Trip Report – Traverse of Kinder Plateau and Bleaklow – Part 2

Day 2 – Thursday 28th October 2010

Start 8.15

Finish 18.00

27.9 Km (19 miles)

I was packed away by quarter past eight and on my way, walking along the plateau edge past the rocks of Plym Chair and climbing down Noe Stool and after a short distance turning North onto the Pennine Way at Edale Rocks.

Edale Rocks

I continued on to the moon like landscape around the trig point of Kinder Low.

Kinder Low trig point

I followed the Pennine Way, running along the plateau edge, with fine views over Kinder Reservoir and towards Glossop.  The walking was easy, as the climbing had been done the day before. Before I knew it I was at Kinder Downfall, where much of the water from this upland watershed tips off the edge of the plateau to make it’s way steeply down as the Kinder River, to the Reservoir.

Kinder Down Fall

With all the rain of the last few weeks , it was quite a torrent.  I have visited this waterfall a number of times, sometimes almost dry and one winter when the fall was completely frozen.

I crossed the river near to the falls and stopped for a quick snack and a drink of water.

Kinder River just before the falls

The Pennine Way then drops down off the plateau.  On the way down, I saw my first walkers of the day, which was pretty good considering how popular this area is. I was on top of a large slab of rock looking at the view and one of the group said that would make a good photo.  He used my camera to take a couple of photos of me.  They were decked out in Paramo, so we had a quick chat about the jackets and I was on my way.

I continued until turning off the Pennine Way on to the Snake Path.  Initially the path follows close to the River Ashop. In fact as the river had flooded the whole area, I was following the river !   About a third of the way along the path, I found out that my Hedgehogs had sprung a leak.  I had taken these on the trip, instead of my Terrocs 345’s which I cannot get on with, they are just not comfortable for me.  I really want these to work for me , but so far I have not been happy with them. My Hedgehogs on their last legs are much more comfortable.

As you walk further along the path the valley opens up and the river is left far below.

River Ashop

Eventually I reached the forest of Lady Clough .

Lady Clough forest

I entered the forest and followed the track heading east, the track then heads north following Lady Clough River. Here I stopped for lunch, sheltering under the dense canopy of trees from some light rain.  This is a pleasant walk, very different terrain from the rest of the walk.

Forest trail

The Forestry Commission maintain the paths in this area, but even so, in parts it was extremely muddy.  I am glad I wore my Rab eVent gaiters for this trip.  Towards the end of the forest, the path runs alongside the A57, I scrambled up the bank onto the busy road and proceeded towards Snake Pass.  What struck me, ( no not a car!) was not so much the amount of traffic, although it was heavy, but the unbelievable amount of rubbish that had been thrown from cars.  Simply a disgrace, particularly in a National Park.  As the traffic was heavy I walked fast as possible to clear this small road section and turned off at Doctor’s Gate.  Making my way along more slab pavement to reach Old Woman at the junction of the Pennine Way.  The rain now was pretty heavy, as I made way up towards Bleaklow Head through the twists and turns of the groughs.

After a relatively short climb, I reached Beaklow Head at 633 metres (2077 feet).

Bleaklow Head

I followed the Pennine Way northwards, heading down hill, alongside Wildboar Clough, as you go downhill from here, the river drops far away from the Pennine Way into the spectacular Torside Clough.  To my mind this is one of the best sections of the Peak District.

top of Torside Clough

Torside Clough looking down to Torside Reservoir

A steep descend follows down to a farm-house next to the B6105.  I crossed the road and made my way along the Trans Pennine Trail which follows the course of the now disused railway from Hadfield to Woodhead Tunnels – the only electrified section of railway in Britain that was closed.

It was starting to get dark, I had a train to catch from Hadfield at 18.20, so the last 3.5 miles of the trip was done at a fast pace, arriving in good time at 18.00 to catch the train to Manchester Piccadilly.  From Manchester over the Pennines back to Barnetby Le Wold railway Station in Lincolnshire.

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10 Responses to Trip Report – Traverse of Kinder Plateau and Bleaklow – Part 2

  1. backpackingbongos says:

    I have walked that section of the snake pass as well Mark and was suprised at the amount of detritus along side it. Sometimes the human race makes me want to hang my head in shame. There does also seem to be a large amount of bits of vehicles that seem to have fallen off as well, how does that happen!

  2. -maria- says:

    Littering has started to be a problem here in Finland, too, even in Lapland. People get flown there by seaplanes or helicopters, spend some time there (often basecamping and fishing) and leave their rubbish behind. Last summer one helicopter entrepreneur together with Metsähallitus (a national forest organisation) flew 15 volunteers to some remote areas in Lapland to collect the rubbish – empty beer cans, throwaway barbeque grills, … Of course they could not clean the whole Lapland, but they did get publicity, so maybe at least a few more persons collect their rubbish next time?

    Good pictures again!

    • Thanks Maria for your kind comments about my photos. I just point and shoot !
      Sorry to hear that in Finland you have the same problem as us in the UK.
      I despair about how people treat wilderness.

  3. alan.sloman says:

    Now I don’t know what I have been doing with my life, but your blog has somehow slipped through without me noticing! (I have been a bit preoccupied recently…) Have just spent a happy while catching up – A really great read.

    I have you on Google Reader now so I shan’t miss any more.

    • That’s OK Alan. Thanks for your kind words. I keep missing your posts. I dropped your address into Google Reader and for some reason it is not notifying me. I have put it back in. Anyway – I enjoy reading about your journeys when I see them !

  4. Martin Rye says:

    A fine route Mark. It has a sense of wildness about it. The groughs have a challenge all of their own. Nothing really compares to the 15ft deep ones on Kinder. How folks miss out walking the edges. Going across Kinder and Bleaklow is a memorable experience once done.

    • Martin, I used to walk this area regularly, so it was like visiting an old friend. This old friend can turn nasty. In dense fog, you can get lost easily. Got my first GPS because of it.
      You can’t beat Black Hill – a bit further along for stepping up to your knees or higher in boggy morass 🙂

      By the way – well done on getting on next year’s TGO.

  5. GeoffC says:

    These Dark Peak reports remind me of how good a walking area it is, Bleaklow and Kinder get really wild and other-worldly away from the popular edge paths. Great places for navigational training in crap weather, the uninitiated won’t know what’s hit them.
    All manner of crud gets thrown down that forested slope in Lady Clough, much of it must have been slung out of moving cars.

  6. Geoff – you are so right. I don’t rely just on GPS, but like to keep an idea where I am on a map – just in case they pack up. However I bought one a few years back, after getting pretty lost up there in dense fog. Walked on a bearing to Kinder Low trig, but could’nt find it. Found a couple who said they had just walked past it. “It is just over there” pointing the way. So I set off, could not find it and then walked a different way and find the trig point in a completely different direction from where they had just pointed to ! Fog can be very disorientating. As you say a great training ground for places where it could be more serious. White-out on top of Scafell (not Pike) and not being able to work out the ground from the sky. GPS came in pretty useful that day. Although you still have to your wits about you – you can easily navigate yourself off a cliff !

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