The day was fine but with a stiff breeze. From Hardraw our route took us north west over easy ground, apart from a stretch of dense, head-high bracken which, to be fair, we had been forewarned about. Arriving in Cotterdale at 11.40am we all agreed it was time for first lunch. Having done well over 3 miles and being exhausted from bracken-bashing, we all thought we deserved it, even those who had had coffee and flapjack before leaving Settle.
From Cotterdale we went up the zig-zag trail through the plantation. When we eventually caught up with Flo (who was waiting patiently for the stragglers ie everyone else) she said we were taking a different route to that planned. It seemed that the good track heading north to Jinglemea wasn’t boggy enough for her liking so instead we headed east straight up the hill to join the Pennine Way. I think this was just a ruse to get us moving faster, stand still for a moment and you’d disappear in the mire. Once on the slab path of the Pennine Way we made good time heading north to the top of Great Shunner Fell. We all agreed it was time to stop for second lunch and take in the views so we tried to get out of the cold wind in the summit shelter.
Heading back southwards along the Pennine Way, we stepped off the Millstone Grit and on to limestone and Flo pointed out some spectacular fossils that looked like tyre tracks.
After about an hour of descent we all agreed it was time for another stop. I was out of tea by now but still it was good to sit in the sun and be out of the wind. The locals didn’t seem to mind the intrusion.
Another mile or so and we were back in Hardraw where, thankfully, the tea shop was still open and a minor tea crisis was averted.
Thanks to the leader for leading and to the drivers for driving. Another quality outing.
Summary. Distance: 10.5miles. Ascent: 1820ft. Avg speed: 2.1mph. Fatalities: 0.
Relive track (recorded by Shirley): https://www.relive.cc/view/rt10007445865