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...