Sun 2nd Oct, 2016
Kinder Edges Walk
Present: Laura Collier, Iain McCallum, Phil Ramsbottom (actual meet leader), Dave Somerville, Keith Williams (nominal meet leader), Dave Wylie
A glorious day - though with a distinctly fresh easterly breeze - saw a small group head up the Yellow Brick Road from Hollingworth Head up towards Mill Hill. The flags have been extended down to the main road over the summer and already the erosion of the peat reduced to zero.
A brief stop on Mill Hill to admire the tremendous views out to Wales was followed by 15 minutes of ‘heads down’ as we ascended the steep bit onto the plateau. Here the nominal meet leader, having to be back home for a family event by mid-afternoon, left the main party to walk with Iain round the shorter western edges. Phil kindly agreed to lead the meet from there on and it is his report which takes over from here . . .
Once Keith and Iain left it was down to the four of us to maintain KMC traditions and it didn't take long to find us on the wrong side of the wire fence and gradually getting farther away from the Northern Edges. The easy bit was finding a stile to cross the fence, then we had to negotiate several groughs and a lot of rough going before finally landing on the correct path. After a brief stop to recover and enjoy the wonderful views we set off along the mercifully dry edge.
Fairbrook Naze came and went, then Seal Edge with lots of people around enjoying the weather which by then was so warm we all had to shed a layer or two. We found the short crossing and stopped for a bite to eat before tackling the 10 minute stroll across to Grindsbrook where we joined the Southern Edges. There were more people on this side but that was only to be expected on such a good day.
At Crowden the route finding started to get more interesting as we followed the old Pennine Way path which has now all but disappeared. A second mistake led to the real fun of the day. By taking a line slightly South of the correct one we ended up in an area of deep wet groughs. I can appreciate that damming the groughs is good for the eco system up there, but it does not help when you are trying to cross them. Between the four of us we displayed a varied number of techniques - balancing precariously across on thin plastic dams being the most entertaining. Between us we had four wet feet – not too bad in the circumstances. Finally, after many diversions, we managed to find the correct set of dry groughs which led us to a nicely decorated Xmas tree (not sure whether it was for last year or this), then the Kinder River and the famous Gates.
We reached the Downfall around 4 o clock and sat down to enjoy the crystal clear views to the West.
Reluctantly we finally had to move and begin the long haul into the now low sun back round to Mill Hill and the flags before reaching the cars at 17:20.
A really great day spent in good company, we all had our spells when we were flagging, but they never seemed to happen at the same time, someone was always dragging the rest along – that's how it should be.
Start: 9.30am at eastern end of the Monks Road (SK031 902). It is possible to pull off the north side of the road here but please park responsibly.
Route: Path starts opposite the end of the Monks Road to Burnt Hill, Mill Hill then onto the northern edge to Fairbrook Naze, Seal Stones and the head of Blackden Brook (SK118 882). Cross the plateau southwards to Upper Tor then west to the head of Crowden Brook. Return via Kinder Gates, the Downfall, Sandy Heys, Mill Hill and back to the Monks Road.
Distance: 13 miles, or 15 miles if you want to include the trig point at SK129 878.
UPDATE, 25th Sept 2016
A family matter has arisen since arranging to lead this meet which means that I will have to leave by 3.00pm. This could be sorted if someone is prepared to pick up where I leave off. Alternatively, we could just make the route much shorter by sticking to the western edges.
Either way, be prepared for a change – it’s all good practise for life in an uncertain world . .
One other change you may have to cope with stems from the closure of the Charlesworth end of the Monks Road. The shortest diversion takes you through Simmondley but it’s not well sign-posted. Alternatively – depending where you are coming from – you could go through Dinting and take the 2nd exit at the 2nd of the two mini-roundabouts.
My apologises for these late changes.