Edale Undulations; via Nether Booth, Jagger’s Clough & Grindslow Knoll
This weekend’s walk was actually my second outing this side of 2014, the first being an attempted walk out to Stanage Edge on new year’s day. I say ‘attempted’ as Sarah and I only made it to Lady Canning’s Plantation then turned back for want of light, perhaps due to a late start, (surely forgivable on new year’s day?), but also possibly something to do with an unintended, mid-route mulled wine stop at the Norfolk Arms.
Like that walk this one turned out to be a late starter, we missed the train by about 1 minute and the next train, (an hour later), was delayed by some mystery problem(s) on the track close to Dore.
Once we did get going, this week I was joined by James & Christine. both of whom are fellow PhD students and with whom I live along with my better half Sarah. Looking skywards, here the winter weather this year has been disappointing, though for those elsewhere in the country struck by catastrophic winds and floods, my best wishes are with you.
Our route took us on a return trip to Edale train station, this time heading East along the foot of the Kinder Plateau. Flanked by the Great Ridge, we passed farmhouses and holiday accomodations at Ollerbrook, Nether Booth and Clough Farm, en route to one of the lesser used routes up to the plateau, Jagger’s Clough.
This week I relied on a traditional layering system as my 20-year old Buffalo Systems Special 6 has been sold off, and a shiny new red one is currently on order. The fact that it hasn’t arrived yet makes me no nevermind, as at lower altitudes the temperature was pretty warm, barely wintry really. Shortly after we set off and were generating heat, I had all my available vents open, my shell came off and I was down to my R1 fleece, baselayer and ‘sweating cobs’, so to speak.
Jagger’s Clough is one of my favourite routes, never have I seen anyone else traversing this rough and unkempt gully, it’s teetering paths roughly hewn from the towering, almost claustrophobic sides. The banks of both Upper and Crookstone Out Moors wrap around to obscure the views out of the clough, though every so often, (and given good visibility), you may be able to see out to Lose and Win Hills, which can look abnormally close together from the correct viewpoint.
At several points on the ascent you have to ditch the path, (no pun intended), and walk carefully up the shallow but running watercourse. There are plenty of hands-on stretches and narrow walk-ways, and the ascent eventually ends in a final, decent scramble.
Jagger’s Clough is certainly more involving than some of the other routes upwards, and at present it’s quite waterlogged, I’ve never seen it so bad really, though given the preceding month’s weather it’s not all that surprising. Despite being as soggy as it is is right now, the route is definitely still enjoyable methinks.
Up on the plateau, whilst the rain held off, the wind started to gather some steam. Though never too forceful it was certainly enough to warrant a hard-shell and quite capable of biting at the helices and lobules of my exposed ears.
From the north-west, mists and low cloud persistently threatened to, and occasionally did engulf us, reducing visibility to tens of metres. The path is however a straight-forward one, following the plateau edge past Ringing Roger, skirting the edges of Upper and Nether Tors until reaching the downfall at the top of Grindsbrook Clough.
At the latter point we made a decision to take a more forgiving route down than the clough itself, choosing to head over the top of Grindslow Knoll, by the path whose descent eventually joins with the Pennine Way at it’s source/termination. It’s been a while since I came down this way but the path looked somewhat worse for wear, much of it appearing to have subsided under footfall and the wet and windy weather we’ve had this winter.
After just over 8 miles and ca. 650 metres of elevation gain, as with all walks that come to rest in Edale, a delicious pint in the Rambler Inn was called for, Bradfield brewery’s Farmers Blonde if I remember correctly. A half-past-the-hour train back to Sheffield followed to top off our day.