Reply to post: Re: Any Idiot...

Fancy yourself as a bit of a Ramblin' Man or Woman? Maybe brush up on your cartography


Re: Any Idiot...

Exactly. I can only guess that Doctor Syntax has never been hillwalking. Or at least I hope he's never been hillwalking, because clearly it's only good luck that has stopped him being another statistic for Mountain Rescue.

We have a favourite walk in the Peaks where we start at Hayfield, head up onto the north-west corner of Kinder Scout, drop off Kinder Scout at the south-west corner, and back down in plenty of time for a nice meal and a pint. Normally it's a beautiful walk. Except last year on August Bank Holiday, it was hailing sideways. I've been in the Peaks in some pretty unpleasant weather, including white-outs, but I've rarely seen it that bad in winter and never in summer. I made the call to turn back when it got too exposed. As we walked back, we warned people we passed that it was bad, and several of them overtook us on the way back having made the same call. (We were up there with my 8-year-old son, so not going as fast.) I strongly suspect that they felt more able to make the same decision after someone else had already done it. And we persuaded three groups who were ludicrously ill-equipped for the weather to turn round (two couples with no waterproofs, and a pair of guys wearing bin-bags as impromptu waterproofs, all in trainers).

All those people came down safely. One slip in trainers on wet grass though, and exposure would have set in so quickly that they would have been in real trouble.

We had done the same walk in June. It was so hot that people were sat having sandwiches on the dried-up bed of the Kinder Downfall waterfall, and the biggest risk was sunburn. Anyone who approaches the hills thinking that this is always the case though is a very real danger to themselves and those around them.

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