Between the first two lockdowns, I made a break for it and left London’s walls for the open plain of the Peak District. Kinder Scout to be exact. One of my favourite pieces of rock and peat in England. My goal for the day was to walk Kinder Scout’s edges route, c.17 miles around the plateau rim of this monolithic lump that’s full of delightful views, scrambles, weathered rock formations and moorland wildlife. On a sunny Saturday, the Southside path can resemble London Bridge on a Monday morning as walkers file up and back from Edale. Preferring tranquility over fair weather, I chose an early start and a weekday, with questionable weather.
The route to the top I had chosen was via Grindsbrook Clough. It offers moorland charm and a bit of a scramble. In winter it can be a mini adventure with Grinds Brook turning into a torrent. The summer of 2020 had left the brook is a trickle of rich amber coffee being poured over the gritstone that time has strewn along its course.
I paused a beat, and as the couples huddled around me, my experience and mountain knowledge returned to clear the chatter. I crouched on one knee to steady myself and ducked below the chat, folded my map to cover the area I knew we’d be in, just above the clough. Pulling out my compass, I pinpointed where we were huddled and fixed a bearing for my path’s direction—the path to carry me on with my adventure. I checked in with each couple and repeated the exercise to give them their bearing, caveating that it was an initial direction. Without a compass and in this mist, the opportunity to get disorientated was high and taking the clough back down would be a safe option.
Armed with my compass and bearing my plan was back on trackThe path I took looked the least defined, but I had the confidence in my direction thanks to my compass and bearing.