Day Three – Friday May 28th 2015
Wind and a little rain blustered outside my shelter for most of the night. The showers were sporadic and short-lived and gone by dawn. The gusts were a fair test of the Stratospire and I am glad to say it passed with flying colours. These gusts were in the region of 30-40mph according to the forecast I read. An anemometer is on my list of Wanted Kit… Knowing the speed of wind and current air pressure can be very helpful when choosing a spot for a camp and to help predict conditions. Particularly useful on a multi-day trip when reception is poor or the forecast unreliable.
Despite the wind I’d had a good nights kip safe in the knowledge that my shelter was going nowhere and would keep me dry short of a drastic change of conditions. I woke shortly after sunup and set about packing up. I wanted to be moving asap to get the earliest possible train home from Bamford.
I took a few moments to video the effect of the wind on the Stratospire before packing it up. A nearby rock offered the perfect table and spot to sit and enjoy my Jordan’s Superberry Granola whilst looking at the great views.
The day looked to be starting where the previous afternoon left off: lots of blue sky and sun, a strong cool breeze blowing clouds in a steady stream to the eastern horizon.
As always on the 3rd day of any trip out in the hills I felt like I was just getting into my stride. The first day of any trip is always the most taxing and the second starts off slightly stiff, getting rapidly easier as the morning progresses. On the morning of the 3rd day you feel like you can keep going for days. This is helped by a lighter pack weight but that is not the sole reason. For those who are more or less active than me this may not hold true.
By 9am I was striding loose and easy along the well trodden path along Derwent Edge. I’d already espied a few runners when I had been enjoying my breakfast. Not long after setting out along the path southward I passed the first of a number of day hikers I was to see today. This is a popular part of the High Peak.
Whether it was the number of people about putting me off, the sense of flowing rhythm in my stride or the vague need to get to Bamford for the 1243pm train to Sheffield – I didn’t take any photos between the Wheel Stones and the far side of Cutthroat Bridge.
It was a cool day and most of the folk I’d seen were wearing jackets and hats if not gloves too. At Cutthroat Bridge i was greeted my a middle-aged lady who remarked: ‘Oh your brave! Its very cold!’ Having been out since 2 days previously I had become acclimatised to conditions. I responded briefly with something along those lines as I carried on my way. She, her husband and their two friends had no doubt just gotten out of their warm cars. They were wrapped up in hats, gloves and heavy Goretex jackets. I wore only my summer-weight Merino top and cap and had been striding energetically for close to 2 hours by this point.
The views across Ladybower to Winhill were inspiring: its good to see where you were on the landscape a day or two before. When walking the South West Coast Path from Bude to Newquay 15yrs ago I remember being able to see a stretch of coast I had walked along 4-5days previously.
Jarvis Clough proved to be an ideal spot to stop for a quick lunch break. Down there the wind was minimal and the suns rays stronger.
The stiff short clamber up onto Bamford Moor and Bamford Edge was soon over. Views of the whole southern section of Ladybower Reservoir, Win Hill and a large portion of the Hope Valley opened up before me. The conditions were near perfect for a walk.
A well-spoken fellow in well-worn hiking gear of indeterminate age but definite quality (the clothing that is, not the fellow himself) stopped to speak for a minute or two. I was conscious of the time but civil. He gave me a fairly pertinent piece of information – apparently the main footpath down into Bamford along Bamford Clough was closed due to a fallen power line or some such and had been for some time apparently. Looking at the map as I went on my way I reckoned it was likely the same path I wanted.
Damn. It could mean between making the 1243 service to Sheffield or having to wait an hour for the next one. Looking at it philosophically if I missed the first at least I could get a pint or two in the local whilst awaiting the next one. Still, I was on the home straight now and ready for home so I kept the bit between my teeth. I put away my camera and marched on.
From the road it was plain that the path the friendly fellow had spoken of was definitely the one I wanted – the most direct route into Bamford. The workaround route was an extra kilometre. Still do-able but it would be very close.
Into Bamford and regretably passed the pubs there – though I might yet be back for a visit very soon…
It was not to be however.
I made it to the Station with 5 minutess to spare, slightly footsore but light of spirit after a few good days in the hills.
Thanks for reading.
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