My eldest son, James, has decided to get back into walking. I was thinking of going on a backpack, but felt that probably the best bet would be a day walk to ease him back into walking. As he was working over the weekend, we decide to go Monday (30th December). The weather forecast did not look too promising, rain with gales up to 65mph, but easing by early to mid-afternoon.
Just in case it was worse, I didn’t want to travel too far and then have to turn back. I also needed to collect some Montane Prism insulated trousers which were half price in a sale in Sheffield, so I decided on a round trip to Stanage Edge from Hathersage. This would be a repeat of the trip I did in October 2011
It didn’t look too promising when we arrived at Oddfellows car park in Hathersage, it was raining quite hard and pretty breezy, but the walking to Stanage Edge from the town centre through country lanes and farm tracks to the moors was relatively calm in comparison to what was to hit us later on.
Leaving the shelter of the wooded valley and up onto the moors, we were soon hit by the wind, fortunately this was from behind pushing us up the steep stretch of road to the car park at Stanage Edge.
We climbed quickly up the short steep pull from the car park and as we stood on top of the escarpment, the full force of the wind hit very nearly knocking us off our feet. We steadied ourselves and moved forward along the cliff edge. The wind was blowing straight over the edge, so in a way it was quite safe, because if you fell off the edge, you would be blown back up to land on your feet
Our first goal was to make for a stone shelter I knew a little away from the trig point at High Neb. Despite having trekking poles to steady myself it was an amusing if somewhat tiring walk along the cliff path keeping my balance. Imagine if you would the dozens of little streams flowing off the edge being blasted back up by the wind. As we walked crab like at times, we were periodically blasted by jets of water. I imagined one of those bad “Nintendo type games” where there were little trolls hiding in the rocks aiming Karcher power jet washers at us at every point along our route.
See the video below for details of the game!
Well James and I achieved maximum points, as we were not deflected from our goal and got to the stone shelter out of the wind for some lunch.
We sat, discussing why sheep are so stupid. I half expected to turf out a load from the shelter, but we found none. There they were outside in gale force winds lying in the heather. As one time owners of a small flock, we used to build them shelters to get them out of the worst of the weather and even when the temperature fell to minus 19C a few years back, you would never found them in there.
We packed up and headed back out into the maelstrom. From High Neb the route descends Stanage Edge and makes for Bamford Moor. The only problem was we would have to do this facing directly into the wind, which unlike the weather forecast seemed to be getting strong. I don’t know the wind speed which will blow a man off his feet, but I think we were reaching it!
We decided to go back the way we came, past those trolls with their power washers and descended out of the worst of the wind. After scoring maximum points again – we were getting pretty good at this! we made our way back to Hathersage for a hot drink and poke around the outdoor shops. We certainly blew those cobwebs away!