Saturday, 30 June 2012

Pennine Way Day 7 - Dufton - Langdon Beck

June 30, 2008


1140 High Cup Nick 4.1 miles from DUF
Spectacular, as advertised ;)
Dufton YHA.
Leaving Dufton.
Panorama from High Cup Nick.
Imagine coming the other way - this would be a spectacular surprise!
1325 nr Birkdale 8.4 miles 
Right knee is now very very sore. Every step is difficult and painful. Stopped for a little rest to see if it improves. Must summon depths of stamina...
On the side of High Cup.
1605 Langdon Beck YHA
Apparently it's closed today but they are letting me stay anyway.

Went for dinner in the Langdon Beck Hotel down the road from the hostel. Must think clearly about the way ahead, given knee situation. Obviously I can't carry on for another 9 days of pain with every step. Misery.
Cow Green Reservoir. This is the source of the River Tees.
Anyway, drank some nice beer in the hotel, stopped contemplating failure as knee pain not there at the moment. "The Plan" is still good - tomorrow Middleton - go to Co-op and chemist for supplies. If successful - push on. Need to call home from there too because not likely to be signal for some miles tomorrow. Crazy fool plan to make for Tan Hill tomorrow - 25 miles. Crazy probably. But the first 8 miles should be reasonably easy going. Success in the whole endeavour is probably going to depend on what happens tomorrow. I don't want to go out from Middleton over those moors in the middle of nowhere if there's any doubt about my knee.
Cauldron Snout.
The highlight of today was definitely High Cup. The footbridge over Maize Beck is substantial - I guess it's new because the books tell of dodgy river crossings here. Cauldron Snout was brilliant too - the scramble down the rocks there wasn't particularly dangerous. Those people in the Dufton YHA were exaggerating. On the other hand they did put their bags into a taxi this morning, so perhaps they have a different outlook to me.

At Langdon Beck.
Langdon Beck YHA.
Day 7 Statistics
13.2 miles (121 miles since KY; 44.1%)
809m ascent
604m max elevation
time stopped: 0h42m
time moving: 5h31m
overall average: 2.1mph

Today was a nasty surprise. Years ago I had my anterior cruciate ligament reconstructed in my right knee. It has never given me much problem since but for some reason today it started hurting like hell. Every step on any kind of downward gradient - even a very slight one - was accompanied with a sharp knife-like stab in my knee. It's possible that I hurt it on the long descent yesterday from Cross Fell - it really is a long way all downhill - and I did it pretty quickly. In any case, this was a major low point morale-wise. I knew I couldn't possibly go another 9 days in this condition. My only hope was that it would correct itself by the morning. Otherwise, the PW adventure would end at Middleton-in-Teesdale. It would be an extremely bad idea to leave Middleton, knowing where the route goes (basically into the wilds), with any kind of physical problem.

View today's photos on a map at Flickr.

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