Monday, 6 January 2014

Kinder Scout 2.0

Attempt 2.0, that is. They haven't upgraded it (I think).

But yes, I spent my last day as a 24-year-old stomping up Grindsbrook Clough for the second time in less than 19 months (just call me Miss Regular). It was cold. It was wet. It was very, very foggy...
 It was amazing.

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We set off from our B&B in Ollerbrook (more on that another day) and headed over to Edale to try and find our way onto the trail. Alas, my memory is atrocious at the best of times, and while I could remember random and tiny bits about that first hike, beyond "get train into Edale", I was a bit stumped. Luckily, we were soon able to find our way to Grindsbrook Clough, thanks to a combination of the Yeti's awesome map-reading skills and... well... path signs pointing to Grindsbrook Clough.

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Now, this was our first hike for quite a while, so I'm sad to say I was a little slower than usual at times – which was less than ideal as it seemed every fell running group in South Yorkshire had chosen that day to descend onto the same path as us. Cue lots of "let's just let these get past first, eh?"

This was especially the case as I had managed to forget one pretty important feature of this route (though how I'd forgotten is beyond me).  Remember how I explained that I "can't fsking handle streams"? Well, there's a lot of rock hopping and stream crossing with this route. And it had been raining an awful lot of late.  But still, I managed it!  Not without annoying the Yeti by suddenly freezing with fear on a regular basis, but still.

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Then came the scramble to the top. I love a good scramble – while I can't yet completely handle any with sheer drops, anything like Side Pike or, indeed, this part of Grindsbrook Clough is my bread and butter. So much fun.

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But, as I mentioned earlier: this was our first hike in quite a while, so while the scramble was a lot of fun, my thighs proceeded to fall out with me for a few days afterwards. I had never noticed how many stairs my office had...
Then, the (sort-of) summit: that rock that's shaped a bit like a toadstool. Apparently it's at about 600m, if that's any help. I realise that that's not the actual summit of Kinder. We would have made for the true summit from there, but decided against it on the grounds that (1) it was wet and cold, (2) We'd managed to forget our compass, and (3) We'd managed to forget our compass when it looked like this:

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So we made a slightly awkward descent from there instead. Still, despite a few panicky moments ("We're lost! I don't remember this bit!" "Roxy, you've not remembered most of this route..."), we still managed to get back to Edale relatively unscathed.
(Though it was hit and miss at one point.)

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