Wednesday, 15 May 2013

So, I'd still never been to Kinder Downfall...

My day started at the bottom of Grindsbrook Clough.
So again, I've been busy recently. It's meant that I haven't really had the opportunity to acheive much in the way of walks, and certainly not wild camps. It's disappointing, but it makes my outings all the more savourable. These pictures are from a couple of weeks ago now, but such has been the intensity of my work timetable, that I am only now getting some free time to throw them up in this rather hurried entry...

As I said, my day started in Edale; and from the foot of Grindsbrook Clough. It was refreshing to ascend to the Kinder Plateau by this route, as it took me back to the first walk of my new found favourite hobby all those months ago. The weather was warm and bright, with minimal cloud passing over now and then.

Ascending Grindsbrook Clough was as fun as the first time, despite nearly falling in the brook. Twice.
It wasn't long before I reached the final scramble of the clough, and the signs of spring were certainly all around me. The heather was starting to change colour from the murky browny red of its winter state, birds sang all around and whipped past periodically, and I came within metres of a lamb feeding from its mother. It brought a new aura about the place for me and a sense of encouragement for the day ahead. Never having walked in spring thus far, it was all relatively new to me in that aspect.

Looking back down Grindsbrook Clough.
Once at the top of Grindsbrook Clough, I knew that I wanted to head over to Kinder Downfall; but I hadn't decided exactly which route to take until I actually made it there. I decided to take the most direct path - to the top of Crowden Clough instead of skirting round the edge of the plateau's southern edge. Then I wanted to navigate across the moor using the path that would bring me out at Kinder Gates.

I decided on this path for two main reasons. Mainly because I hadn't walked it yet, and also - because I enjoy testing my navigational skills. The plateau was so clear this time, in comparison to when I had last decided to work with my map and compass so reliantly, that it should be alot more relaxed to get to my destination. For starters - I could see where I was going. That said, once in the middle of the moors, everything looks the same in all directions. [Here is the blog post from my last visit to the Kinder Plateau.]

The, often, featurless boggy moorland terrain of the Kinder Plateau.
After falling arse first into a couple of bogs and swaying ever so slightly off course for 10 minutes or so (before checking my compass and correcting myself), my bearings brought me to where the path is once again visible. It follows an old stream/river bed that im sure would be alot wetter after some rain, and brings you to Kinder Gates. After which, Kinder Downfall isn't far away.

Kinder Gates.
I started to wonder, as I often do; what the landscape would have been like a few hundred years ago or a few thousand years ago for that matter. Deeply engrossed in this imaginative thought while admiring the landscape, it didn't take long at all for me to get to Kinder Downfall. Having made good time, I decided to stop here for some dinner while looking down on everything in sight below and in the distance.

Kinder Downfall, a slight trickle on the day.
After sticking around for a while and having some lunch, I decided to get underway again. A leisurely walk southwards following the Pennine Way to bring me to Kinder's southern edge, and then following the edge back eastward to drop back down into Edale. I hadn't been walking too long when I inadvertently came across one of the many plane wreckages in the area. As far as I can remember, I had never read about it before - so it must be one of the less frequented sites.

One of the many unfortunate plane wreckage sites in the area.
My second revisit of the day came soon after, as I diverted to Kinder Low. I had enjoyed the view so much upon my first visit that I definitely felt it was worth another look. As I headed over to the trig point, two military planes flew overhead and startling speed. It reminded me of a trip I had gone on with school about 11 or 12 years ago to Ingleborough, where we had seen the Red Arrows training whilst walking around some hills that I have long since forgotten the names of. The trig point was also where I saw only the third group of the day, despite the favourable weather.

Kinder Low
After sitting at the trig point for a drink, I headed off again to the southern edge of the plateau - taking in the view down into Edale Valley. Heading eastward, I passed Crowden Tower, Pym Chair, walked through the woolpacks and back towards Grindslow Knoll, where I descended back into Edale. I always find the view from Grindslow Knoll to be pleasant when the weather is clear. The Great Ridge at the opposite side of the valley is quite a striking image.

The Great Ridge seen while descending Grindslow Knoll.
I have a walk and wild camp planned for next month that will not be in The Peak District. Suffice it to say, I am excited!