Friday, 30 March 2012

A walk up to Kinder Scout

The weather has been more like summer than early spring of late, and it held long enough to make a good walk great. I went up to the top of Kinder Scout a high upland bog at over 2000m above sea level.

Normally when ive climbed up here its been autumn or winter and the weather is very changeable and intense. Fog and snow are common experiences up here. Today however it was wonderfully warm and sunny. This walk was preparation for a walking festival to support the 80th anniversary of the mass trespass, when in 1932 after years of other protest walks, a much larger group of local workers frustrated with the private ownership of the moor walked onto the area and went up against the local owners, gamekeepers and police to enjoy the countryside as we now take for granted.

There was some great examples of traditional newly layed hedges

Kinder reservoir

A brew up at the top, and the view back down to the reservoir. It was quite hazy even with the great weather.
I brought the usual bushcrafting gear in a canvas day bag (german army mountain rucksack) so it wouldn't matter if the weather closed in I'd have the basics to keep warm and dry.
Stove is just the crusader cooker with gel as fuel. With the flask and cup it takes up little room and is great for a quick cup of tea. Sandwiches and snacks for quickness this time as the walk leader likes to get a pace on.

Water courses starting to dry up

The upland peat bogs, another world! and fast disappearing, so there are lots of people working hard to preserve them from erosion by damming up areas to re-wet, and provide a stable place for newly planted cotton grass plants and heather seed to establish. This work is being coordiated by the current owner the National trust.

The edges of the plateau are gritstone great for climbing and bouldering, offering excellent grip but rough on the hands!

The mermaids pool, and my trusty hazel thumb stick. This helped me no end on the the way up, down and across uneven ground and testing the boggy areas. It doubles up as the main and only support for a large tent tarp I made which is open fronted to favour a fire but can be closed off with doors if needed.

..and in use with two longer poles on the outside for more internal space

A nice spot of woodland on the way down, complete with stream. We found a few decay fungi and some owl pellets here along with poor camping by wild campers who have left fire places all over. One huge fire was still burning from the night before with foil and cooking pots left around the site. Not very cleaver on dry heathland surrounded by larch.We poured several litres of water to put out the fire deep below ground, and cleared away what we could.

A great day in great company. Cant wait till next time.