Wild Weekend – Pt. 1
19th & 20th March 2016
The absence of walking weekends away with friends over the last year helped to create a lot of anticipation and excitement for this weekend away, and we had a great route planned. Nursing the mild hangovers administered from The Old Nags Head, in Edale, we set out up Kinder Scout via the Grindsbrook Valley. As well as being the highest point in the Peak District, Kinder Scout has one of the barren landscapes; a large moorland plateau filled with trenches, ditches and boggy troughs. Unless you stick to the well-marked Pennine Way that circles Kinder’s western side it’s easy to lose the trail as you navigate the deep bogs and pools of water.
Reaching the edge of the plateau we stopped for our lunch break on a small ledge at the top of Kinder Downfall, and were able to admire the view out towards Manchester and the height of Kinder’s waterfall. We picked up the Pennine Way and followed it down to The Snake Inn, which offered us a chance to replenish our water supplies, as well as getting a much-needed cup of tea.
Our destination for the day was an old disused Shooting Cabin at the head of a remote valley, north of Snake Pass, which slowly came into view as we climbed out of Ladyclough Forest and up Oyster Clough valley. Having only seen the cabin through satellite imagery and a handful of photos available online, there was some apprehension as to its condition and how habitable it would be. Whilst not being able to offer the warmth of a woodburner or fireplace, or much furniture at all, the cabin was far from 5-star accommodation, but what it did have a large table and, conveniently, 4 stools. Over the next few hours, the heat from our camp stoves, along with a bottle of Port, helped to warm us as we settled down for the night