Sunday, 9 January 2011

Edale and Ringing Roger

I'm a little late with this post - it happened the weekend before Christmas.

Every few months, my old university caving group meet up, often taking over a Youth Hostel or climbing hut for the weekend. The group has grown over the years through the addition of children and friends and the children of friends and their friends and so on, to the extent that filling a hostel is no problem at all. This particular weekend they all came to Hathersage, which is a) just about my back garden and b) where I have just moved my office to (if I'm going to have to work for another 9 years while my kids get through university, I might as well have a nice view from my desk).

After my walk over Derwent Edge two weekends before, in fluffy deep snow and under bright blue skies, I'd suggested a route from Edale along the southern edge of Kinder Scout, thinking that it would offer good views without any real navigational problems.

We drove out of Hathersage under leaden grey skies and as we ploughed through the deep snow into Edale car park, I started to think we might be about to make a mistake. But the Hull group is like a supertanker and once set in motion it is difficult to change course so we headed off through the village under dark and threatening skies towards Golden Clough.

Golden Clough - though it looks more silvery here (photo CHK)

The track up the clough is narrow and steep and offers a satisfyingly remote and wild feel -  if you like that sort of thing. The snow was a few inches deep with variously ice and boggy ground underneath.

A weak sun squeezes through clouds over upper Edale (photo CHK)

When topped out onto the edge, we left the shelter of the clough and were hit by a biting, Arctic wind. My thoughts were to keep going and get to somewhere more sheltered but there were calls for a lunch stop.

Lunch Stop at the top of Golden Clough

As well as the wind, there was a lot of ice underfoot and without crampons, people were falling or being blown over like nine pins. The original plan had been to follow the edge as far as Hope Cross and then drop down to Edale.  We consulted the map for an escape route.

Too many cooks? We should go along here.  No, let's go over there. (Photo CHK)


We could see another party of walkers below us, coming up from the valley, and made the decision to continue along the edge a little further and then pick up a track which drops down below Ringing Roger and goes via The Nab back to Edale.  (We tried ringing Roger for advice but he didn't pick up).

Below Ringing Roger (Photo CHK)

Approaching The Nab

The clouds thinned out a little as we approached Grindsbrook Booth

Best described as a bracing walk but seemingly enjoyed by everyone.  

Distance: 4 miles, up: 1100'

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