When I parked up, the thermometer read -2. At least it wouldn't be boggy on the top. I set off across the hard, icy fields and soon reached the edge of the moor at the Eastern top of the hill. I'd set off 15 minutes before sunset and as I ran across the plateau the last light of the sun shone across the moorland grass and heather, lending it a bronze tint. I found my way to the trig point then ran for some way along the cliff top which runs along the northern edge of the hill. The view over Wensleydale from here is quite something - especially when enjoyed in the light-headed, almost ecstatic state running can engender.
A mile or so later I realised I had to stop for a pee. I took off my gloves and held them under my chin. I had come to a stop in a glorious place overlooking the hills of Coverdale which, in the cold, clear air looked particularly bleak and magnificent. I spent a moment admiring the view.
I set off again. I'd only been running for a minute or two when I realised my hands were getting cold. My gloves! Of course, I'd been holding them under my chin. I must have dropped them somewhere in the heather.
I retraced my steps. I finally found them, still wet and steaming, where I'd stopped to admire the view. Be warned: it's impossible to admire a view and hold your gloves under your chin at the same time.
I took these photos of Pen Hill on a warmer day a while ago:
|Pen Hill: Southern Edge|
|Cotton Grass: Pen Hill Plateau|
|Pen Hill: cairn overlooking Coverdale|