Start – Bowden Bridge car park SK048869, Distance – 12.6km, Ascent – 560m, Time – 4hrs 30mins plus stops.
An ascent of Kinder from the west, with a foray into the bleak central area to find the true summit. The climb takes you alongside Kinder Reservoir and up William Clough before gaining the Kinder Western Edge. This particular route leaves the Pennine Way and Western Edge to follow the River Kinder into the plateau. It’s then map and compass time as you leave the path and make your way via peat groughs to the summit. There follows another peat-jumping slog to Kinderlow, back on the Pennine Way. You can easily avoid the peaty wilderness by keeping to the Pennine Way between Kinder Downfall and Kinderlow, but where’s the fun in that? There are a number of choices for the descent – this route goes along the ridge of Kinderlow End before dropping down into Tunstead Clough Farm. Route finding is fairly easy, with the obvious exception of the diversion into Kinder plateau. Good navigation skills are needed for this section, even in clear weather. In poor visibility, be sure you know what you’re doing before attempting it – personally, I wouldn’t bother.
A shot down to Kinder Reservoir from the western edge of Kinder. The ascent route up William Clough can be seen running to the right up from the reservoir.
Kinder Downfall. The figures just visible on the skyline give a sense of scale – this is quite an impressive waterfall, especially for the Peak District.
Looking back down Kinder River from my lunch spot perched high above. I usually go walking on my own, but today I had several thousand midges and black flies to share my lunch with. The ascent up William Clough was particularly thick with these flying menaces.
Or is it this? The two “cairns” were just a hundred or so metres apart and If I was a betting man, my 50p would be on this particular unprepossessing pile of peaty pstones! Either way, I doubt I’ll be rushing back, despite the navigational fun. It’s good to blow the dust off the compass every now and then.
A view of the bulk of Kinder Scout, taken from the path alongside Kinder Reservoir.
Is this the true summit of Kinder…?