The Roaches

Walks in the Dark Peak (Gritstone area) of the Peak National Park from 2012 onwards.

APRIL 2012: Kinder Scout, Brown Knoll and Rushup Edge.

A group of seven drove to Edale on a brilliant sunny day to take on a 10.5 mile walk over Kinder Scout's southern escarpment and around to Rushup Edge.

The walk up Grindsbrook was as enjoyable as ever. Terry, who had never climbed Kinder before, and Jim, who'd never walked up Grindsbrook, were both enjoying new territory. The clamber up the 'secret ravine' provided a quiet enjoyable alternative to the main route.

The masses ascend the old Pennine Way route. Most of them were working towards their Duke of Edinburgh awards.

In no time at all we had reached the path that follows the escarpment edge where we yomped on to Crowden Tower and enjoyed lunch on the summit. Nick had twisted his ankle enroute to Crowden Tower but had managed to walk on despite what appeared to be ligament damage.

Alison enjoying the view from the top of Crowden Tower (crappy camera phone photo).

Another yomp found us approaching Brown Knoll where I followed Nick with another ankle twist. Luckily, my now mandatory wearing of ankle supports managed to prevent a serious injury and after a spot of swearing all was OK. Terry continued the tomfoolery by falling head first into rough grass but the 'main event', which would have been a great comedy moment, was missed by the rest of the group as Terry brought up the rear.

Terry continued despite a sore head.

The recent dry spell ensured that the boggy summit of Brown Knoll was easily navigated. At one point Gus, Jim's dog, fell foul of a rather squidgy section and rapidly retreated before sinking to a horrible, slimy, death.

Alison however, managed to take the same route as Gus which......

Nick, rather than rescue the damsel in distress, decided to capture the moment on camera and add a new chapter to the Swamp Thing comic series.

...provided one the best bog falls seen for many a year. It was nearly up there with the Ratboy's effort on Lamb Hill on the Pennine Way.

Alison was coated in wet peat and water which reached half way up her thighs. Her efforts to prevent falling face first into the bog were stopped by use of her arms which also resulted in a soaking. This event was accompanied by a squeaky shout which added to the comedy value.

Luckily the breeze provided an opportunity for Al to dry out.

On the summit of Brown Knoll with Brown Alison.

That was the end of the incidents for the day. We marched over Rushup Edge and, rather than ascend Mam Tor and walk to Hollins Cross, decided to descend from Mam Nick into Edale where a pint was enjoyed.

Don't you just love Kinder!

MAY 2013: Kinder Scout: Southern Edge.

Al, Mike, Ann, Nick, Terry, Jon, Sarah and myself risked a Bank Holiday drive to Edale in order to try a different route on the Kinder plateau.

The weather was, surprisingly, glorious so after finding a parking space and donning our gear we set off on the Pennine Way and headed for our ascent route - Crowdenbrook.

Terry and Alison are all smiles on the walk to Crowdenbrook.

We veered off the Pennine Way path and headed into the sunny portals of Crowdenbrook. This is always one of the quieter routes onto Kinder and was suprisingly quiet considering it was a sunny Bank Holiday.

The now customary ankle twist was enjoyed by myself which resulted in me having to tread carefully for a good few yards. My left boot felt tight as the swelling ankle tried its best to inflate despite wearing supports. Aaarrggghhhh!

Sarah, Jon, Mike and Nick take a break on the ascent up to the plateau.

After a sharp sweaty climb the plateau was ours. It was noticeably busy on top but we found a suitable lunch spot with views over the dale to Mam Tor.

The views into Grindsbrook were taken in and enjoyed by all apart from Ann who decided that it was time for a fall. Nick, being a gent, helped Ann up but has failed the Pighole readers by not getting a shot of the forlorn Ann. It's not good enough.

The route became noticeably quieter after passing Ringing Roger. This was good.

Nick having a quiet moment whilst taking in the views to the south. We later found out that he was planning Michael Gove's assassination.

We passed the Madwoman's Stones and changed direction in order to descend into the dale.

Heading west towards Edale with the Mam Tor ridge in full view. Or is it Bam Tor? All very pleasant.

A couple of enjoyable pints were consumed in Edale before we headed off home after an excellent day's walking. Surprisingly, Al and Ann commented on this being their favourite day ever on Kinder so this should ease the horror when suggesting future walks in this, my favourite part of the Peak District.

MAY 2013: Derwent Moors - East Side.

Following the success of the Kinder walk a couple of weeks back we decided to head in a similar direction and head up to the eastern side of the Derwent valley. A 14.5 mile walk was 'made up' so off Ann, Gordon, Jane, Rich, Netty and Jim and myself set.

After a 4.5 mile walk alongside the eastern shores of the reservoir we headed up onto Margery Hill.

Lunch was taken just to the west of Margery Hill's summit where excellent views over the valley and onto Kinder and Bleaklow were enjoyed. The last time I'd walked from Margery Hill towards Back Tor I'd made a mental note of there being no path and rough going. My memory wouldn't let me down.

Heading towards Featherbed Moss from Margery Hill. The last bit of decent yomping we'd enjoy for a good mile.

The deep tussocky heather and the odd bog made for tortuous ankle testing progress. After turning my ankle over on the recent Kinder walk I took my time and measured every step as I didn't want a repeat of the famous fat ankled descent from a couple of years back.

Ann very nearly made my day by hitting the peat face first. Jane took on the challenge whereas Gordon chickened out.

We eventually hit the paved path to Back Tor so normal yomping could be resumed. I'd managed to reach safety without turning my ankle but instead found a ridiculously flat piece of stone to perform the now legendary wankle twist. Great!

Luckily I'm so used to turning my ankle that after a few choice words I'm back in a fit state to continue.

After the usual pissing about on the summit rocks of Back Tor we descended to the sad lonely spot of Lost Lad.

One man and his dog on Lost Lad or is that a lost lad and his dog on Lost Lad?

A new route off Lost Lad had been devised so we followed and crossed numerous paths before descending into the valley. The sun was out and the views were excellent.

Descending off Lost Lad. Rich is sporting the new North Face Man United range of walking gear. Oh, and beige.

Photo stop overlooking the valley. Lose Hill in the distance to the left and Kinder to the right.

An excellent day had been enjoyed by all on what turned out to the best day's weather in a week of general miserableness. More of the same please!



Email me at
Copyright © 2004-2018 Sean Bond. All rights reserved.