Saturday, 27 December 2008

Kinder Scout via Harry Hut Sat 27th December 2008

This walk started from the lay by close to the Grouse Inn on the Glossop to Hayfield Road. Once across the stile I was on open moorland heading east towards my first goal which was the hill of Harry Hut. This was just a gentle 15 minute walk from the car park.

The summit of Harry Hut offered great views of Bleaklow to the north east and the back of Coombes Rocks to the west. I could also see the edge of the Kinder Plateau in the distance. The weather was a mixture of clear sky and hazy cloud with shafts of light illuminating different areas of moorland and fell.

Harry Hut

From Harry Hut I headed south east across moorland towards Mill Hill. The ground was frozen solid and the heather moorland had a white frosty coating. This made crossing the peat bogs much easier - normally you could sink in mud up to your knees if you didn't tread carefully. Once at Mill Hill I could see the steep ascent to the Kinder Plateau. Kinder seemed to tower above the ground below.

Mill HillKinder Scout

The ground here was very exposed to the strong easterly wind which was now quite strong. Climbing up the steep ascent the wind became stronger still and walking along the Kinder Scout western edge became very difficult as a result. The ground hear was strewn with gritstone boulders and there were numerous rocky outcrops along the edge. The white frosty coating became more prevalent once I passed Sandy Heys and headed towards Kinder Downfall.

Kinder Downfall itself was mainly frozen with just a small stream pouring over the edge. The sky hear seemed a dark bluish grey, and the wind was bitterly cold. From here I followed the River Kinder heading towards the middle of the plateau. I passed through the Kinder Gates, two extremely large bolder on either side of the frozen river. Then following a peat channel, I left the river to head north to get to Fairbrook Naze and the Kinder North Edge.

After climbing up down over and through the complex of peat hags, I eventually found the River Fairbrook which I followed before it drained over the edge of the Plateau. Fairbrook Naze itself is a rocky v shaped outcrop that looks down into the Ashop valley across the snake pass. Looking East the cloud seemed to hang in the valley in the far distance. The bluish Gray sky seemed to be darker in that direction as light mist swept across the plateau to my right.

After a short stop to view the scenery of the Seal Stones further down the plateau edge I turned west to walk along Kinder North Edge. Here the wind was behind me and the sky seemed brighter in that direction. The edge was on my right and looked down over Black Ashop Moor towards Featherbed Moss. Walking along this intermittent path involved traversing rocky outcrops, peak hags, boulders and streams. It is a facinating area of Kinder Scout and relatively quiet compared to the Pennine Way sections.

Towards the end of this section the rocky edge became a steep grassy slope with some outcrops and boulders hear and there. Eventually I reached the steep slope on the north Western corner of Kinder Scout that I had climbed up to get onto the plateau a couple of hours ago. The sun was now low in the sky and the wind had dropped. I climbed back down and headed back to Mill Hill before turning off the Pennine Way to retrace my steps to Harry Hut and the start of my walk.

Kinder North EdgePennine Way heading north towards Featherbed Moss

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