PYW - Peak District Weekend 2011

Campers and walkers were -

Trevor (Leader), John, Claire, Debbie, Colin, Matt, Sarah, Simon, Ian, Chris, Clare, Sarah, Katie and Nick.

Friday 20th

The weekend began with first arrivals Trev, Matt and Colin; shortly followed by John and Claire, quickly decamping to alternative camp sites having sampled the facilities, or lack of facilities, at the 'Craggy Island' site. Soon Chris and Clare were also located and directed to the better site and then shepherded to the Ramblers Pub in Edale. The food and choice of real ale (5) turned out to be very good as was the choice of games on offer with Clare turning out to be the Guess Who? grand master.

Saturday 21st

Saturday's walk led by Trevor, would see us climb the notoriously windy Mam Tor not once, but twice. Meeting up with the other members travelling up on the day at the Mam Tor car park, our walk (helped along by the reward of chocolate éclairs for correctly answering points of interest questions), took us immediately up hill to the Mam Tor trig point then onto the ridge walk to Hollins Cross on the clearest of days.  Finally on to Lose Hill, where our chocolate éclair armed leader Trevor questioned us on the history of the names of Lose and Win Hill.

The day's weather was good, as we descended to Castleton for lunch and the pub for some, or to feed the Ducks for others. Our return journey retraced our steps to begin with then climbed steeply up to Hollins Cross. The steep climb saw layer after layer of clothing removed as the group heated up - all determined to beat the women in the white trousers who was dragging her reluctant looking husband to the top. Once at the top and a rest, the layers soon went back on before we headed back up to Mam Tor. Finishing the walk back at the car park Matt decided he hadn’t quite earned another pint yet, so decided to walk back to the camp site where the new arrivals joined him ready to erect their tents.

That evening we all met for a Meal at the Rambler Pub in Edale; a short walk for most, but another hike up over a hill for John and Claire whose tent was further away.  It was worth it for the quicker road walk where back they were guided home by darting bats. The pub was packed and our host Gareth (or was it Jake Debbie, or maybe Dave, who knows?) tried his best to look after us. After dinner it wasn’t long before Debbie was challenged by Clare to a game of Guess Who? having heard of her Scrabble expertise. With a little help from the earlier victims, Debbie managed to topple the previous nights' Champion. We won't mention Matt's cream flicking antics at the table!

During the night a storm blew in, complete with horizontal rain and howling wind, which frequently bent the tents sideways.  All part of the joy of camping and that lovely feeling that you are at one with nature, or rather reminding you that nature is in charge.

Sunday 22nd

Will it shine, will it rain? All awoke to on/off rain so dodged the showers to pack away their kit before heading off to Bowden Bridge car park for the start of the second circular walk up to the Kinder Scout summit. The walk headed straight up to the Kinder Reservoir where the weather began to deteriorate quickly as the steep walk up to the plateau began.

As we approached the plateau edge the rain began to turn to hail and the wind increased to gail force, easily knocking us off our feet if we did not watch our footing. Joining the Pennine Way we scaled the last steep section before approaching Kinder Downfall.   in between the showers, we found shelter long enough to have a quick lunch stop, before pushing on to the waterfall where the wind built again and was so strong the spray was going uphill. From here the walk to the summit trig was a two and a half degree centigrade, constant head-down battle against wind and rain/hail until we headed over the plateau to the summit. Even Katy who had been walking in a vest top decided to put a jacket on!

After a group photo we headed south again along the Pennine Way and then turning East at a Medieval Cross it was downhill to the car park along a very rough path. The walk was confirmed as 8.64 miles by gadget man Chris which combined with the climbs and weather was no mean feat, so well done to all.  The sun finally came out when we got in the cars and shut the doors. 

All in all, a great weekend camping and walking, one which really made you feel alive!

Thank you Trevor for a great weekend from all of us.