Up and over

Slithering on steep limestone steps buried beneath an icy carpet of hail stones on what was meant to be a short run up and over Pen-y-Ghent - one of many to rebuild strength in the knees, the last few having left me limping for days - the irony of the likely consequences of a slip were not lost on me.
The steep bit, in a break between showers. In gale force winds, at times it was impossible to do anything but watch my feet as hail stones stung any exposed flesh and blinded me instantly on looking ahead.
From the summit, I looked across toward Ingleborough and another band of hail rushing into the Dales. Easier going led to the top of Plover Hill at the northern end of Pen-y-Ghent's broad ridge. Running back into the teeth of the gale was a wild, exhilarating and painful experience culminating in the short sharp descent toward Dale Head where I slowed and slithered through the upper band of gritstone and then worse, the lower band of limestone.
A view of the familiar bulk of Pendle before dropping back more gently into Horton in Ribblesdale to complete the 12km route with approx. 500m of ascent / descent. 

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