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3 posts • Page 1 of 1
A contrasting walk to Kinder Scout.
by trailmasher » Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:47 am
Hewitts included on this walk: Kinder Scout
Date walked: 16/08/2017
Time taken: 4.24
Distance: 14.44 km
Ascent: 529m4 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
After our good fortune with the weather on Tuesday whilst visiting Bleaklow Head etc it looks like we are going to have something similar today, Wednesday, and although it rained during the night the ground was, by now at 7:30am, dry. The clouds were quite low again but seemed to be lifting as we ate breakfast and then prepared to set off and drive to Barber Booth our chosen place to start the walk today.
Barber Booth wasn't too far away from where we staying and only took us a matter of 25 minutes to drive there where, upon arriving at the hamlet we couldn't find the car park. The hamlet is named as Edale although according to a local we were at Barber Booth and he kindly directed us to the car park that is along a lane that runs alongside the railway line. The reason that we missed it was that as we drove under the railway bridge there was no obvious way only forward but upon speaking to the local chap we saw that we should have turned left along a narrow lane immediately upon passing beneath the bridge. As we turned down the lane we just about saw a dirty black and brown sign post that was camouflaged into the surroundings.
A good few metres down the track we arrived at a large well made up car park at approximately SK107847 with only one other car to keep ours company for now. It didn't take us many minutes to get bagged up and boots on before we were off along the long metalled lane that would take us through the fields to the tree surrounded Upper Booth. From Barber Booth to Kinder Downfall we will be following the Pennine Way so there is no chance of losing one's way for quite some time.
From Upper Booth the lane is reduced down to the bog standard farm track that is in good condition throughout as we made our way towards Lee House where we got held up whilst the farmer and her two sheep dogs coaxed a herd of Belted Galloway cows as they made their way down the lane to turn off to pastures new. There are but a few buildings at this place with the farm offering accommodation in the bunk barn and at the camp site.
Once that we had free passage along the lane we continued on towards the foot of Jacob's Ladder with it's very narrow stone built footbridge…
over the head of the River Noe that looks like it is the culmination of quite a few watercourses that are running down from Edale Head and are marked collectively as The Cloughs on the OS Map. Just to our left we had a good view of the grass covered Horsehill Tor. The track is still good as it gently rises and follows the river and line of trees that lie in a shallow depression on the left and an enclosing wall to the right. Raising our eyes skywards we could see the large rocky mound of Edale Rocks and further around to the east a large knob of rock is on the skyline that I think is the Noe Stool.
After passing through a gate that has a very long step stile - it's as long as a bench seat - at the side of it we soon arrived at the foot of Jacob's Ladder, a wide, steep and mostly stepped stone paved section of path that begins to climb immediately the bridge has been crossed. It appears that the 'steps' were made as a short cut and ease of climbing the fellside in the 1700's by a local farmer who went by the name of Jacob Marshall and lived at Edale Head House whose remains can be seen just on a level patch of ground just off the southwest side of the path. By now the sun was out and the temperature was rising as was ours as we made our way steadily upwards stopping now and again to take a look back on ourselves and the view that is mostly enclosed within the confines of the hills but they look grand with the sun and cloud shadows racing across them.
Before too long we arrived at the top of the 'Ladder' where we stopped for a breather and drink besides a large cairn from where the views were excellent to the southeast with a touch of Edale showing through the gap in the hills. To the east we could see across the area of 'The Cloughs' to find the Noe Stone and the Wool Packs looking quite near at hand.
From the cairn the path is paved for a short distance and then becomes a well stoned up one for a short while before appearing as much of the Pennine Way does as it's paved with those big and old mill reclaimed stone slabs. As we climbed so the views got better.
We didn't bother having a look at the Edale Cross but carried on up the Swine's Back to make our way to Edale Rocks. The rocks are very large and the one nearest the path has a very long overhang that would make me think twice before settling down beneath it for a night in the wild. We clambered around the rocks for a few minutes before setting off to continue along the Pennine Way.
All we have to do now is follow the good path of the PW to Kinder Scout with the views from Edale Rocks to Kinder Downfall predominately to the west as the slightly higher ground of Edale Head blocks any views from the east. It's not far to Kinder Low and literally took all of 8 minutes to get there from Edale Rocks to find the OS trig column parked atop a large grey boulder that is surrounded by others of various sizes and convoluted shapes from where the vast moorland stretches as far as the eye can see.
Despite the sun that is fighting its way through the now thickening cloud once we were stopped the cold breeze was felt through our clothes and E felt it prudent to put another layer on as we sheltered behind one of the grit stone boulders for a drink and bite to eat. Two lads passed us at Lee House and one has just walked by, one of those healthy sorts wearing nothing but a T shirt and shorts, no back pack, just a bum bag. He wasn't a fell runner as he was wearing a good pair of walking boots so we hoped for his sake as well as our own that the weather would stay dry.
We were just about to leave when having a last look at the trig column I spotted a little white tube that was being used to hold a small bunch of poppies.
From here to Kinder Downfall the path is a bit rougher than what we had previously walked on to get to this point but it is underfoot conditions that I much prefer to the long paved walkways across the moors and bogs that I understand are there for our good and comfort when walking in such like surroundings. I like the feel of rock and dirt beneath my boot soles, the dodging about amongst the stones and rocks, much more preferable to the feeling of walking along a grey corridor of paving slabs for mile after mile with each step being the same length and pace, the only excitement being if a slab has sunk into the peat and an extra long stride has to be made to avoid getting wet feet. The Rangers and volunteers do a great job in keeping the paths and tracks in good nick and their efforts are well known and appreciated throughout the walking community. Myself and E are both in the National Trust and always chuck a few quid into the bucket when coming across the gangs toiling away in all weathers, so well done them.
We continued walking north towards Cluther Rocks and Red Clough…
from where we had a decent view to the west with a hint of Kinder Reservoir in front of the purple covered hills beyond it. As we walked along the PW we had extensive views over to the west and the towns and cities of Derbyshire, Cheshire, and Manchester Airport that stayed with us for a fair amount of time as we walked along.
Another short walk brought us to the large and deep declivity of Kinder Downfall that due to the fair weather that we are currently enjoying is down to a mere trickle falling down from the Kinder River but despite the lack of a great volume of water the strong wind was managing to turn the water back on itself as it rebounded off the rock face.
There were a few people sat around just here and we had passed quite a few going in the opposite direction to us so just now it's a busy place to be but of course we are at the junction of paths where the ones from Crowden Clough and Grindsbrook Clough joins the Pennine Way as it leaves the Kinder River. This is where we decided to have our lunch and a seat in a sheltered spot out of the wind but in the weak sun that was fighting the clouds just now. Just a few feet forward of the next photo is the drop into the lower section of the River Kinder.
As we sat and ate we watched the stream of walkers as they appeared from the southeast having walked up the Kinder River with one chap complaining that he had gone up to his knees in a bog whilst his friend who had white pants on had nary a spot on himself.
Once fed and watered we prepared for our next step of the walk that we knew would not be as easy as the journey to here as we are now going to walk across the wet lands of Kinder Gates and Kinder Scout and just looking at the map with the spiders web of watercourses doesn't fill one with positive thoughts about the journey. It is just one massive tract of moorland and one that we have read many tales about regarding the bogs and massive peat hags, tales that I have not altogether been forthcoming to with to E, but what one doesn't know about…
We set off to follow the River Kinder first of all along a well worn path…
that was soon to change as that runs out to a narrow strip of soft ground that at times hugs the west bank and we found it easier - as did many others coming in the opposite direction - to actually walk in the river bed, in water that thankfully was in short supply and barely covered our bootlaces. We were the only ones walking southeast and after a while the foot traffic quietened down with only the odd soul appearing now and again. We came across one young chap who hailed from Belgium and was asking for directions as he had been wandering around for quite some time having lost his way whilst following a mapping app on his smart phone, had wandered onto the open moors and as luck would have it stumbled back onto the River Kinder after being lost for quite some time.
What we was looking for was a grough that would - or should - take us in the direction of Kinder Scout and therefore was looking for an opening to our right - the west side of the river - and upon seeing a well worn path took off on that as it was going in roughly the right direction. Before too long I realised that we were actually heading away from our target and had to swing around to the east to try and find our intended grough. After a few metres of walking through large clumps of grass and heather we came across the one that we wanted and I realised that we should have walked on until we had arrived at the point where the Grindsbrook Clough path bears off to the left at SK089883 and the grough, marked by a small cairn, bears off to the right. On our short walk through the rough we came across some sheet piles driven into the ground forming a pool of water behind it and realised that it was water conservation works in an attempt to maintain the water levels on the fast drying moors. We were to see many of these as we walked along and found that the ideal place to pass these was to walk directly to the front of the piles where the ground was firm and dry whilst some of the larger groughs were dammed with large blocks of stone.
The grough, once we had found it was fairly wide to start off with but narrowing as it wended its way into the moors and carried a good path with it that only ran out as we were nearly at the summit of Kinder Scout.
Despite all my fears of being knee deep in bog and climbing in and out of large peat hags my fears were dispelled as the walk along the grough was quite pleasant and dry although there is nothing to see as we were below the level of the moor top. The grough works its way steadily south with the odd wiggle and as we progressed ever forward so the path slowly deteriorated to a thin trod though still easy to follow. At one point we had to do a cross over from the east side of the grough to the west via a dam made from large flat stones but after a short distance we were back on the east side and moving quite quickly. The grough has slowly risen out of the depths of the moor and we could finally see something, and that something was mile upon mile of endless brown and green patches of moorland. There is an abundance of grass that has now turned to seed with clumps of fruiting bilberry interspersed between that and the broader leaved cloudberry that had either fruited and had the berries eaten or were still to do so.
We followed the grough until it ran out just short of the summit of Kinder Scout and from where we had to negotiate a couple of peat hags that were neither too deep nor wet and were easy to get around. Within a few minutes of leaving the comfort of the grough we were at the unmarked summit of Kinder Scout at SK085875.
We saw the tiny cairn with the stick poking out of it but as it wasn't the 'real' summit we didn't bother going to it as E had had enough of tramping across the rough moorland and in any case there wasn't much point as walking about and checking the GPS for a spot height there are various points around the designated summit that could qualify as such.
Our next objective was well within our sights, Pym Chair and the Wool Packs…
and it was only a short but rough passage across the moor and I can honestly say that it was the roughest walking that we have had in the two days that we have walked in the Peak District. It is pathless and there are quite a few deep but fairly dry peat hags to negotiate and with E tiring a little now we just took our time getting across to the rocks.
In spite of the bad ground and taking our time it wasn't too long before we were sat down between Pym Chair…
and the Wool Packs having a drink and we could see the streams of people either coming or going to the trig column at Kinder Low over to the west. Whilst E had a well earned rest I wandered over to the great pile of rocks that allows extensive views east, south, and to the west.
The Wool Packs are massive, far bigger than they look in the picture and I spent a good few minutes wandering and climbing over them and although we had mostly lost the sun the views were very good with a haze once again taking the edge off the distant views.
Next on then was Crowden Tower, another great pile of rocks that sits just above our escape from the hills, the deep valley of Crowden Brook. The way forward would be hard to miss even if it was foggy as the constant chatter and stream of walkers making their way along the path through the peat - that is quite firm just now - would be just as easy as leaving Scafell Pike on a similar day. The path took us through some fantastically weather shaped rocks and some could even pass for expensive works of art hewn out by world renowned sculptors. I took many photos of these rocks but none are shown on this report - I really must get sorted with Flickr - as WH's limits must apply with this report.
After a good meander through this fantasy world of rocks we arrived at the rocks of Crowden Tower.
Crowden Tower is yet another pile of misshapen grit stone blocks sat upon the top of a large spur of rock sticking out above the cleft of Crowden Clough. From this viewpoint we more or less had the same extensive views as before apart from being able to see further into Edale.
Just beyond Crowden Tower is where we picked up the initially steep and eroded path that would take us back down the valley to Barber Booth.
The first 50 metres or so are very steep and loose so care had to be taken to avoid a quick trip into the rocky bed of the clough below and although the way down doesn't look steep in the photo I can assure you that it is.
Once over the steepness of the descent the way down is more comfortable and is simply a case of following the decent but rocky path down as it crosses over from one side of the clough to the other passing small waterfalls as we followed the course of the clear water. As we got lower the colourful heather made an appearance, along with ever increasing areas of bracken, something that we hadn't seen much of around this neck of the woods. We passed a few people as they made their way upwards and as we arrived at a gate in the wire fence the clough changes its name to Crowden Brook, strange.
The valley doesn't widen out much as it falls south and only really opens up once some rough pastures are being walked through. We continued to follow Crowden Brook as it entered a narrow strip of mixed trees to arrive once again at Upper Booth from where we then had the almost boring walk back to Barber Booth along the metalled lane back to the car park.
It has been another good days walking in good underfoot conditions and weather. Weather that has been warm, but with a cold and niggling breeze to it, a mixed sky of sun and cloud where the clouds seemed to be winning most of the time. I could hardly believe our good fortune as once again our fears of a nightmare walk in horrendous conditions were dispelled, as like Tuesday's walk, our boots barely got wet apart from walking along the much depleted River Kinder where we hardly raised a splash.
by johnkaysleftleg » Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:02 am
Good to see you can get to the shifting summit of Kinder without the threat of sinking without trace. Looks like a couple of great days for the pair of you in the Dark Peak.
by trailmasher » Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:09 pm
johnkaysleftleg wrote:Good to see you can get to the shifting summit of Kinder without the threat of sinking without trace. Looks like a couple of great days for the pair of you in the Dark Peak.
It's a good job that I had my GPS with me or I'm sure we wouldn't have reached the correct 'summit' as all around the area is basically the same height Thanks for your comments JK.
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