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Exploring the Peak District...
It can be pretty easy to forget that mountains are wild places. Even ones that are really close to our towns. This weekends beginners walk was a good example of that.
We set off from Castleton in the Peak District and wandered up Cavel Dale, surrounded by ancient scenery, limestone cliffs and looming hills, protected from the elements by our surroundings, but that was about to change…
When we were down at carpark level I’d asked everyone if they’d brought hats, gloves and waterproofs. Sometimes in summer these questions can seem really irrelevant, but everyone who was at this walk had got the message from the mornings weather; it was a bit cold and there was a good wind blowing.
I think I’m right in saying that I’m glad I wasn’t without my warm stuff once we got out onto the open section between our two climbs. Indeed, as we crossed the appropriately named ‘Windy Knoll’ we were all being occasionally blown off the path! And then we got onto the slopes of Mam Tor…
It was on the aforementioned slopes that I got everyone together in a group and told them what I expected of the conditions a little higher up; much windier, with a good chance of being blown over, if you take a bad step. Keeping the group together, we made our way onto the top, with the more cautions amongst us making their way straight over the top to shelter on the lee side of the hill.
That’s right, the wind was strong enough to lean almost 45 degrees into!
But, you know the best thing about our walk? That, despite some challenging conditions, absolutely everyone enjoyed themselves, got to know some new people and enjoyed the benefits of walking in a guided group in some of our most beautiful scenery.
Thanks to George for these words and leading the walk: