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Pennine Way Diary
Monday 15th May 2006 Day 13
The day started well with a superb breakfast at the YHA and no washing up this time. We stopped off at the tearooms to pick up our pre-ordered sandwiches and headed off following the YHA wardens instructions of a short cut to the PW. We got hopelessly lost and ended up in a crew yard full of cows. We then retraced our steps to yesterdays route and got back on track.
It was drizzling but the tops were clear which was a good job because today we hit the highest spot in the Pennines. The climbing was quite stiff and our first summit was Knock Fell at 2604 ft and then a mile later we reached the highest road in England which leads to the Radar station on Great Dun Fell. The golf ball shape of the radar loomed out of the cloud as we approached. There was then a flagstone walk down to Little Dun Fell. It was then that we first saw the rescue helicopter with its doors open obviously looking for someone. They buzzed us but saw that we were OK. A little later he passed us again heading along the PW toward Dufton.
We had a quick lunch before the big climb on to
Cross Fell. We climbed to the summit fairly easily and reached the
cairn at 2930ft. We stopped to take photos and for Eirlys to go to
the loo behind a wall when all of a sudden the helicopter came
across and it was obvious after a couple of moments he was going to
land right next to us. Poor Eirlys was caught with her pants down
and the two Peters were giddy with excitement when one of the rescue
chaps came to talk to them. They had responded to a mobile phone
call from a man who said he was walking the PW but was lying injured
and could not move. We gave them all the information we had and
promised to call if we had anything to report. Peter then spent the
next part of the walk hunting for a body down a hole.
After Gregs Hut it is a downhill walk of 6 miles along an old corpse road which we covered in 2 1/4 hours. It rained quite heavily on the way down and we were quite wet on arrival at our B and B in Garrigill but the landlady was not fazed and took all our wet clothes off us to dry. It was a lovely old cottage with comfortable bedrooms, we all had a bath and felt much better.
The pub was just across the road where were joined by Pat and Pete and all the talk was of the missing walker. The chap had stayed in Garrigill and was a bit weird and poorly equipped. The evening was tinged with sadness as this was the last time we would see P and P on the walk because they were splitting the next section into two days and would then be a day behind us for the rest of the walk. After lots of hugs and good lucks we returned to our digs for a good nights sleep.
Today could have been a nightmare day but the weather wasn’t too bad and we were pleased to have got Cross Fell under our belts.
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