Eek! I start the Coast to Coast five weeks today!! How the heck did that happen? It felt like ages away and now it’s knocking on my doorstep…

I have been training. Back to back walks at the weekends, walking in the evenings, running up hills and hitting the gym- concentrating on inclines on the treadmill and using the summit trainer. I have had a bit of a niggle in my right Achilles though so have had to ease off a little this week- can’t risk injury now!!

Helen and I completed a long walk in the Dark Peak on Sunday. We haven’t done much walking in the Dark Peak area of Derbyshire- we both confessed it scares us a little- so when Helen found a route in a walking magazine we decided to go for it.

The route was a 19 miler, intended to be done over a weekend but we decided that we could do it in one day, being tough and experienced walkers and all- ahem!!

Parking at the car park outside Hayfield we passed along Kinder reservoir before climbing by the stream up through William Clough. The route crosses and recrosses the river several times before reaching a crossroads of paths and the Pennine Way. We were faced with a short, steep climb onto the plateau of Kinder Scout, where we followed the southern edge with clear views over the Peak District and the reservoir.

Climbing William Clough

Kinder is a huge, sprawling beast of a mountain, and although paths are in place I could see how easy it could be to get disorientated if the cloud is down.

We took the steeply descending Jacobs Ladder path to Edale, where we utilised a handy bench for lunch and then had a second lunch in a café- just so we could use their loos and refill our drinks bladders, of course!

Kinder Downfall

The second part of the route saw up climbing onto the Great Ridge from Mam Tor and passing over the Shivering Mountain itself. We traversed Rushup Edge, complete with paragliders taking advantage of the air currents, and both decided that we preferred the solitude and wilderness of Rushup Edge over the far more popular Great Ridge, where were could have danced the conga the last time we walked it!

Rushup Edge

A flagged path gradually snaked its way towards the trig point on Brown Knoll. We were initially grateful for this as we could see the black peat bogs it saved us from walking through either side of the path, but it soon became rather tedious as we could see it stretching seemingly miles ahead, and our walking poles had a nasty habit of getting stuck in the gap between the stones.

The endless path…

Hot and tired, we eventually reached the trig point and dropped down to the crossroads at the top of Jacobs Ladder, turning left to descend by Kinderlow End. It was a really warm evening and when we reached the car we sat on a bench in the car park and enjoyed a little picnic and hot drink before driving home.

Descending via Kinder Low

Quite a tough day out and, of course, excellent training for the Coast to Coast- I am glad we ‘conquered’ Kinder, although it was soft on us today..

Mam Tor

We are in Wales this weekend for an ascent of Snowdon. In true Bank Holiday fashion I have watched the gorgeous, hot and sunny weather outside my office window all week and when I get to go play tomorrow it’s apparently gonna rain!

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