Singing and dancing at Unstone proved to be a greater attraction for the Cap’n than the glacial (possibly) Edale Valley. There were no such distractions for we six Slow Warts who gathered under the railway arches near Barber Booth and under an increasingly blue sky, prompting the usual review of our wardrobes. Chris had come fully equipped, not with his bloomers this time but with a newly bought pair of lightweight cutaway go-faster shorts. Speed is all.
Jim (O) decided, as usual, that he would go his own way whilst the remaining five would take Bob’s suggested route to Moz’s Knolls, Crowden and then to the highest part (636m) of Kinder where we would reassess the rest of the route. In order to live up to our Slow Warts title, we started from the arches with a gentle and sunny walk through the Elysian fields and glades to Upper Booth, though to be fair, we occasionally broke into some form of jogging on the pleasant paths. But too much enjoyment is not good for the soul and there was a need to spur ourselves on by fighting our way through bracken and bilberry up the hillside from Crowden Brook. Such was my excitement to get going, I danced across the Brook following agile young Tim only to find myself in the Brook itself thereby refreshing my left side. My attempts at extraction proved to be as competent as my agility to cross the stream and after thrashing around in it, Tim (thankfully the only witness to my dunking) offered a helping hand which was gratefully grasped.
Duly energised, the climb continued to one of three small knolls, the rockiest one being used for Moz’s birthday race. At the regathering here, our thoughts turned to the geology of the area; was the Edale valley glaciated or was it too small to be one, in which case how was it formed, and just how many landslips could be seen in this area? Later in the run, the lighting and the clear air facilitated landslip spotting. There are a few.
Now we set out to reach the highest point on Kinder, though without using a map, via Crowden Head, but whether it was the isolated terrain, whether it was just being there or whether it was Tom’s recent attendance at a first aid course, our thoughts turned to the availability of safety equipment in our five strong group. Tom could muster a four-man bivvy sheet in which Tom had already prebooked one of the places, (who would be left out in the cold?) and there was also one balaclava which might be converted to a sling, if it could be spared. There were also some fruit pastilles, so all in all we felt pretty well prepared, perhaps?
Knowledge of the terrain is a valuable skill and Bob’s plan to follow one of the streams behind Pym Chair, took us successfully to the highest point, though to call it a point is misleading. It’s flat apart from a small pile of stones and a small wooden post.
Being on the highest flat on Kinder, we were rewarded with a 360⁰ sunny evening vista of large parts of Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire and possibly Wales, wonderful.
However, we do pay for our pleasure and enjoyment. It was now time to return, via the trig, Swine’s Back, Brown Knoll and Horeshill Tor. Whilst our enjoyment was prolonged on part of the flat, grough-free Kinder watershed path to the trig, we were soon enduring the many flagstones to Brown Knoll and beyond (very much a reason not to run the Skyline race?) until we left them for Horsehill Tor and a steep descent to the valley and its paths and tracks which pass by a mysterious deep wooded stream near Dalehead.
Jim was waiting for us having been “chatted up”, his words, by a lady also in the car park. Maybe our record-breaking run of 7.1 miles (for about 160 minutes see below) was just a bit too short? The glorious evening was finished off pleasantly at the Rambler. Another grand Slow Warts’ night to remember.