Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Up Ringing Roger, Down Jacob's Ladder

I paid a visit to the Peak District's Hope Valley today. Starting in Edale, I did a roughly 7 mile circular walk ascending Ringing Roger via Ollerbrook Clough around The Nab, traversing the many hollowed living wind- sculptured gritstones with excellent views across the valley. After wandering as far as Edale Moor and taking in the undisturbed vista of the SW Pennines, I came down Jacob's Ladder, via Kinder Low which is the start of the Pennine Way. For large parts of this walk there was nobody to be seen, and on Edale Moor that rare and beautiful confluence of spots of jeweled rain and strong sun rang out cooling blessings on my grateful head. I am sure there is something metaphysically wrong with descending Jacob's Ladder rather than going up, but I'll leave that one to the philosophers to untangle. Coming down the path, I realised my very first plateau climb was Kinder Scout just over 30 years ago, and how despite the discomfort and feeling I was going to die at the time, it had made an indelible mark on me as a lifelong fell walker. Circular walk, 30 years of walking, the howling smoothed skin of the rocks; there were many circles to contemplate in the late afternoon sun, with the chattering of twites and the lazy nodding cotton grass.

Music: Ri Na Cruinne, Clannad (1990)
Photography: The Bohemian Budgie
By North Utsire

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