DERBYSHIRE PEAKS and DALES

29th Oct 2009: Kinder Circular from Edale    A web page by Bryan B, (aka Yeti) & Sunnydale

Start/Finish at Edale

Highest point: Kinder, Crowdens Tower, 619m

Distance: circa 16 kms

Weather: Low cloud/dull

Vertical altitude gain: circa 650m

Time: 6 hrs 30 mins

 On Thursday we decided to walk Kinder, the highest of the Peaks. Edale was our starting point and it was soon obvious the weather was going to be dull, with a low cloud base. We started towards the path up Grindsbrook Clough, thinking about taking the right fork at the top for the more scrambly ascent onto the summit plateau of Kinder, (photo above).
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But first we had to get onto the Grindsbrook Clough path. Passing through Edale and some
lovely Autumn colours. Colours we knew would be missing on the rocky, peaty
and tree less summit of the massive Kinder mountain.

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Another colourful display as we neared the start of the path up Grindsbrook Clough:
a route we were still considering as our way to the top of Kinder.

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But that was not to be. “You fancy going via Ringing Roger?” I was asked. I said yes, hoping that Roger would be happy to walk at my slow pace as we plodded up the quite steep slope through an area called The Nab.

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I didn't know then that Roger was little more than a pile of rocks! But for the moment I was enjoying the view looking down on the track that went up Grindsbrook Clough.

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"There's Ringing Roger", Sunny said as we breasted a rise in the steady and partly zig zagging route up from Edale.
Indeed. A pile of rocks!

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But quite a nice pile. With a path around the side, I had noticed earlier, (to the left and out of shot in the above photo).

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"Come away from that path Yeti, it's almost as easy to go straight up face of rocks". I was told.
And I always do as I am told!

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"I'll lead, and you follow. It's gritstone today, so there's much more grip than yesterday on the limestone".

Kinder Circular, 29th Oct 2009 continued On the gritstone it was easy, even for me! Indeed it only just counted as a scramble: most bits were easily walkable.
Giving me time to enjoy the rock formations that Kinder is famous for.

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Almost at the top now. And for at least one of us, still mild enough weather not to need a coat on yet.

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“You deserve a quick break after that” said my leader, as we reached the top of Ringing Roger. “So let's stop and have a banana”. Banana breaks are what Sunny likes when leading walks, so we took five and sat amongst the summit rocks munching our healthy snack.

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We were soon walking again along the Edge of Kinder. Sometimes taking turns to stand on top of the more imposing bits. "You first on that one Sunny, you were in front anyway!"

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My turn to pose now. Great. Second day running and no real vertigo again.

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Ups and downs but not yet the deep wet and sticky peat that was to follow. We reached the cliff that overlooked the top of the right fork scrambly bit up from Grindsbrook Clough. Definitely looks more demanding than the "standard" route up from the Clough to the Kinder Plateau.

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I saw a path that went down a short but steep descent where the final part of the scramble could be picked up. I knew what was coming!

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“You fancy going down that path and doing the last part of the scramble?” asked Sunny. “You bet” was my reply....and so we did.

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"Come on Yeti. Steep bits behind us now. Get to top and we can have lunch". What better incentive for me to pick up my pace! So lunch was taken sitting on the rocks overlooking the normal climb up from Grindsbrook Clough. Then it was off onto squidgy black peat, followed by a track through a very dense cloud base.

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The dense cloud base! With those people looking like they could be acting out "Gorillas in the Mist".
"Not Gorillas", said Sunny, "More like Yetis in the Mist, with you trudging along up here today!"

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We reached Crowden Tower at the top of Crowden Clough and continued along the Edge. At one point I asked Sunny to lift up a large rock that was in a our way. "Next time you can be a gentleman and lift it for me", she said.

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We walked on in the blowing mist over new track works from the N.T: much needed in the badly damaged peat. As we started our descent we got below the cloudbase, and onto Jacob’s Ladder. Tiring work, but Sunny almost danced down in zig zags. “You on Strictly Come Dancing next year?” I thought, “you’d win it if you were!”.

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Then we were in the valley and heading to Edale. I stepped out with a grin, all hard work over now.....or so I thought! “Remember that sting in tail Yeti?” said my still ever so fresh looking Sunny walk leader. Horror of horrors. I‘d forgotten we had to climb a small hill under Broadlee-bank Tor, behind Upper Booth Farm. “But what’s a small uphill slog after such a lovely two days walking?“ I thought. “Hard on bluddy legs!” was the reply to myself.....but I did it ok! The last gentle descent back to Edale was lovely in the late afternoon light, as was the drive back through such a wonderful UK walking area. Relaxed, I reflected on another outstanding two days of Peak District walking. Thank you Sunny.