Today Ken had set the agenda – a classic circuit from Edale for his ‘YHA Techies’, up Grinds Brook to Crowden Tower, then north past Crowden Head to Kinder Downfall for lunch, returning by the Pennine Way past Edale Cross to Upper Booth and Edale.
The fair weather that was forecast turned out to be a light sort of mizzle, but by the time Sue and I had reached Ken’s ‘secret’ free car park in Edale it was merely cloudy.
We had passed one erstwhile member of the group who had parked below Rushup Edge and was not seen again, so it was just 14 people and two dogs who set off up the Grinds Brook path, studiously ignoring The Old Nags Head as they passed by that hostelry.
Just as if it was one of my walks!
It was pleasant enough, as we ambled on, but then the Manchester mizzle returned, very lightly, so we paused for tea and CCS at the snowline and donned our waterproofs.
It was cool all day, so the waterproofs stayed on though the mizzle soon subsided.
Ken skillfully led from the rear, occasionally waving his GPS in the ether, muttering a few words, and stumbling on over snow laden peat hags.
An agile dog called Boogie appeared to have a much bigger brain than her owner – a chap who kept plunging into deep snow up to his waist.
Several people had GPSs (mine was just a decoy as I’d loaded some Geocache data, but had forgotten to upload the route – no Geocaches were found today), and between us we bimbled seemingly aimlessly past unseen Crowden Head to encounter a well trod path through the snow that led to Kinder Downfall.
Lunch was taken with an icy easterly on our backs despite the relative shelter of the rocks in the Downfall area. I think we were at the Downfall, anyway. Ken said we were. It wasn’t visible. Despite the binoculars.
The afternoon’s stroll saw us heading south along a dirty brown path in the snow called the Pennine Wee.
Past Kinder Low, Ken’s route didn’t meet with universal approval, as the chap with the more intelligent dog became agitated, thinking we were going the wrong way. We weren’t.
“Techies” muttered Ken.
Down at the path that leads to Jacob’s Ladder a tent full of people seemed from the sounds emanating from their tent to be expounding the virtues of watching water boil. Had they come all the way up Jacob’s Ladder just to pitch camp and watch water boil? No, the sight of some trousers draped over a signpost indicated that this may well have been their ‘wash-day’.
Anyway, we continued on down an alternative descent to that of Jacob’s Ladder. Perhaps Ken was protecting his group from being mown down by the mountain bikers who hog that route, though only their tyre tracks were visible today.
In the haven of a bridge over the River Doe the group paused again to drain their flasks and chew their last crisps, whilst watching Holly (a dog) attempt to clear rocks from the river. She was surprisingly successful, but then her owner reinforced the rest of the group’s view on the respective intelligence of the dogs and their owners by disappearing for the rest of the walk.
“We’ve lost someone, Ken!”
“Oh dear, we’ll finish the walk and then inform the Mountain Rescue” quipped Ken. “He was only a Techie”.
Luckily, Mark and Holly reappeared outside the café, by which time the weather had become quite fair.
But sadly it was time to go home.
Here’s our route: 15 km with 600 metres ascent, taking us about five and a half hours plus stops.
Great that Sue coped with a full day out – her first for many months.
More photos, for those who can stomach them, are located here.