The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Friday 10 June 2011

Tuesday – From Edale

Tuesday 7 June (1300-1900)

Distance: 12 miles (plus a few detours to look for a pitch)

Weather: sunny intervals, one heavy shower

Number of hares seen: 5

The timings of the trains on which I could use an off-peak ticket gave me a late start out of Edale (although with buses and trains not being conveniently timed it was an early start at home). That seemed, at the time, to be a bit of a shame, because the route I’d plotted (in something of a rush at gone 9pm on Monday night) was based on setting out much earlier. Eighteen miles with a 1300 start always looked rather too ambitious. As it turned out, I’m rather glad that things worked out as they did.

I could have lost some miles off the start of my route, but I’ve never headed south out of Edale before, so that’s what I did, up to Lose Hill via Hollins Cross. The ‘360 degree viewpoint’ symbols on the map combined with the ease of accessibility suggested that solitude wasn’t going to be on the cards. Four D of E groups were amongst those that I encountered up there, but the views were indeed excellent (albeit very poorly captured in my snapshots).


Not obvious in the photo, but there are lots of people on their way up this craggy lump

IMG_3164Looking back the way I’d come – where the clouds are gathering and rapidly approaching


Looking up to the head of the valley

Dropping down off Lose Hill, where the wind had been brisk and chilly, I saw that the sunny spell that had been with me since the outset was about to come to an end. The rain hit with violence, which saw me scrambling for my jacket. Seeing that the shower wasn’t going to last dreadfully long, I opted to just let my legs get wet. And so they did; very wet indeed.

Striding down the hill I wasn’t thinking about the fact that wet grass can be slippery, so it was a complete surprise when out shot my left leg from under me on one of the steeper bits. It happened so fast that I didn’t have time to flail, nor to utter my customary girly ‘oooh’ as I fell. Of course, with lots of other people around I did the customary thing in such a situation: I sprang straight back up and walked nonchalantly away as if nothing had happened. My shoulder and elbow would probably have preferred me to stay on the ground and feel sorry for them for a few minutes.

Ten minutes later I passed the last people I was to see all day. Yep, not a single person in the last nine miles. Quite incredible considering how many I had encountered to that point.

My plan for the rest of the day was a simple one: up the track to Crookstone Hill and then around the north edge of the Kinder Plateau. It was made all the better by the weather being fine and by having it all to myself.

IMG_3172 As I looked out at this view I didn’t realise how much of it I was going to be visiting over the next couple of days (mainly because much of it wasn’t on the planned route…)

Past fantastic weather-eroded grit stone I went, enjoying my surroundings greatly, until tiredness and hunger struck and I started to keep an eye open for a likely looking pitch. That meant wandering a way off the path, hence I spent quite a bit of time investigating, dithering and discounting the first couple of places I looked.

IMG_3189 IMG_3196


Shapely rocks. Is that bottom one an elephant or a turtle?!

By the time 1900 was approaching I’d reached the point of “I am going to pitch somewhere over there no matter what it’s like”. As it goes, it wasn’t bad at all. A nice pitch of short grass, with a little bit of shelter from the keen wind (well, until the wind shifted about 3 hours later). If it wasn’t for the wind dictating the direction in which I had to pitch, then I would have had a bit of a view too.

Obviously (or maybe not so obvious if you’re not familiar with Kinder during dry weather), there was no running water nearby, but I took the precaution of collecting some from the only stream I found running after leaving the valley. Peaty it was, but I’ve had peatier.


I’m not sure whether this stream was completely dry or whether it’s where I got the water. There certainly wasn’t a lot of water, even in the one stream that was running. IMG_3185Well pitched tent, even if I do say so myself!

After giving the new (incredibly light (48g!)) stove its first test (a post on which is to follow in the next few days) and considered my options for Wednesday’s route (the original plan being out the window due to Day 1 ending six miles short of its target due to the late start), I settled down for a nice peaceful night…

…to be continued


  1. Wow my old stomping ground! I helped rebuild Crookstone Barn :-) and was a part time Peak Park Warden for one yearin 1964ish

    Did you notice that Hope lies between Lose and Win Hills - It took me many years to work that one out.

    Hope to do another walk with you one day.

  2. A while since I've been in that neck of the woods and a well pitched tent indeed. You've a way to go before you beat Mick's stuck Croc nonchalance... And no mad axeman?

  3. I somehow guessed that you'd head out for Kinder Scout-one of my all time favourite areas and I really must get out there camping myself later in the year.
    Nearly a year has passed by since we bumped into you in Malham and today with the aid of some cheap train tickets myself and Geoff head out for Osmotherley to walk a little bit of the Cleveland Way.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  4. Oh forgot to say that's as good a pitch of a Laser Comp as I've seen.

  5. Geoff - When I walked past Crookstone Barn on Thursday there were a couple of dozen school kids spilling out of it (all of whom were wearing matching (and ridiculously too big) waterproof trousers).

    I ought to have noticed the significance of the names of Win Hill and Lose Hill, given that I went up both of them, but confess that the connection completely escaped me!

  6. Louise - Absolutely no mad axe murderers or monsters lurking around the tent. With all those peat hags, it's a good area for tucking away out of sight so that I can convince myself that the chances of anyone stumbling across me (not that there was anyone around anyway) is pretty unlikely.

    I thought a turtle too. Mick immediately saw an elephant.

  7. Jeff - I did look at train tickets to get me up to do a chunk of the Cleveland Way, but at a day's notice it was just too expensive. Edale won for being reasonably cheap, reasonably easy and very nice indeed. There are still more walks I can do in that area without being too repetitive.

    Hope you have a good time on your Cleveland Way jaunt, and that the weather is kind to you.

  8. That is a very nice pitch considering the terrain up there. Dark Peak is often ignored as a backpacking destination. Which is handy for those who backpack there.

  9. Martin - I'm not sure whether it's the 'thou shall not wild-camp in the Peak District' message that puts people off more, or the apparently inhospitable terrain. Either way, it's a good place when you find one of those nice secluded green bits.