Variation on a Peak District classic, 9 March 2018

Another Friday, another day out walking in the Peak District with my camera. I left the train at Edale station intent on walking up Crowden Clough to the Kinder Scout plateau where I would decide the route from there. I hadn’t been up Crowden Clough for some time and was keen to find out its potential for photography. The Crowden Clough route is probably one of the lesser used routes to Kinder Scout; the more popular routes from Edale either head directly up Grindsbrook, or climb up onto Grindslow Knoll.

As I followed the footpath along the valley to the hamlet of Upper Booth, the enveloping mist started to clear allowing the sun to break through making it feel pleasantly warm; too warm for the number of layers I was wearing! I headed up Crowden Clough, a route with a mountainous feel about it, and stopped part way to photograph an attractive cascade with the Kinder Scout plateau in the background.

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After the mist had cleared; the path up Crowden Clough in its early stages
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In Crowden Clough, with the Kinder Scout plateau behind

The path, initially keeping close to the stream, climbed up above it and steepened as it approached the Kinder Scout plateau. I decided that I had time to cross the plateau to Kinder Downfall and return to Edale by following the western edges of Kinder, drop down to Edale Cross, then descend Jacob’s Ladder to the Vale of Edale. The crossing of the plateau is always an exciting experience as it is a featureless wilderness characterised by deep peat groughs that have to be circumnavigated or crossed. Before the advent of GPS compasses, it was very easy to go wrong and end up in the wrong place, but navigation is now much easier; some may consider it cheating! The 2 km across the plateau to Kinder Downfall was therefore accomplished without incident, apart from a few slips in the snow. The ground was quite frozen, making the going easier. An early sign that Kinder Downfall is getting close is when the path reaches the infant Kinder river that plunges off the plateau at the Downfall. Shortly afterwards, the distinctive Kinder Gates are reached.

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On the Kinder Scout plateau
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The infant Kinder river at Kinder Gates

I soon reached Kinder Downfall, much of which was still icy, and hastened on as I was aware that time was getting short if I was to catch my planned train back from Edale – I had to get home for a wine society meeting that evening! By now, the sun was rapidly disappearing as it clouded over making it feel chilly. I rapidly descended Jacob’s Ladder and it was then just a case of following the path back along the valley to Edale, 17.5 km under my boots and the conclusion of another enjoyable day’s walking in the Peak District.

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Kinder Downfall with two people in a rather exposed location

 

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