Monday, 13 April 2015

Kinder Scout - Derbyshireshire Historic County Top

Walk Summary
Gina on Kinder Scout summit.
Have not the heart to tell her it is behind her.
Persuading Gina to visit every Historic County Top in England and Wales was and is an attempt by me to infect her with the peak bagging bug.
However if you ever want a hill that will explain what hill-bagging is all about; provide the thrill of summitting as well as inspiration to climb more hills and visit more places - DON'T choose Kinder Scout.
This is what occurred to me after I had explained to her what it was like on the summit plateau based on my last visit back in February 2011 in 50' visibility, wet rain (heavy soaking drizzle), clambering up hags and down groughs through boggy peat with very little vegetation.

Walk Statistics
Walk Date - 13 April 2013
Walkers - Steve Smith, Gina Smith

Accommodation -  Buxton Caravan Club Site
Start Point - Barber Booth car park (GR - SK 10751 84730)
Start Time - 11:23
Finish Point 
Barber Booth car park (GR - SK 10751 84730)
Finish Time - 15:41
Duration - 4hrs 18mins
Average pace - 1.48mph
Distance Walked - 6.37 miles
Height Ascended - 419.72metres

Other walks on this trip
10th Solomon's Temple
11th Gun
11th The Cloud
13th Kinder Scout - Derbyshireshire Historic County Top

Peaks visited
Nuttalls (190W - 444E&W)
Kinder Scout (165E - 165E &W)  first visited 13/02/2011
Hewitts (138W - 317E&W)
Kinder Scout (117E - 117E &W)  first visited 13/02/2011
Marilyns (158W - 1550E,W&S)
Kinder Scout (33E - 34E,W&S)  first visited 13/02/2011
Deweys (241W - 427EW&S)
HuMPs (364W - 2977EW&S)
Kinder Scout (58E - 59E,W&S)  first visited 13/02/2011
Historic County Tops (13W - 93E,W&S)
Kinder Scout (16E - 17E,W&S)  first visited 13/02/2011
W: Wales. 
E,W&S:England,Wales & Scotland

GPX can be downloaded from
Walk Description
Gina on footbridge over River Noe at bottom of Jacob's Ladder
The first part from walk start point at Barber Booth car park to Nether Booth then along the Pennine Way up Jacobs ladder was fine, as we had already covered this route on our point to point walk to Chinley from Edale via Chinley Churn back in October 2012. Even following the Peninne Way past Edale Rocks was not too bad, but I could detect some reluctance in Gina's demeanour as she observed the desolate plateau to the East after reaching Kinder Low trig point over firm but peaty ground, devoid of vegetation.
"Well as far as I am concerned this is good enough for me" she announced at the trig point.
"Well yes, but if we just follow a bearing on 53° in that direction for ½ mile we will find the true summit"
Kinder Low trig point
Fair dues, after glazed looks whilst I showed her the compass and pointed to a knoll some way off in the distance that that was our point of reference to head for she followed me over more firm bare peat. What I did not expect however was the peat gradually turning green with vegetation. Apparently the whole plateau was spayed earlier this year with algae to promote plant growth and amazingly it seems to be working. Grass is starting to take a hold on what I remember was bare soft peat. So much so that I was wondering if my memory of the plateau was somewhat coloured by the horrible conditions I experienced during my last visit.
However as we approached the summit, descending into deep groughs it made me realise how different things can appear when visibility and weather is not at it's best. Anyway as we approached the summit area we spotted a small cairn and just beyond that another small hag with a stick on the top. Very difficult to assess which one was the high point, but a quick check on the smartphone showed it was where the stick had been placed not on the cairn.
Pym Chair to the left as we come off Kinder summit plateau
near Edale Head fords
All that remained now was to head SSE towards Noe Stool which was clearly visible and pick up the path around the southern rim of the plateau and head east past Pym Chair and on to Crowden Brook. Except like last time in poor visibility, even with a clear point to head to this is not the best route. That will take you directly over the rivulets draining the plateau with descents in to boggy peat groughs and up hags which in all honesty are best avoided. Not just for an easy life, but also to avoid the unstable areas that need to be left to allow the plateau to drain as it has for 1000's of years.
Instead stay on the grassy ground on a more or less southerly bearing until you reach the paths near near the fords at Edale Heads. I was tempted to head left towards Pym Chair but all this did was bring me to more deep rivulets that have to be crossed. Just stay on the firmer vegetated ground as much as you can heading south until you reach the path.
Once on the path head east past Pym Chair and marvel at the unusual but familiar rock formations known as the Wool Packs until you reach Crowden Brook.
Take lower path and be careful quite a steep drop to the left
and very steep descent to follow
Follow the path descending steeply on the west side of the brook down to Crowden Clough. Bit of an over dramatisation to describe the descent as precarious but it took us about 15 minutes, which Gina took in her stride without any problems, to descend the steep part, but one thing for sure if you do not take care a slip could have serious consequences especially on the slight bit of exposure at the beginning.
After that it is all fairly standard with the return of warmer climate by the time we reached the first barn just before Upper Booth and back at the car park 45 minutes later.

More Photographs
Phone box and bridge over Crowden Brook near Upper Booth
Click on photograph to view slide-show