Kinder’s winter wonderland, 23 January 2019

Snow was forecast for the Peak District through Tuesday, so despite feeling somewhat under the weather myself, I just had to go there the following day. I knew from previous experience that a walk onto Kinder Scout was always a good bet following snow, so early Wednesday found me parking up in the large car park at Edale. The temperature was well below freezing, but the sun was shining and the blue sky was cloudless. I’d planned a route up Grindsbrook Clough onto Kinder Scout and then I would decide from there, as there were quite a few possible options depending on how I was feeling and the conditions.

The snow was down to valley level in the Vale of Edale and I headed up through the village before taking the Grindsbook Clough path. This starts off as an easy path following the stream but gets a little more challenging in its upper reaches, particularly the final steep climb over rocks to the Kinder Scout plateau.

The route up Grindsbrook Clough

Apart from feeling fatigued, I accomplished this without incident and came across a walker and a fell runner who were both confused as to the route westwards, given the path was covered by snow. I pointed them in the right direction and in fact they ended up following me, until the route became clear. The powdery snow was quite deep making walking arduous in places, but the views all around were spectacular.

View toward Swine’s Back from Kinder’s southern edges

I had planned to cross the plateau to Kinder Downfall, but decided that ploughing through the snow would be just too tiring. I therefore stuck to Kinder’s southern edge passing Crowden Tower and then entered the area of strange gritstone rocks known as the Woolpacks. I would have spent a lot more time there taking photographs had it not been so cold. Removing my gloves to operate my camera wasn’t a very appealing prospect, although I did take a few pictures. I carried on past Noe Stool, skirted Kinder Low (633 m) and dropped down to the pass between Kinder and Brown Knoll near Edale Cross. Whereas, I’d seen hardly anyone during the early stages of my walk, it was now getting busier with people determined to take advantage of a snowy walk

I trod fairly gingerly down the steep snow covered Jacob’s Ladder, the route of the Pennine Way, not wishing to slip, and reached the packhorse bridge crossing the infant river Noe at the bottom.

Packhorse bridge over the river Noe at the bottom of Jacob’s Ladder

The walking from here was easy down the track to Upper Booth where I deviated up Crowden Clough a short distance to photograph a rather photogenic barn. Back at Barber Booth, I took the path to Edale that cuts across the end of Grindslow Knoll and which must be one of the finest low level paths in the district for its views. By mid afternoon, I was back at Edale car park, 15 km having been covered.

Looking back towards Kinder Scout from near Upper Booth
Barn near Upper Booth
On the path from Upper Booth to Edale; Mam Tor in the distance

However, that wasn’t my day finished as I wished to do some photography in the ‘golden hour’ before sunset. Higger Tor, above Hathersage, is always a good option for this and is only a short walk from the road and gives all round 360 degree views. However, as seems to happen so often in the Peak District, the sun disappeared behind cloud well before sunset time, so there was no real photography to be had. I drove back down to Hathersage and had tea and scone before driving home.

screen shot 2019-01-24 at 14.06.14
The route taken

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