I've just tried to pre-walk the route I mapped out for a stroll for the upcoming ID weekend. All started jollily enough with well marked footpaths meandering through the Autumnal loveliness; a leaf-kicking, hymn-humming stomp that matched the map turn for turn.
But then the rain lashed in, the map started to dissolve and the marked paths became less clear. Kicking myself for not bringing a compass I bashed on trying to complete the circle but it became increasingly unclear in the woodland the bearing I needed to be taking.
Further to the inclement weather, the soluble map and the absent compass, I needed to be somewhere else by 1pm and was rapidly running out of time.
Eventually a rapid jog retracing the route was the only option and was duly taken.
A humbling experience given that I hold a BELA, "expedition leader" award. I will now have to attack the circle from the other side early on Saturday morning and check that it is navigable.
Does go to show though why it is a good idea to pre-walk (or try to) routes you plan to take a group on.