A Walk on Kinder (17/11/2011)
It’s just two of us today, David Gosling and I, and it was nearly only one as there was some confusion over where and when we were meeting. However, we get together in the end and drive off to Hayfield. David has never been up the Kinder River, so that is where I take him for what will prove to be an unforgettable experience.
We wind our way up the river, enjoying the sunshine and autumn colours. The water is flowing quite well and, as one has to cross from time to time, provides some little challenges.
After enjoying the scramble up the boulders to the base of the the Downfall, we enjoy a real treat - or two. The first is the glorious rainbow in the waterfall. The other is when we can get behind the falls and look through them from the back. We are very lucky to have just the right amount of water coming down and the sun in just the right place. I have long known that one can view the cascade from behind, but the conditions have never been right for me up till now. Unfortunately, David forgot his camera, but captures a few shots with the one on his mobile phone. When Steve Osborne sees a copy of the one David took of me in the rainbow he quizzes me about the crock of gold - and I never thought to look for it!
As we explore the area, taking photographs, there is a thrumming sound and then a helicopter comes over. This is the first of many trips we will see it making today, bringing up bags of heather for the moorland restoration project.
It is some time before we can drag ourselves away, but there is the small matter on our minds of the escape from this hanging valley head. We don’t fancy the exposed terrace off to the south as it could be very greasy, so we go for the northern wall. This has its moments for me when I run out of handholds clambering up what had looked like a do-able rock pitch and nearly get myself crag-fast. I caution David to try another option and work my way round the edge path and down again, having found a more sensible route for him. Escape sorted, we can relax and have a bite of lunch - but under the beady eyes of a somewhat fierce-looking rock gargoyle. Then I lead back up onto the edge path, where the breeze is a touch chilly.
After all the messing about, it is time to put a few miles under our legs, so we stride off to the Charge Stone for an energy boost before heading off over Mill Hill to pass the Grouse inn, where Wittgenstein stayed in 1908. From there we continue below Lantern Pike and back onto Kinder to take the Snake Path to the car and end a super day out.
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