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Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough


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.

Route Information

Ascent: 980m

Length: 7.92 miles

Start: Edale

Area: Peak District – Dark Peak

GPX File: Download


Other POI: Edale, Grindsbrook Clough, Grindslow Knoll, Crowden Clough, Crowden Tower, Grindslow Booth

Route Description:

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.

Heading to Grindsbrook from the Edale car park
Heading to Grindsbrook from the Edale car park

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 start of the Grindsbrook path
On the Grindsbrook path
On Grindsbrook
This move is apparently called ‘The Dab’
Further up Grindsbrook
Further up Grindsbrook
Sam posing for a photo
Sam posing for a photo by the brook

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.

Scrambling up Grindsbrook
The scrambling starts…
Above Grindsbrook
…and ends
Some bonus scrambling at the top of Grindsbrook
Some bonus scrambling at the top
Time for a quick rest
Time for a quick rest
Looking back at the top of Grindsbrook
Looking back at Grindsbrook

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.

Skirting around Grindslow Knoll
Skirting around Grindslow Knoll
Heading for the clump of trees centred
The clump of trees is our destination

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.

Heading up Crowden Clough
Heading up Crowden Clough
Kids posing on Crowden Clough rock
Nice photo opportunity
Luke posing by a pool in Crowden Clough for a photo
Luke posing by a pool for a photo
The scrambling on Crowden Clough begins
The scrambling begins
Crowden Clough
Getting near the top. The kids are loving it.
Crowden Clough scramble
The highlight of the Crowden Clough scramble
Top of Crowden Clough
A brief rest at the top
Looking back down Crowden Clough
Looking back down Crowden Clough

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.

Posing on gritstone
Another group photo opportunity
Heading to Grindslow Knoll
Heading to Grindslow Knoll
At the cairn on Grindslow Knoll
The cairn on Grindslow Knoll (we left it intact!)
Descending back to Edale
Descending back to Edale
Looking towards the Great Ridge
Looking towards the Great Ridge

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:

Interactive Map
Elevation Profile for the Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough walk
Elevation Profile

Useful Links

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

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Grindsbrook and Crowden Clough


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