Monday, 19 October 2015

Two Walks From Edale, Part Two: On the Day, I Go in a Different Direction, Up to the Southern Edge of Kinder Scout and See a Lot of Weird Rock Formations. . .

In my last post I wrote about doing the recce of a ridge walk from Edale to Jacob's Ladder, and up towards Mam and Back Tor via Brown Knoll.   I was geared up to repeat the walk again the following weekend with our rambling group, especially since the weather promised to be dry and clear. 

That walk was a "B" or medium walk, about 10.5 miles.  But on the day, when I read that the route for the "A" or harder walk, included that last pretty stretch, but started much further out and included new (to me) territory, I abandoned the Liverpud (with his blessing) and the B party, and decided on the A walk instead. 

This walk heads off in a completely different direction, up onto the southern edge of Kinder Scout, the huge plateau that dominates this part of the Peak District.  As you can see, visibility was much clearer.

This is about half way up the path - we're heading for that long ridge at the top.

Once up, you get great views of the valley, including the ridge on the other side that we'll end our walk on.

And you start to see the first of many really interesting stone formations that have been weathered by rain and wind into all sorts of fluid, amoeba-like shapes that are oddly compelling to look at.

You also cross many small streams that cascade down into the valley.  Fortunately they were easy to ford on the day as the water wasn't at full force.

You can see how the path just seems to go on forever.  It's an absolutely lovely ridge walk.

With a riot of fall colours all around you.

You then approach an area called the Wool Packs and these clusters of rocks become much bigger and are grouped closer to each other, almost hugging the path.

It's like being let loose in a giant outdoor sculpture museum; I haven't felt this playful on a walk for a long time.  As you can see, I couldn't stop taking photos as the path continued to turn and twist among them.

A great place to stop and have lunch.  No shortage of seats. 

But the A walk doesn't have time to stop for long and the leader puts on quite a bit of a pace.  So after lunch, it was a brisk march down off the ridge following the bridleway which you can see in the middle of the photo below, and then up the other side - a very steep climb up to the summit of Mount Famine. 

Still climbing towards the top and loving the clouds.

At the top of Mount Famine, we had a feast; one of our group had baked a really delicious lemon drizzle cake!

From this ridge we made our way onto Brown Knoll, looking quite vibrant in the late afternoon sunshine, but rather more boggy than on the recce. At one point I placed one foot wrong and sank down in the mud, nearly to my knee -  ugh.

It was around 4pm when I took this last photo and I was starting to flag and despairing at how far we still had to go.  It was also starting to get quite cold, so I couldn't really enjoy that last stretch along the ridge towards Mam Tor (and had no energy to take photos).  Somehow I made it back and took comfort in the fact that quite a few of us were feeling sore and very tired.  I'm still glad I did it though.  I think if one were to take the first part of this walk - the wonderful Kinder Scout edge - and then cut out Mount Famine and go directly to Brown Knoll and on to Mam Tor, you'd have the makings of one almost perfect walk.  It's certainly what I'd do the next time.

No comments: