Was it the weather, which was warm, windy and sunny despite the mountain forecast promising single figure “feels like” temperatures on Kinder, or was it a combination of holidays, injuries, recuperation, work and even hair washing? Whatever, we had waited until 5pm but there were only three of us at the former Snake Inn layby ready to grace the south eastern corner of Kinder with our athleticism.
In the absence of Andy, there was a feeling, as Slow Warts, that we must include some Harmerian terrain so, to absolve ourselves for the use of the path near Gate Side Clough, we had refreshed our feet crossing the bottom of Fair Brook, such was our commitment to the principles of Slow Warting. Fortunately, we left the path for Tom’s sophisticated semi-contour around Seal Edge and Blackden Moor to the fence which led us, via a confluence of streams and a trod, to Hartshorn.
Which way now? In the evening’s bright sunshine, a glinting trig pillar lured us, like moths to a bright light, towards Blackden on a pathless stretch of heather, bilberry, bogs (all the usual stuff) and quite a few groughs refreshed by the recent rains. Admittedly, we did cross the three-minute crossing and, in time, joined the Blackden Edge path only to leave it for Bob’s Rock which had recently been the subject of a flurry of DPFR emails on its exact location on various maps. To resolve this query, Tim fixed its coordinates, assuming, of course, that we had found the right rock, which we all three agreed we had.
Our attraction to bright lighting continued as we spotted an almost fluorescent green vegetation streak on the opposite side of Blackden Brook, which we were drawn to. Note, no paths were used in the descent into the Brook nor our climb out through the bracken and soggy bright green sward, all defended by a throng of thistles.
Nevertheless, we persevered to reach the “shelf” below Seal Edge. Here, the prevalence of springs at the junction between the shelf and the final steep climb to the Kinder plateau, was noted. Maybe it was the impermeable rock strata there which channelled the Kinder top bog water to outcrop as springs below the plateau. We were then almost obliged to visit the nearest spring, Bob’s spring, on our final descent (sadly some path was involved) for a wash in Fair Brook.
An hour after being welcomed at the Yorkshire Bridge Inn, I think we did manage to solve most of the world’s problems. So, we’d had a very productive and enjoyable evening which is almost exactly what Slow Warting is about, we just need a bit of darkness and cold weather. That will be coming soon so charge up your torches and dig out your thermals and waterproofs.
Thanks to all.