It is a question I’ve occasionally asked myself when facing cold blustery wind, rain, darkness, soggy peat, heather and ice. The question is still unanswered, but, the reason  may be because there is a good feeling when we’ve finished the run (the bashing your head against a brick wall explanation). Of course, there is more to it than that, which is simply the act of being there with the other Slow Warts and facing the challenges together, in the thick (mist) of it.

Such was our experience in our foray to the edge of Kinder from the Snake Bridge. We were anxious to get going at 10 minutes before 5pm but we waited for 5 minutes and then left only to see Jim arrive. A series of shouts across the valley (we’d started our climb) established that Jim was going to do his own thing, later confirmed by the newly introduced Warts WhatsApp. There are several routes up to Fair Brook Naze, the valley path with variations and a couple using the ridge, one very peaty and the other via a quad track now dissolving into the peat.  We chose the part frozen latter which took us magically (I was deep in thought contemplating the question why) to the last steep section up to the Naze. 

To arrive here was sufficiently notable to justify a photo but space was limited with apparent precipices on all sides so it was necessary to crowd together.

A crowd at the Naze, look carefully in the gloom, we’re all there (except me)
(Chris is in the limelight)

Like ancient mariners, we continued by clinging close to the edge of Kinder listening carefully for the roar of upper Fair Brook until it became a mighty roar and then a bit of a trickle when we felt confident enough to cross it. Our edge wandering continued until we lost sight of it and decided to turn more leftish until we reached a dark chasm, the edge. Fortunately we managed to avoid a big rock outcrop which allowed us to slide, often uncontrollably, down the steep and mainly greasy, grassy slope. Thanks to Tom and Andy’s navigation we splashed into the fourth spring which was bubbling vigorously with life and health-giving properties and, er, water.

Slow Warts at the bubbling spring, photo thanks to Chris

Once partially revived here, we set off down the left side of Upper Seal Clough and despite the spring’s benefits, thoughts of why’re we doing this began to creep in as we ploughed through a lot of deep heather and hidden holes one of which swallowed Tom to waist height. Fortunately, he extricated himself and continued on to join the main track by Fair Brook. Then, there was the usual dash to the cars for our next check point of the Yorkshire Bridge Inn where the car park was empty because, tragedy, it was closed, so on to the Anglers. Sitting in the warm comfort, there to welcome us was another group of Dark Peakers (the cold water ones) all tucking into a full scale meal. We instead dined on crisps, salted peanuts and cheesy biscuits, after all we must maintain Warting principles. We talked about tough goings and past glories and after one or two pints, what a wonderful outing we’d had. 

Thanks to all.  


Our track, thanks to Chris
Categories: Warts