Monday, 22 July 2013

Approaches To Kinder I: Jaggers Clough

After being commissioned to shoot some photos from the top of Jaggers Clough, I finally decided to do the walk up it from Edale to get a feel for the place.

The walk along from Edale is pretty straight forward - after walking up through the village you turn right at the church to head down a pretty obvious path just below the graveyard. This takes you through numerous valley-bottom fields and farms until you reach the main Hope-Edale road. After a few minutes walking along this, through Nether Booth, you turn left into an overgrown path which soon leads onto a much more well worn farm track. This takes you straight up to the bottom(ish) of Jaggers Clough - at which point you no longer need directions. I'd say this walk, at it's hardest gets to about a [2], maybe a [3] at a push - but most people should be fine. If you've not seen already, these numbers can be made more meaningful by having a quick look at THIS post. 

Oddly enough, the most difficult bits height-wise are right at the beginning of the climb. Whilst by no means being dramatic in terms of the drop, the path can get very thin in sections and is a few metres above the stream. I've heard that in the height of summer this can be especially tricky as the undergrowth becomes much more like 'overgrowth' - obscuring the path and making it somewhat more challenging, so if you're nervous about heights or bugs it is certainly best done in the winter/spring. 

When we did the walk, in early summer, there had been very little rain of late, so it was very easy to scramble up the river bed in sections, but I imagine this too might be somewhat harder after wetter conditions. Towards the top, however, the stream would rarely be too much to handle. 

So, here are some example photos...

As you can see, the paths may not be immediately obvious but there is nothing to daunting. The top section gets a littler more interesting though, with a much steeper, rocky stream bed. There is, more often than not, an alternative route up the right hand side too - although this also includes a few scrambles up the odd boulder - the choice of route would be entirely up to you with neither being much easier than the other. These sections would probably only be a [2].

Upon reaching the top, you have two options... left or right. Left takes you straight back long the southern flank of Kinder Scout towards Edale, right takes you on a slightly longer (but worthwhile trip) to Crookstone Knoll - a great spot for a rest and some food half way around the walk. You can then continue along the northern side of Kinder all the way along to Blackden Edge - with views across the valley to Alport Castles. 

Blackden Edge panorama
When you reach this point, turn left by 90 degrees and head on over the peat bogs/moorland. This may sound a daunting task but this is the thinnest point of the Kinder plateau - so you'll be over in no time. You may pick a route, get stuck, need to retrace your steps and try a different route a couple of times but you'll soon find a way across. Once over the watershed you should see a large grough (trench/riverbed in the peat) which is the beginnings of what becomes Golden Clough, which meets Grindsbrook on the way back down to Edale. If you can slide down the peat into this you should have a simple second half of the Kinder crossing - as the sandy riverbed provides a firm, if meandering, walk through the bogs. It may seem disorientating, but trust that the flow will take you to the edge (as it inevitably has to eventually) and you'll soon make it. If not, just keep guessing and, like I said, it's only a short crossing so you'll soon make it anyway.

Kinder Scout groughs
You'll now find yourself right by Ringing Roger and the winding track down to Edale. Whilst the [3]'s amongst you will want to head over to Ringing Roger to take in the views and have a mild scramble down, the [2]'s or less can take the gentle path down to the right(ish) - below the rocky outcrop - to avoid such perils. 

View from Ringing Roger

Follow this all the way back down to Edale and you've made it. Congratulations.

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