Saturday, 10 October 2015

North Kinder

Earlier this year I walked from Glossop to Edale, heading up the Doctors Gate Path and joining the Pennine Way at Snake Pass to make my crossing of the Kinder Plateau. It was to lead me across ground I'd walked many times before on the southern side of Kinder but when I first reached the plateau from Mill Hill and looked eastwards down onto Black Ashop Moor, I realised that in all the times I had climbed this iconic peak I'd never explored its vast northern edge.

A few days after I finished that walk, I sat down to plot myself a route. Not being a driver, I try to keep the Dark Peak reserved for solo walks, as the public transport links from Manchester are pretty decent and I can access the area relatively quickly and easily. My plan was to join the north ridge at its most westerly point, where it juts out quite distinctly above Mill Hill, and head east, following it round until I was above Edale. At the time I assumed I would be tackling this walk in the near future so I decided to avoid repeating the Doctor's Gate Path so soon after I'd just done it and take a different approach to the summit. The Sett Valley Trail seemed to promise an easy warm-up walk from the railway line at New Mills to Hayfield and the Kinder Reservoir.

The Torrs Millennium Walkway at the start of my walk.
Well, "best laid plans" and all that... That was last spring - now here we are in autumn and I have finally managed to squeeze this walk in at the end of September. The weather has been unseasonably warm and even though we'd just had a week's leave to go walking and have days out, I decided to take a further last minute day off at the end of my first week back - "easing yourself back into the daily grind after a break", I call it. Or "I can't face a full week in that hellish office" is perhaps another way of phrasing it.