Thursday 9 June (0800-12.15)
Distance: 11.5 miles
Weather: Sunshine and showers
A good night’s sleep was had, despite the late chatting of the occupants of the tent next door (I was the only tent when I arrived; predictably the next people, when faced with the whole of the rest of the tenting field to choose from, opted to pitch next to me). It was Jane Austen on audio book which came to the rescue again. The rain probably helped too.
My plan for Thursday had been a jaunt over Stanage Edge before dropping down to Grindleford, but as I’d looked over the map the previous evening it struck me that there was now only one section of the perimeter of the Kinder plateau that I hadn’t walked, whereas I’ve been over Stanage Edge a number of times. The plan therefore became a return to Kinder before dropping down to Edale, even though that meant that Bamford hadn’t been the most sensible place to stay the night before (a backtrack was going to be required for my intended route).
A rainy start to the day didn’t entice me out of my sleeping bag at an early hour and as the rain continued I did ponder whether to put into action my repeated threats of becoming a fair weather walker and just go home. After a bit of a debate with myself, going for a walk was the hands-down winner, so I pulled all my stuff together and out I strode into the …. sunshine!
Ladybower Dam: That’s some plug-hole!
With five and a half hours available to me before the train I was intending to catch, I didn’t take the shortest possible route, and when I got to by Win Hill I decided I may as well take a bit of a detour to get to the top. From there I could see most of the places I’d been over the last couple of days – and I could also see rain coming at me.
Half an hour later I was all for abandoning my Kinder plan. It was grey and wet and I was struggling to think of a good reason to continue up to the top when I could just cut down to Edale via a lower level route and catch an earlier train.
Then the sun came out again, with vast patches of blue sky. Suddenly everywhere looked stunning again and I surprised myself by not turning left towards Edale after all.
I timed my walk ill. My intention was to descend from Ringing Roger, but if I had gone straight down to Edale from there I would have had at least an hour and a half to kill before my train. Equally, I thought that continuing around to the next obvious path down (Grindsbrook) was likely to leave me rushing (which wasn’t an appealing option given that I was completely out of food so needed to sort myself out with some lunch before getting on the train). What to do?
I’m not a trig-point bagger, but decided that a visit to the nearby trig was probably a more worthwhile use of my time than sitting on the platform at Edale Station, so that’s exactly what I did. Having spent three weeks in the rain in Scotland last month, I keep forgetting that much of the rest of the country has been unusually dry, but the walk to the trig was a reminder; I’m sure that the peat bogs are usually far gloopier and leg-consuming than I found them.
With people now streaming up onto Kinder, I made my way down and after a quick lunch in Cooper’s Cafe off to the station I went.
One and two-half days, 43 miles, and rather more showers than I would have liked, but good fun all the same. Kept me out of mischief too (unless you count unlawful camping as mischief!). I predict an early return to the area with Mick* – I’ve raved about the Alport Valley and know that he’ll like it as much as I did.
(*I don’t think I said why Mick wasn’t with me. That was because he fell temporarily back into employment as soon as we got home from Scotland.)