Poor old Cath (@wellycath), she tries to arrange a get together and the weather forecast doesn’t play ball. Yours truly ends up having a sneaky camp on the North Downs instead. She tries again, and then finds everyone dropping out for a variety of reasons. Still I made it.
Having long earmarked the weekend for a Lakes trip with Mrs Hillplodder that never quite got off the ground, the reschedule of Cath’s birthday camp seemed like an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. And so it was that I found myself hurtling north with Mrs H and Little Miss H, the boot laden with gear for a family camp.
As we were approaching Sheffield, Cath triggered a red alert by messaging us to tell us how tight for space the campsite was, and so I spent the remainder of the drive psyching myself up to having to murder someone for their pitch. We’d booked after all, and there was no way I was driving for 4 hours to then not get a pitch for a tent we’d even provided the dimensions of.
In the end we rocked up and it was fine, Cath having walked past several enormous spaces to find the much smaller one she described as the “biggest she could find”. Helga, the family tent went up, the burgers went in the frying pan and the beer got opened.
The next morning Cath and I were at the arranged rendezvous only a few minutes late, while Mrs and Little Miss H headed off to get some use out of the National Trust membership. Quite a while passed while we waited for Rob and Chloe to turn up. We were just getting to the point where we might have started without them, when they turned up. Introductions were made and we headed past the Nags Head towards Grindsbrook Clough. This was my 4th visit to Kinder, 3 of which have been by way of Grindsbrook Clough. But that’s not an issue for me as I rather like this way up. (For anyone interested in the myriad of potential ways up, my mate Stuart (@LoneWalkerUK) has a project on the go to walk and record them all).
We picked our way up the rocky gully, taking our time for those with short legs or lack of fitness (which covered pretty much everyone except Rob). We reached the top and enjoyed the views back down into the Vale of Edale.
The usual bimble along the southern edge of the plateau followed, with much enjoyment of the rock formations. Then we struck north(ish) for the summit, the conditions being so dry underfoot that it would have been criminal not to.
The GPS did its thing, but then we jinked right to a cairn we’d seen some people standing around. It clearly wasn’t the summit, so we headed west for a more likely candidate, or at least to where the 636m spot height is marked on the map.
Much clambering into and out of peat groughs followed before we joined the Pennine Way on the west of the plateau. In the dry conditions and having seen how low the streams were, we decided not to bother with a visit to the Downfall and instead headed the other way for Kinder Low.
A short pause there and then we scampered back down along the Pennine way by means of Jacob’s Ladder to Edale, where the Nags Head was heaving and it took 20 minutes to get served, but the pint of 1577 I had was well worth it.