Days Out

Sharp Edge

Just as quickly as it came the snow has gone – plans for today have had to change quickly – but as today was supposed to be training for winter a certain level of challenge was still required.

Matt’s with me today – and he’s fully kitted out for winter -so thinking of his poor feet in their brand new B3 boots I decide on a short but sharp (comedy gold) day out.

On what could be considered a summers day we must look an odd pair – heavy packs, big boots – whilst runners are passing us still in shorts as we make our way up from Scales Farm. It’s a nice steady track that quickly leaves the noise and bustle of the A66 behind and soon we’re engrossed in watching a kestrel hover, dip and dart along the hillside in front of us.

After Swirral Edge’s lack of views the air quality today is amazing – and the temperature is still rising – not even the north eastern gullies have any of the last weekend’s snow left. We crest the 450m contour and gently descend above the river Glenderamackin – now there are more runners – a fell race is taking place.As good as they are all the runners are surpassed by the farm collie who runs from front to back time & again trying to round up this unruly flock, we continue on and soon they’re gone.

At the Tarn we head rightwards whilst others head left for the larger path to the top. I’m a little surprised how busy it is, there seems to be a lot of people taking on Sharp Edge today, but well it is such a nice day.

We stop for lunch at the start of the ridge proper. A couple of slightly older gents pass us, high five each other and set off up the ridge, one friend clearly leading the other. Matt & I pack up, put the poles away & set off.

Quickly, too quickly in fact, we catch up the high five guys. The more nervous of the two is now crawling – “are you OK?” – garners the reply “I’m trying to conquer my fear of heights…”

We move on – buts its odd to see that Matt & I are walking along chatting on the top of the ridge, whist these chaps are crawling, weaving, climbing up & down and eventually coming to a complete standstill. Something is not right.

Matt, shiney boots and Peter in the background.

I have a quick chat with Matt & decide I’m going to have to go back & help. Peter has not conquered his fear of heights and his friend is now at a loss to help him, to all intents they are crag fast halfway along the ridge. I sit down, introduce myself and explain what I do for a living and tell Peter that I’d like to help him. With the quick addition of a rope we’re underway and twenty minutes later a very relieved Peter and friend are on the path above the edge.

Now I don’t mind helping someone at all, and I’ve nothing but respect for someone who can challenge themselves and face their fears in so direct a manner. But neither of them had a rope or the skills to use it, they didn’t actually know what the route was like and they had no plan for dealing with potential problems that, being honest, were likely to arise. For either of them, and possibly more so Peters friend, a day out with an instructor would have been money wisely invested.

Matt & I – we mooched over to the summit, had a hot drink and ambled back to the car – it was time to get those winter boots off!

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