Saturday me and Abbi set out from the Snake Pass Inn to recce a route she had plotted as a possible group run. The forecast was cold with possible snow showers turning to rain, with Black Ice on the roads. We set off onto Snake Path and found the equivalent of black ice on the trails. I expected slippy rocks, but the mud was ice and you couldn't see it! With the rain beginning to fall I popped my emergency waterproof trousers on, something I was very glad of later.
Getting up onto Kinder the weather was getting bad, very windy and basically ice falling from the sky, all our zips on our rucksacks were frozen shut! We made a decision to drop down off the edge and follow a lower path, unfortunately there was no actual path on the ground so it was hard work making our way across Moor land. With Abbi's dogs getting good frozen fur, they're cockapoo's so more fur than chip, and it starting to get close to getting dark, we got my emergency shelter out (which I nearly didn't carry), got the dogs defrosted, added some layers, got zips defrosted to get my head torch out. We then made a plan to drop to the path we had come up on and it was easy to follow.
We got down to the other side of the river and found a footbridge to cross, only it was covered in sheet ice and had no sides. The only way across was to crawl. Chip refused the bridge and went across the river, only trying to use a rock to stay drier she slipped into the river on her back, I had to crawl the rest of the way across the bridge and pull her in and drag her out, fortunately she was in three coats and she stayed warm! When Abbi crawled across she lost her map, glad we both had a map with us. All that was left then was to slowly pick our way back down the path as it got dark. But at least we were confident with how to get back.
We were so glad to get back to the road and back to the vans, it was straight in, get chip changed, get me changed and then into the pub for tea.
It's a long time since I've felt that scared on the hill and shows how important it is to carry emergency kit. So glad to be there with someone else with the hill experience and the right kit.
We decided that it wasn't ideal as a group run as no good bailout options and the weather can change so quickly up there.