Thursday, 5 September 2013

#21 Peaks wandering and Breaking the rules

13.73 Miles
703 Metres

First off, confession time, I didn't intend to walk 13 miles or to walk this route.  Therefore I broke many rules in the safety handbook.  I survived, others may not.  Today was planned to be a fairly simple walk of about 8 miles, from Edale, up Chapel Gate, along Rushup Edge, Mam Tor, Lose Hill down to the train station at hope.  Easy.  It was another dry day and was actually quite warm, short sleeves the order of the day.

I've been up Chapel Gate a couple of times and it's another walk I wanted to use as a test of any improved fitness.  It was actually better, still hard work and sweaty, but not quite as many breathless stops.  On planning walks for Edale I had often thought of doing a loop from Kinder over Brown Knoll, but every trip report I saw mentioned bad bogs and general sinking.  I mused that it had been a dry summer, not rained in a week and the forecast was due to change to heavy rain from tomorrow.  I could go and see how bad it is...

So breaking from the planned route (a big no no... Ok in my case it didn't matter as no one knew my original route, so changing made no difference... but still don't do it, be safe!) I headed off towards Brown Knoll.  The ground was soft (peat) but pretty dry, in fact I'd say it was pretty ideal!  Soft on the feet and knees but not sinking or gloop!

Brown Knoll Trig point
I was soon on top of Brown Knoll.  I had a quick break, photo stop and chat to the only 2 people I saw before a much busier kinder, noting that it's much quieter on this bit of the peaks.  Luckily I had a whistle if I should fall over... oh I didn't!   After getting used to all rucksacks having a whistle buckle I was surprised when my Berghaus didn't.  Bad planning on my behalf and the third rule broken on the day.  I'm a walking rescue team nightmare.

All the gear, no idea...
I could of walked down Jacobs ladder, but felt good so I thought I'd head up to Kinder Downfall and see how I got on.  The Kinder Low trig point sits in a strange landscape of bare peat with crushed rock (almost sandy)) paths.  The contrast of the brown and white is quite eye catching and weird.  The path round to the downfall is fairly rough but enjoyable.  Plenty of rock hopping and great views.

After a quick lunch break at the downfall, where I encountered a scavenging sheep for the first time (Squirrel, chipmunk, dog, I expect the begging from...but a sheep?).  After lunch I wondered about coming back over the tops across Kinder Scout.  Again notoriously boggy, but using the same theory as before, I thought why not!  So up and into the channels I went. 

A nice wide channel (gloughs?) leads you deeper into the moors and peat bogs.  It was good underfoot, though weird in that you are effectively in a trench with no idea what's on the top.  Now I was happy here as I was going in the right direction.  I knew at some point I'd have to go 'over the top' and stick on a bearing back to the edge.  This is where it went a bit wrong for me.  The tops where featureless and quite boggy!  After a few minutes I had disappeared in one bog and had wet feet (Mesh shoes and bogs never mix well!).

I didn't feel comfortable.  So I headed back towards Kinder downfall.  I wasn't lost, I knew where I was but wasn't happy negotiating the boggy bits.  From Kinder downfall it was back to Jacobs ladder via the Pennine way and back to Edale.  A lot longer than planned, but lots of fun!


  1. I crossed Brown Knoll a couple of months ago; like you I had read several reports of it always being boggy and virtually impassable, but it was easy, with the path being very clear.

  2. Yes I found it to be good, great in fact! Quiet and good underfoot. A quick google image search suggests it's not usually like that!