Well, it’s been a bit of a mad week and looking back on it, the most peaceful night I’ve spent over the last 6 or 7 days, was in fact Saturday night on Kinder. A brief oasis of relative calm sandwiched in between a horrendous bout of painful toothache and a rather nasty, horrid, coldy lurgy.
James arrived chez nous in time for lunch on the Saturday – bringing with him his own ginormous cheese and onion pastie – and shortly afterwards, we set off for a wander up Kinder.
The weather was decidedly misty and murky.
The normal, sweeping vistas were nowhere to be seen.
Our original plan was to go up to the plateau via Peter Nook Wood and then Mermaids Pool, but for some reason that I can’t remember at all, on reaching the bottom of William Clough we decided to go up there instead, ascending to the top from Ashop Head.
We didn’t see many people and of course those that we did pass, were by now on their way down.
Reuben was having fun; I don’t think he’s that fussed about what the views are like.
Once on the summit, we then decided to just kind of wander over in the general direction of Fairbrook Naze and pitch up when we found a suitable spot.
We stayed clear of the edge paths and set off through the general, summit squidgy-ness instead.
One thing I do like to try and make sure of when wild camping, is that I’m near a handy water supply. I like to start the evening with 4 litres of the filtered stuff – or 5 litres if I’ve got a dog with me. I regularly get through a litre overnight – having a sip or two each time I stir – never mind the amount of tea I drink.
Anyway, there was certainly water a-plenty on this trip, no need to hunt it out.
And for a while, it even looked like the sky might clear.
But it didn’t last.
Now, back on 22nd July in 1954, there was a tragic RAF accident in this area. Two Sabres, out on exercise, crashed, killing both pilots. There is some doubt as to what exactly happened. The official inquest indicated that they crashed into the Northern Edge of Kinder, whilst trying to climb over it, but there was also apparently a witness who said that they actually collided with each other in mid-air. Whatever happened, the bulk of the wreckage can still be seen down on Ashop Moor, but there are also fragments up on the plateau, these being some of them:
They aren’t too far from these rocks:
Some years back, when I was still active with Kinder MRT and out on an overnight search on the plateau one night, a fellow team member was quite shaken up when he came across a,
‘…guy in what looked like an airman’s uniform, just standing near the rocks, staring at me. And when I went over to investigate, he appeared to just disappear into thin air and I couldn’t find any trace of anyone.’
I’ve no reason to disbelieve what he said – in fact he was so put out by it, it was some weeks before he dared tell anyone about the experience.
And another friend – Yuri – only recently had a spooky experience in the same area, whilst wild camping one night.
Anyway, we didn’t go too far, before we settled on a nice spot. It would appear, that with all the re-seeding work etc that Moors for the Future have been doing, many of the spots that would have once been bare peat, now seem to be rather pleasant, flat-ish, grassy spots. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time we got the tents up, so I didn’t do any photos of them ’till the next morning. In fact, I forgot to take a photo of mine at all.
Going to filter water in the mist and dark, I was very aware of taking careful note of which direction I was wandering off in – I didn’t want to turn around and realise I couldn’t find the tents again! And they were actually surprisingly difficult to see until you were practically right on top of them. I must get some of those nifty light sticks that give off a nice glow in the dark – that would no doubt help a bit.
Well, there were no spooky experiences in the night. There was some stereo snoring coming from James’ tent at one point, but I slept pretty well until I awoke at around 4am with my tooth hurting again, a headache, a sore throat, full of catarrh – in fact, feeling pretty rough all round. A couple of co-codamol later and I was once more out for the count until 8:30am, but it was still all too obvious that I was coming down with something.
And when we finally surfaced properly, it was a bit disappointing to see that the previous night’s mist was still hanging around. Expansive views were once again going to be in short supply.
We packed up at a leisurely pace.
Feeling the way I did, I just fancied taking a pretty direct route home and with the weather the way it was, James seemed more than happy to do the same, rather than going off a-wandering for a few hours.
So, we trolled back through the squidgy-ness, picking up the edge path, and then coming down Sandy Heys.
The views did clear a bit as we dropped below the cloud.
And so as to avoid the tedious road walking from the filter house down to Hayfield, we picked up the route across to Park Hall and Little Hayfield instead, approaching our house through fields on the northern side of the village.
And it was straight back to instant chaos, as when approaching home I got a phone call from Geoff, wanting me to go and pick him up as he’d had three punctures and was now by the side of the road with his bike in bits….
But thanks go to James and Reuben for providing one evening of calm, in an otherwise manic week.
And their version of events, can be found here.