Tuesday 27th April 2021 - Kinder Scout G/SP-001, The Cloud G/SP-015 & Gun G/SP-013
This is the curious name of a farm near Hayfield, on the A624 Chinley-to-Glossop road. I’d never heard of it until a couple of weeks ago when Marianne led me on a walk she had done with her work colleagues. That circular from Chinley took in Cracken Edge, Mount Famine and South Head and became Lockdown 47 on my website: http://tomread.co.uk/lockdown_47.htm
With a day off work, and Marianne at work herself (so not available for a walk), I was a “free agent” and able to plot my own course. I fancied an activation of Kinder Scout for what would be an unusually late juncture in the year to collect those 4 activator points. Furthermore, inspired from Marianne’s route, I had the idea of a new route to G/SP-001 - and descent route - to create a circular for what might (indeed has) become Lockdown 48.
I found myself approaching Peep-O-Day in the car having not pulled in anywhere to buy food to load in my rucksack, so I continued past the parking spot and down into Hayfield village. It was only just past 6am, but the newsagent was open, and selling pies and sandwiches. The steak pie from here was arguably one of the greatest steak pies I have ever had - worthy of further investigation!
Back up at Peep-O-Day, there was a long lay-by opposite the farm with parking available for a number of cars. I set off from here up the by-way on the opposite side of the A624. This led up to the Pennine Bridleway which was crossed to continue past the north end of Mount Famine. At this point, I noticed that my handheld was not attached to my rucksack strap! I’d only been walking ten minutes, so I retraced my steps back to the car to retrieve it.
Take 2… After passing the north end of Mount Famine for the second time, the path swung left (north) and dropped down into a valley containing farms and farm access roads. I turned sharp right to follow the track through the valley bottom and as it then climbed up towards the Kinder plateau.
With Kinderlow End beginning to loom large ahead, the route turned left onto a rougher (but still well-established) path that passed through a couple of field boundaries before swinging right towards the steep pull to the edge of the plateau. This was easier than it first appeared on a well engineered staircase.
The gradient began to ease as the slope rounded off, and a short while later, the path became flagged. From this point it wasn’t long before the familiar large cairns and finally the trig point at Kinder Low came into view.
I set up in a bit of a dip behind a peat hag for a little shelter from the cold breeze. The 20m groundplane was the antenna of choice today, but I still used a variety of operating modes. After an extensive session on 20m, I packed everything away, then used the 2m FM handheld before commencing my descent.
20m CW: 32 QSOs
20m SSB: 11 QSOs
20m FT4: 13 QSOs
20m FT8: 7 QSOs
2m FM: 10 QSOs
20m SSB S2S: EA6KB on EA6/MA-025 SP6F/P on SP/SZ-007 OE5REO/P on OE/OO-446
20m CW S2S: M1BUU/P on G/LD-058
For the descent, I initially followed the Pennine Way down past Edale Rocks.
However, instead of turning sharp left to continue along the PW towards Jacob’s Ladder, I pressed straight on along the flagged footpath over Brown Knoll.
In recent years, I have then been turning left to pass the trig point on Brown Knoll and then follow the flagged path all the way down to the lay-by at Rushup Edge.
This time I continued the very enjoyable gradually descending path as it curved around a broad ridge.
While thoroughly enjoying this fine walk, I couldn't quite believe that I had been walking on Kinder for over 18 years without ever previously picking out this fine "horseshoe" route to try.
Eventually, this joins the Pennine Bridleway, passing to the right of South Head, and to the left of Mount Famine.
Brown Knoll rises to your left. A short optional detour to visit the trig point can be taken here.
The path continued as it gently dropped towards the increasingly imposing South Head.
From South Head, the Pennine Bridleway was rejoined and followed down to the short byway back down to Peep-O-Day. A very enjoyable and satisfying route.
Tuesday 11th May 2021
Marianne was up uncharacteristically early around 5.30am BST. I was already up, but that wasn't all that unusual for me! We ended up setting off shortly after 6am for Marianne's first ever taste of an early walk! We drove up through Whaley Bridge and Chinley, and parked at Peep-O-Day. We would do the same route as I had done two weeks earlier (above) - Lockdown 48.
In a slight variation, I found the path more directly down into Coldwell Clough that I'd missed a fortnight earlier.
Marianne claimed that she would have rather have remained on the better track for a more graded descent into the valley. Thereafter, we duplicated the same route as above.
On the summit, I used only a 2m FM handheld, and made three QSOs, including a summit-to-summit with John GW4TQE/P on Moel Gyw GW/NW-053.
It was windy and cool across the Kinder Low area, and I could see that Marianne was keen to get going again. Therefore, I didn't persist with trying for the fourth QSO that I didn't need anyway!
Although as we started the descent, Richard G3CWI did try to call in. He was a weak and scratchy signal though, and soon disappeared altogether.
The descent was a pleasant amble down the gradually descending broad curving ridge that passes Brown Knoll, South Head and Mount Famine. We were back at the car by 11.30am, and drove into Whaley Bridge for coffee and cakes, and a little walk along the canal. Most pleasant!