29 June 2022
Hike & Scramble / 11.6 miles / 2,499 ft ascent / 5 hours 44 minutes
Alistair is one of my oldest friends. We met at the mountaineering and walking club at university and over the years we’ve walked across the Pyrenees together, done countless trips to the UK mountains (e.g. this Scottish adventure), traversed the mountaineer’s Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, and spent 5 months together in the Andes of South America, nearly getting to the top of Aconcagua together.
However, since my move to the States 10 years ago, we’ve only seen each other once, briefly in 2014 for a short walk around West Kirby Marine Lake.
This year, June 2022, I was in Peak District for 2 weeks with my family, my brother’s family, and the UK grandparents, for a big family reunion after years of Covid restrictions. Alistair lives just around the corner, so it was easy to meet in the Peaks for a day walk together.
Alistair suggested a scramble up Crowded Clough onto Kinder Low and then walking a circuit around the head of the Edale valley.
We had great weather for it!
We began from the village of Edale, also the start of the Pennine Way, and headed up Kinder Low. It was great to catch up on news and reminisce about adventures past.
Near the top of the climb we entered the stream bed and began the short, wet, but entertaining scramble up Crowded Clough.
Near the top we had the option to take the path towards the summit of Kinder Low, or complete the scramble up a final awkward chimney. Being the purists that we are, we opted for the scramble.
It was a few bridging steps followed by a heave and a struggle to push up and out of the bowels of the mountain. Here, Alistair demonstrates the sideways traversing technique to exit the top of the chimney:
We continued on over the plateau with the weird stones to the trig point at the top of Kinder Low.
From here, we continued around the head of the valley, past many Duke of Edinburgh youth groups (which is how I started my love affair with the mountains), to Brown Knoll, Lord Seat, and eventually Mam Tor.
The section from Lord Seat to Mam Tor was more of a defined ridge line, as opposed to open moorland that we’d crossed earlier in the day.
From Mam Tor, which was rather crowded, we descended to Hollins Cross pass, before turning north into the valley and back to Edale where our cars were parked.
Back in Edale, we stopped to refuel at the excellent Penny Pot Cafe before our respective drives home.
Truly a top day out with a great friend. The best of days.