Short Days – are you prepared ?

There has been a noticeable trend in recent years for the number of late afternoon and evening callouts to rise, particularly just after the clocks have gone back and when schools are on half term. The sudden reduction in daylight hours and the steady deterioration of the weather into winter catches people out.

This week has been no exception with clear freezing nights mid-week and then strong and chilling winds on Saturday, made worse by low cloud and drizzle on the tops for most of Sunday.  It’s a tricky time of year to know what to wear as the weather can be so changeable, from mild and muggy to freezing hail.

Kinder and the other Peak District moors are not as high as some of the UKs classic mountains but they need just as much respect especially at this time of year.  The key is to take note of the weather forecasts and always be prepared.  Remember that weather forecasts are usually aimed at lower levels.  Temperature drops with altitude and the windchill can make matters much worse.  Strong winds and boggy ground can be very tiring and the need for constant navigational vigilance can add significantly to the journey time.  Darkness falls quickly in rainy conditions: don’t get caught out, but add a little extra time to your route plan.

Much of the ground is waterlogged and some of the paved paths are slippy so good boots are essential.  One youth stretchered off Kinder this weekend was wearing just jeans and trainers!  And don’t forget those little extras that you hope you’ll never need: torch, whistle, survival bag and some high energy food.

Rambling is a pastime for all seasons, you just need to take some sensible precautions.

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