The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Ward’s Stone


“You do choose some good routes” said Mick not long into yesterday’s walk. I took it as a compliment, even though the fact that he uttered the words whilst contemplating how to get across a boggy wallow suggested that there may have been more than a little sarcasm present. That boggy wallow actually turned out to be one of very few wet areas we encountered, as the night had been cold enough to freeze the ground solid, and thus instead of slip-sliding our way messily along the wet, bare-peat path along our ridge, we crunched our way across the frozen surface.

So, the frozen ground was the big bonus of the day. On the negative side, by the time we had ascended from Jubilee Tower up to our ridge, the day had transformed from dry and bright to low cloud and rain and thus we didn’t get to see much of our surroundings. From what I could observe, we were walking across a substantial area of peat moorland, but that’s about as much as I can say.

By the time we reached the summit of Ward’s Stone, I paced the limit of the visibility out at under 50 yards, but it wasn’t restricted enough to hide my ridiculous pose on the top:


The rain hadn’t felt too bad on the outward leg of our walk, but it turned out that was because it was on our backs. It was rather less pleasant once we turned back towards our start point, but, by good fortune, after half an hour or so, it petered out.

The cloud did not lift when the rain stopped; on the contrary, it was far lower than we had appreciated, enveloping our starting car park too; we were nearly back at Colin before we saw him.

Whilst I would have preferred to have seen our surroundings (because, based on everything else we’ve seen over the last few days, I feel sure they would have been worth seeing), it wasn’t a bad little outing. It came in at 7.7 miles with 1200’ of ascent.

Given the conditions, the afternoon was spent with heads in books.

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