Trough of Bowland Walk
Members: Dave Shotton, Lester Payne (both on shorter later walk), Kate Harvey, Simon Robertshaw, Michelle Harvie, Mark Garrod
Prospective Members: Caro Churchill, Maggie Baldock, Joe Dugdale, “Callum” (prospective 4-legged member)
There was a flurry of checking the day before the meet that, yes, we really were still going, despite the forecast of gale force winds and snow. Most of us met near the appointed time – well, OK, the meet leader was 10 minutes late, and we finally set off some 25 minutes later than planned. However, unfortunately, this was not tardy enough for Lester who cycled down to J33 of the M6 to be picked up by Dave, and brought through to the walk – just 60 minutes late. Dave and Lester gallantly trekked up Totridge behind the main group, but decided that a more direct return was sensible given the time.
Meanwhile, the rest of us got carried along, or sideways, by the gale force winds over Totridge, then along the broad ridge to Fair Snape Fell, with snow starting to shoot past us horizontally after a couple of hours walking. Callum showed great promise as a meet leader, continually checking behind him to see that we were all present and correct, although Joe advised not to follow if he found a rabbit warren. The meet promo said it might be boggy, or frozen if we were lucky – we are mostly lucky, with the bogs being semi-hard, but softer areas were numerous and well-hidden enough for most of the party to temporarily lose a limb to the mire at some point.
Despite the conditions, or because of them, we all enjoyed the hard going over Fair Snape Fell, took lunch out of the wind under a peat hag, then endured a sideways blast on the descent to Fiendsdale Head. To complete the set we then headed directly into the wind and snow on the path weaving along the hillside before the descent proper in Fiendsdale and Langden Brook, where we finally got out of most of the elements.
Our fellow walkers might be consoled to learn that Michelle and I were dozing off at 9pm that evening – the sign of a good walk. Brave effort for turning out.
Michelle Harvie and Mark Garrod