Monday, 15 September 2008

The first and last day of summer.

This Saturday I returned to Edale with James (Top Lad) and we went for a wander up Grinds Brook. We set off pretty late and got about 2/3 of the way to the summit before turning around.
The original plan was to go up Grinds brook and back down the path near Crowden Clough, but in traditional family style we arrived late, and upon pitching the tent, the sun came out and we had the first (and last day of summer). Making us immobile for about an hour, just eating some sarnies and soaking up the rays..
By the time we’d got moving, it was quite late in the day, so we just took map, compass, waterproofs and small water bladder.
The walk was great and the weather was amazing. We followed the brook as far as we could and then went up the side until getting to the path, as it passed through the woods then along the path, into the park and over the small wooden footbridge. We did use the map a few times, but mostly to show Jim some rudimentary compass/map skills. Later we went down to the riverbed and scrambled up there for a distance. Sun on our backs, water all around and because it was late, the hill to ourselves. Perfect!

I had planned for us to walk for another 30 mins or so, but we encountered a sudden rush of walkers coming the other way.. Common sense prevailed - bow to the more experienced and so we turned around and went down before we ran out of direct light. In total we were walking for about 2 hrs.
We arrived back at the Nag's and had a couple of jars before going back to the tent to make our evening meal (sainsburys Thai green curry with ready to wok noodles.. V. Nice, I recommend to anybody camping. Just heat the sachet of sauce and take off the heat, add noodles and allow to warm through. Jim's idea - total winner).
Jim has never been to Edale before and so we went to both the Ramblers and back to the Nag's head. Due to this, late supper did not go quite to plan.. Some very nice dehydrated mushroom pasta was served to the god of drunken clumsiness.. Although a pain to clear up properly, we were laughing uncontrollably for about 1/2 hour after giving that final high point to a great day.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The Beginning

I decided last year that I should go back up Kinder for the last time with my Grandad. He took me first when I was 5 and now I was returning the favour. He had died not long before and taking some of his ashes seemed fitting (he virtually lived in Edale as a young man and loved being on Kinder).
I started re-kitting myself for walking and remembered how much I love walking and camping. Something i had eschewed for well over a decade now. As I started to spend way too many beer tokens buying kit I wouldn't need (nor did I take on that trip) I thought about walking the Pennine Way..
It seemed so simple, Buy a lightweight tent, find some other nutters and just set off. Ensuring my place in the family history (No-one else has done it).

The first Hurdle came when i went up kinder For the send-off. I went with two of my cousins, their dad and a dog (which was white and had curly fur.. not a good colour to take on the dark peaks. It looked like a small sheep by the time we got down)..
Setting off from the car park at Upper Booth, we walked down a small road, than along a stream. It was all so relaxing and fun and peaceful, until it got steep.. no, near vertical.. I loved every hard fought meter of altitude but By the time I got to the top of Crowden Clough I was Half dead.. Gasping for breath, bright red and dizzy from hyper-ventilating, I was an embarrassment.
My cousins and their dad were all fine. The dog was the only other unfit member of the group. I know this from the way he was panting as hard as i was ;)
Around this time I remember Sitting at the top looking down on Upper Booth and thinking I'm gonna need to be A LOT fitter if I'm even going to consider this for real.

The rest of the trip was great, Kinder was in one of it's nicer days, dry and easy transit across the top. Sadly this also meant there was no water on the downfall, but also meant we could stand between the kinder gates for photo's. As it was dry, grit and heavy wind ensured we were all scoured before we came down the Jacobs ladder.
On the way down we passed loads of Sunday walkers, no pack, no map, no water, Girlfriend in tow (some in heels)!
As I passed these, I wondered if they were going to die, or if I might have over packed just slightly more than i needed for this trip...