Response to “LEJOG31: Crowden to Stanage”

  1. 1 brendanbolger May 21, 2009 at 9:57 am

    which whiskys were you trying? did you feel that there would be any value in them being marketed as a collective? were you responding to a status or discernment motivation. šŸ˜‰
    work ‘in jokes’ I’m afraid – sorry everyone else….

    also brendan, i should point out that you need to start treading carefully in your landscape descriptions as you sneak ever closer to the ‘holy land’ of the east lancashire/west yorkshire/north yorkshire intersection.

    there are many people reading this that won’t like it if you are mean.and one of those is your girlfriend.

    watch it. šŸ˜‰

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