Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Running Up That Hill

                                      This post is much shorter than I expected it would be, due to adverse weather conditions …

                     At a suggestion made by my sister Susan, the pair of us had a walk up to the summit of Pendle Hill today. We had a good start, in reasonable conditions, and made fair progress. We began at Barley and walked up from the public car park, past the Pendle Inn and north through the village, turning left onto Pendle Way just before the road bridge that goes over the brook. The path is easy walking and well paved, passing over a couple of foot-bridges and through several stiles, past Ing Ends, Ing Head Farm, Brown House and Pendle House, before coming to the foot of Pendle itself. The climb, although reasonably well paved, is quite steep from here to the top – you really should wear walking boots if you’re planning a visit, as it’s easy to turn an ankle on the loose stones or wet grass. 

Once upon a time, I handled this ascent in my stride, but old age and riotous living are starting to take their toll and I had to stop at least twice to get my breath back. When we got to the trig point on the top, a brisk wind was blowing almost as much as myself and by the time we’d finished our soup and butties, this had developed into a moderate hurricane. Now, a stiff breeze is great for blowing away the cobwebs but there are winds and there are winds, and when you have to turn your back into it and crouch to take a breath, it’s probably just a wee bit too bracing for the discerning rambler. We sheltered behind a convenient wall and I managed to take a few photos but nowhere near as many as I’d planned – even though I’d lugged camera, lenses and tripod up the next best thing to a mountain. 

And then the rain started, just an odd spot to begin with, until it got its act together and built itself up into a respectably medium monsoon. Discretion proving to be the better part of valour, and after getting blown over (nothing that arnica cream and time won’t repair…), we decided by a majority vote that it might be best to come back down again, so down we came, slowly and wetly. 

The Cabin in the car park does a grand cup of hot chocolate and then we set off to look for some crinoid fossils in a nearby disused quarry (well, someone has to) but the rain had most definitely taken off its shoes, popped on its slippers, and settled in for the rest of the day by now. You know that when entire branches start to be ripped off the trees around you and the precipitation has given up on the whole concept of mere drops and decided that an uninterrupted torrent of descending water is going to be the way forward from now on, then maybe it is best to knock the whole thing on the head, go home and try again when the rain gods are away on their holidays.

On the plus side, I’ve been playing with the panorama option on the camera and stitched three shots together to produce this. Considering the conditions, it could have been worse, especially for a first attempt.

1 comment:

  1. All this is so true and more...but a good day was had by all and we will attempt another walk very soon. Never experienced wind like it and the rain looking for the fossils was a veritable monsoon! All good fun...x