A day of easy scrambling in the Dark Peak, utilising two of Kinder Scouts popular ascent routes. The first ascent is by the way of Grindsbrook and, after descending via Grindslow Knoll, the second ascent takes in the exciting Crowden Clough.
Length: 7.92 miles
Area: Peak District – Dark Peak
GPX File: Download
As happens two or three times a year, I had 4 kids to entertain for the day on an outdoors adventure and so I set about planning something which I thought would interest them. This isn’t always easy. Our kids have reached that age where their attention spans have regressed to an all time low point, and they believe that most activities are boring compared to sitting at an XBox all day playing Minecraft. Walking is one of those activities. The only way I can get them interested is to incorporate plenty of opportunities to scramble on rock into the walk. The last time they came, we spent a few hours playing on the rocks on Curbar Edge, therefore that option was out of the equation as I always like to take them somewhere new to explore. I decided in the end to take them up Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough as I’d already tested the route earlier this year and didn’t think there was any part of it that they couldn’t handle. Both routes contain multiple stream crossings, and some scrambling in the upper sections.
From the car park at Edale, me and the kids (Sam, Luke, Ellie, and Alfie) headed up Marys Lane for a short distance past The Old Nags Head pub where we turned right onto the signposted footpath to Grindsbrook. Grindsbrook, for the most part, was very straight-forward. I was starting to worry it was a bit too straight-forward as the kids started to whinge and suspect that I may have been lying when I promised them waterfalls to climb up. Luckily things became a little more exciting for them nearer the top as the brook forked. We took the more exciting right fork and the kids, at last, had a few rocks to clamber on. It wasn’t long before one of them had slipped and plunged his foot into the brook, allowing the water to flow into his boot. He apparently didn’t heed my warning not to stand on the rocks that were covered in wet green slime!
The highlight of the Grindsbrook route was the climb out of the clough up the right hand wall, which they all found reasonably exciting and not too challenging. Once up, they climbed onto one of the large gritstone formations to have a snack and enjoy the great view looking back down Grindsbrook, and across to Grindslow Knoll.
Once refuelled, we dropped back into the very upper section of Grindsbrook for one last minor scramble (optional) before heading towards Grindslow Knoll. As we approached the knoll, we veered right (south) and skirted along the bottom of the hillock and beyond for a short distance, heading just to the right hand side of two ponds that were visible in the distance. Just before the ponds were reached, we veered right again, following a zig-zagging path downhill in a roughly south-westerly direction towards Crowden Clough. I had noticed that Ellie was taking almost as many photos as I was – which was a lot! In fact, half of my photos seemed to be of her pointing her camera somewhere. Luke on the other hand was proving to be a frustrating subject to photograph as he insisted on doing his ‘dab’ move every time a camera was pointed at him, and so I decided to go down the route of catching him unawares.
The kids seemed to enjoy Crowden Clough a little more due to there being many more opportunities to explore as well as more rocks to climb upon. The further up Crowden Clough you get, the more exciting it becomes. The brook can be crossed several times before reaching the top section where the more interesting scrambling begins. This is where the kids finally had their chance to climb a waterfall. See, I wasn’t lying at all! The most exciting part of the whole route is the scramble up the wall to the left of one of the waterfalls. It’s possible to go up the waterfall itself, however on this day it was still a little wet, and the rocks covered in a lot of slime. I deemed it safer for the kids to bypass it which they didn’t mind as the alternative is equally fun. The climb is quite steep and exposed, but the handholds are plentiful and the kids were up in no time at all.
Once up, we had a play around on some of the gritstone formations again before making our way back to Grindslow Knoll – this time climbing up the hillock to the cairn, and back down the other side towards Edale via Grindslow Booth. At this point, the kids seemed to think it would be great fun using their jackets as a sledge and sliding downhill. They soon stopped when I mentioned that the area was teeming with millions of ticks. I may have exaggerated a little. The views across Edale and towards the Great Ridge on the way down were fantastic and the photographs don’t really do it justice.
It had been a great day with plenty of sun, and the exposed peat on Kinder Scouts edges had all dried up making for some easy walking. The brooks were also far easier to navigate than the last time I was here as the water level had dropped enough to expose plenty of stepping stones. Most of them were submerged a couple of months back. Now I have another three months before the kids return and so plenty of time to work out where I’m going to take them next!
Walk completed on 7th April, 2017
Map and Elevation Data:
GPX file for the walk
Photo album on Flickr
Kinder Scout – Wikipedia page
All about the Kinder mass trespass
The post Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough appeared first on Hill Explorer.
This post first appeared on Hill Explorer - Hill Walking, Hiking, And Scrambli, please read the originial post: here