We are so lucky that the Dark Peaks are only an hour’s drive from us, although because of this we have done the Peak District to death. We have actually never been to Kinder Scout though, so when we saw this walk published in Trail Magazine we thought that we just had to give it ago. Technically a mountain, although it really is more like one large plateau with no real summit (apparently experts argue over where the summit really is) Kinder Scout is located just North West of Edale. Being the highest point in the Peak District, in modern history is was the target of the mass trespass of 1932. More info on this can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_trespass_of_Kinder_Scout
The day had already began inauspiciously with the previously lauded (see post about Scafell Pike) £26 Amazon bag completely failing – the zip has entirely come off. Luckily I had my Mountain Warehouse backpack that was a birthday present but it’s not really designed for long days and has no waterproof cover. Also, I was testing out my new boots on their first lengthy walk and wanted to take my old boots with me just in case. I am emotionally attached to my old boots I think, a pair of Pavers my parents found them in a charity shop for a fiver and I have had them for over two years, so moving on to my new slightly expensive Berghaus boots is like breaking up with someone. This being the case, I managed to stuff them into the MW bag anyway.
We had meant to get up really early and try to get there for 9am, but we are super lazy and had one two many G+Ts on Saturday night so we didn’t get there until 10.2oam. It was already heaving and the car park was an absolute rip off (£5 for over 4 hours!) but the weather seemed to be holding off so we were happy enough. I don’t think we have ever taken so much tech with us! Packing the MUVI camcorder, Simon’s Dad’s DSLR that we have borrowed for the blog, my GPS watch and our phones – just to make sure that we were covered for recording/photos though it was a bit over the top.
The climb up was eventful. If you have climbed Kinder Scout via the waterfall, you know what I mean! You have to climb through mud and then directly up a rocky river bed to an elevation about 2000 feet. It definitely required hands as well, so not sure if it is classed as a scramble but it definitely felt it. We kept getting stuck, either behind large groups doing their Duke of Edinburgh award with bags bigger than they were or people so inappropriately dressed it was unbelievable! One girl had white converse on, or they used to be white but are now a sad colour of brown. I am all for people making the most of the great outdoors but common sense needs to come into it a little bit. The heavens opened as we were climbing so coats on and heads down made difficult going, but we got there in the end and the celebratory Mars Bar with these kind of views was amazing. I can really tell how fit we are getting now and that the running is paying off, we didn’t stop once during the climb and didn’t even get out of breath.
Once we were up it was plain sailing. We followed the path and then joined the Pennine Way for a few miles before turning off and following a lesser trodden path all the way around the ridges. The Pennine Way was so busy we were glad to get off it to be honest, you could barely move for people. The landscape was absolutely amazing, we kept the drops to our left and followed the ridge line for about nine or ten miles. The rock formations and waterfalls broke up the landscape so there was always something new to see and do. My particular favourite was the Woolpacks, which were like a maze of rocks that we did actually get lost in and where we met this old guy who told us how it was his job to come up into the Peaks and take pictures. We were so jealous.
We had lunch at Kinder Downfall, a waterfall cutting through the cliff face. The wind was so strong at this point that the falls were doing that awesome thing where they flow upwards instead of down. It got pretty chilly because we had stopped so I hid behind a rock and checked out the map to make sure we were going in the correct direction. After drawing on the map incorrectly so many times when planning the route I didn’t want Simon to shout at me if we got lost, though he did manage to send me the wrong way when using Google Maps on the drive down!
The rest of the walk was spent exploring the ridges, the cliff faces and taking pictures of all the unusual shapes of the landscape. We started to get really tired after 12 miles because of the pace we were keeping so had to stop for a second Mars Bar although we really don’t need the excuse to be honest. The path was ridiculously muddy, my new boots got caked up to, and even over, my ankles. The weather was intermittent torrential rain and sun so I came home with wet feet but sunburned shoulders. Ginger problems.
We were rather relieved when we found the path that started heading down into the valley, it was getting quite late in the day and we still had the hour’s drive back. Plus my shoulders were absolutely killing me because I am not used to carrying any weight in my bag at all, Simon usually carries it all (that’s what he’s for). We were one of the last cars in the car park, the only other sign of life being the DofE group that we had seen quite a few times throughout the day. With it being so late there was not even time to go to the pub for a pint!
By the time we got home, I had to get a hot water bottle on my shoulders and we ended up ordering pizza instead of cooking because we were shattered. Simon was dead happy that his pictures came out so well because he had never used a DSLR before and had only bothered to read half of the manual. I was pleased because my new boots hadn’t rubbed my feet or hurt at all – sorry old boots but it’s time for me to move on.
We would really recommend this walk to anyone that hasn’t been to Kinder Scout before because it rings around the whole mountain and you get to see all the best parts. We did actually walk past a fab looking campsite that was behind the information centre at Edale and reckon would have to go and stay. We wished that we could have come down off the mountain back to the tent, light up a barbecue and crack open some beers!
Distance: 16.25 miles
Average pace: 28.29 min/mile
Elevation gain: 2,223ft