Striding Edge and Dogs.....

Q. Hi,

I`m sure many people are sick of hearing questions about dogs, but walking with my dog is a large part of the enjoyment both me and the girlfriend get from walking. I`m trying to find out how safe and advisable it is to do Striding Edge with a dog, as we are planning on doing Hevellyn in May.

We are both fairly new to walking, and this is our first walking trip out of the Peak District, where we live. We have done Kinder Scout many times in all weather conditions, aswell as the smaller walks like Win Hill etc etc. The dog has been fine on all of these.

I am aware that Striding Edge is a very narrow knife edge though, and don`t want to put the dog, ourselves or anyone else in danger. He is a well behaved dog, and will happily stick to the paths on command. We are also responsible owners, and have him on the lead when needed. From other peoples experience of this walk, would it be suitable for the dog? Do you see other dogs doing Striding Edge?

Thanks, any advice is appreciated.

Rob Ford, Chesterfield


A. I've taken dogs along Striding Edge and, apart from the rockstep, they've all coped reasonably well. At the rockstep, Ive climbed halfway down (or up) and had the dog passed to me. Going down, the pooch is lowered on a line attached to a harness; going up, its a hand up the bum and an instruction to "stay" (make sure that the dog is safe if it blobs off the top bit - sometimes their scrabblng just isn't enough to get them up) You have to be ready for an off-balance pull. Some dogs panic and wriggle and fight in these situations, which is a problem. You also have to be able to scramble with one hand! On balance, this might not be the best place to discover whether or not your team (including the dog here) would cope. You might consider doing some other rocky Cumbrian ridges to gain experience before you tackle this one with a dog. Don't even consider Sharp Edge, by the way!

Mike Knipe, Crook


A. Thanks for the reply Mike. I think the idea of trying other, less demanding ridges, prior to Striding Edge is a good one. I was just trying to gauge whether it could be done. It sounds as if it can, which is good to know, but i`ll do other ones first i think. Any recomendations as to which ones will always be appriciated! Thanks.

Rob Ford, Chesterfield


A. We took our Staffordshire bull terrier across striding edge.  After seeing a sheep in the valley bellow she broke away from the lead and jumped.  Not towards  red tarn, the other way!! We watched as the fluorescent coated fluff ball bounce and roll and bounced again until finally coming to rest about 1000ft bellow. Seconds seemed to pass as the reality hit us...   But then a miracle? An act of god? A significant challenge to Isaac newtons description of gravity? Shaking her self off as if recovering from a quick dip in river. She looked left and right and set her sights on the four mentioned ovis, once again continued her pursuit.  Now considerably hindered by the recent fall, never really hoping to achieving her goal and now hearing screaming voices on the wind, she look at the cliff face above her.   In heroic manner she made for scree.  Bounding at first, then scrambling, and finally making the ridge and collapsing at our feet.  After bandaging the large gash in her leg, We took the dog in our arms and started the long walk down.   The moral of the story is....

Mike Henshaw, Sheffield


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