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Sunday, 15 January 2017

Kinder Low & Grindslow Knoll From Edale 14-1-2017

Well this was another sort of unplanned walk as I was watching the weather forecasts all week in the hope of getting up to the Cumbrian Fells at the weekend. Right up till Friday it was looking all good but undecided as where to go, then for some reason Edale in the Peak District jumped into my head and that was that! As it's been a couple of years since my last visit up here, Christmas day 2014 to be precise Read It Here, it seemed about right to go again especially as there was a good fall of snow and the forecast was for a good clear day with plenty of sunny periods. Which route and for how long to be out, well again, me being me, who knows. Arriving at Edale for about 9.30am the weather wasn't going quite as planned as I set off from the main car park and up through the village. Very overcast with a bit of light drizzle in the air wasn't on the cards and as I crossed the brook and headed up the main path to Grindsbrook, this is where the drizzle turned to sleet. It was here that I decided to head straight up Grindsbrook for a bit of scrambling over rock this way offers, as opposed to going up the bank and on to Ringing Roger as I may be coming back down that way. As it was, I didn't and ended up having a good 6 hours walking in sleet, snow, sun and a bit of wind, a typical day on the high ground in winter :-)
Route for the day
Wooden Bridge over Grindsbrook
Bit murky at the start
Bit of sleet going up Grindsbrook
Sleet turns to heavy snow
Waterproofs went on as the snow was getting heavier as I made my way up along Grindsbrook. The path was a mixture of slush, ice, snow and scree but was slowly turning more and more into a snowy, slippery walkway the further up I got. As I got to the more rocky path along Grindsbrook there was quite a bit of ice knocking about and as more of a precaution I put on the micropspikes. Maybe not totally needed but again they do add a bit more grip hoping over compact snow and ice.
Snow getting a bit heavier
Snow getting a bit heavier
Everything is blending in as one
Three quarters up Grindsbrook , there is a fork going off to the right that follows another brook up through more steep rocks and i decided to take this route. I have done it before in clear conditions and it's a little bit more exciting in the scrambling stakes. this time proved to be a bit more tougher as I ended up going straight up the grass bank following others as it became very hard to clambour over the snow and ice covered boulders and water! It was also here where the weather suddenly changed to what was in the predicted forecast, blue skies and sunny :-)
Following the right hand groove
Blue skies appear as the snow clears
Tough going through the snow covered boulders
Looking back down as the sun gets to work on the clouds
It was here that I had to go up the bank as the route ahead disappeared
Very different weather to when I set off
Blue sky and white snow, great
Looking back down Grindsbrook
I made my way round towards Crowden Tower and the Wool Packs where I found shelter amongst the oddly sculptured sandstone rock formations. The snow in places here was quite deep, knee deep and also quite boggy through all the peat. In parts the ice and rocky terrain made for good solid ground but in other parts it was hard going and you never quite knew if you'd endup getting swallowed up! all good fun though :-) The weather this time had turned again as the low cloud that was over towards the Stockport area slowly crept in and made the place a bit spooky with all the different shapes of the rocks. It was also eerily quiet as I seemed to be the only one resting here
On my way to the wool packs with a moody looking sky creeping in
Looking back with a perfect sky
Some deep snow drifts along with the moody skies
View down Crowden Clough
The sun disappearing above Crowden Tower
Anvil shaped rock
A killer Whale watching for the seals
Picture what you can
Picture what you can
Having a right old natter :-)
Bog monster got me!

Knee deep in places
Brew time
Now this is where it went a bit wrong as I followed the footsteps in the snow, but which ones!! I had thought about making my way up to Kinder Downfall from the top of Crowden Clough but with the weather closed in I decided against that one, plus it meant back tracking a few hundred yards which I didn't really fancy. The large group that had been in front of me had long gone and I knew they were heading in that same direction so I though I'd head towards Kinder low and then make my way down the Jacobs ladder path or back track and go down via Grindslow Knoll. A quick look at the map tells me the path follows the line of rocks towards pyms chair and as Iv'e done this before its not a problem, mmmmmmm. So off I go and there's that many footprints all seemingly heading in the right direction I pick up a pathway that after about ten minutes dosen't quite seem right as the boggy, rocky ground is now more heather and ditches but as I here voices infront of me I keep going. Plenty of footprints and looking at the map I'll pick up the Pennine way and head on to Kinder Low. After about twenty minutes I get on the Pennine way just as the cloud decides to lift again and has me looking down on Kinder Reservoir just as a few more folk appear from my same direction and also the group of people who were infront of me from near the start appear coming from the direction of Kinder Downfall. A slight diversion but nothing much to worry about.
Off into the unknown
Off into the unknown
Off into the unknown
Looking down on Kinder Reservoir
Looking down on Kinder reservoir
Kinder Low trig point
From here I decided that I would head back towards Grindslow Knoll as I wanted to stay high as long as possible, afterall I was in no rush and time was on my side and I wouldn't be retracing all of my route, just a small part of it. So off down the Pennine Way to Noe Stool and then pick up the path that goes past Pyms Chair and back through the Wool Packs and on to Grindslow Knoll as the mist cleared again.
Heading down from Kinder Low
On the approach to Noe Stool with Pyms Chair to the left
On the approach to Pyms Chair
View towards Grindslow Knoll in the distance

Through the Wool Packs
View down Crowden Clough
Crowden Tower
Snow Patterns and moody clouds
On the approach to Grindslow Knoll
It was on the summit of Grindlsow Knoll that I encountered the first bitter wind of the day and it took your breath away, quite literally!. It had been quite a pleasent winters day with mixed weather but on here the wind was biter and so I didn't hang around too much. Just a good walk down the snow covered scree path and through the slushy field back to the car park
Grindslow Knoll Summit
Looking back from the summit
Deep snow on the way down
Looking back to Grindslow Knoll and the moody sky
View down to Edale
Looking back up from the slushy field
Another a great winters day on the high ground above the small Peak District village of Edale.
Cheers :-)

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