2015 11 07 Alport Castles

Storm Abigail was approaching the United Kingdom and the weather was to go downhill from the weekend onward.  The Saturday forecast was dismal and I don't blame anyone for turning over and going back to sleep.  If only............ four hardy souls were waiting for me at Snake Pass and what the day would bring on the weather front was not an issue or a topic.  We were dressed for the north pole.
We set off north on the Pennine Way and instead of turning east and into Herne Clough, we decided to make a slight deviation to High Shelf Moor to look at the large wreck of a superfortress "Over-Exposed".  She crashed on the 3.11.1948 killing all 13 Americans onboard.  The plane was flying from RAF Scampton and was on its way with the USAF wages to Lincolnshire.   We retraced our steps to descend on a faint trod down Herne Clough to The Swamp and Grains in the Water, which is at the head of the spectacular and remote valley of Alport.  Most of the valley is owned by National Trust and it is under going a re-wilding project at the moment which will take 40 years to complete. Below the castles is the farm Alport Castles Farm which was the childhood home of Hannah Mitchell, one of the Peak's most effective fighter for women's rights.  Above Alport Castles, which is the largest landslip in the United Kingdom the winds picked up to 50 to 60 mph.  This made it very difficult to walk the edge path and to appreciate the debris which towers over the valley and looks like castles.    We battled on and into blue skies and sun before crossing the River Ashop to commence our ascent of Blackden Clough.  Streams were in full spate and this made our progress more interesting to reach Kinder's northern plateau.  Our path from here was west and within minutes we left blue skies and we walked into thick clag. It was here that we picked up our first waif and stray.  Without going into too much detail, it was a fatility waiting to happen: miles off course, no equipment or knowledge of location, unsuitable dress (if any) and not a clue of the danger he was walking into.  We took him under our wing for about 3 miles until we descended near to William Clough.  Blow me we then picked another two strays who were lost.  Fortunately they were heading back to the Snake Pass and followed us.  After 21.5 mile, 3,500 feet of climb and 9 hours out we just got back to our cars in time before head torches were needed.
"Well that was an adventure" somebody exclaimed.  My dearest at  our age, that is as good as it going to get.