On a very windy night due to the onset of Storm Caroline arriving at ours shores a select band of 8 warts started on a typically Harmerian run by parking at the end of first inlet on the dams up from Fairholmes.
We started on a nice track which very quickly gave up as we started to ascend the Ouzelden valley, really more like river bed. After much toing and froing we eventually found small muddy trod on the left hand ascending bank and proceeded to follow this to the top. It frequently disappeared and was plagued by muddy roots and broken down or blown down trees. We soon heard a couple of voices wondering who else would be daft enough to venture out on such a night, only to be joined by James and Callum.
After numerous slides and tumbles we arrived at the top of the valley and climbed the fence to more open terrain. The next “checkpoint” was a cairn down a steep slope on a small plateau, apparently. So we all set of directly into a very strong southwesterly wind over the tops and then a steepish descent. When we reached a valley and wall we were not where we had intended to be if indeed such a place existed, so we followed the wall for what seemed like an appropriate amount of time then climbed the steep slope that we had just descended but further round the corner. The strong wind now behind us made this ascent slightly easier.
On rendezvousing at the wall the two whippets decided they wanted a longer run than the old men so they disappeared north whilst the remainder of us headed back to the woods via contradictory bearings. On our way over some awful tussocky terrain we came across a previously unknown aircraft wreck and shortly after a small pond which can be seen from google earth.
We resumed following our finally chosen bearing to come across a steep descent to the trees and valley. Tim Ray shouted that it was ok and disappeared. As the rest of us got to the edge of a pretty decent cliff, we all had to take the climb down one at a time using a small rowan tree sticking out of the cliff face as assistance. Once down a nice descent down the valley back to the cars and off to the Ladybower for suitable beverages.
A very typical Harmerian experience.
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2018
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