Saturday 9 March 2013

TGOC Spring Gathering: Kinder From Snake Pass Inn

Saturday 9th March 2013

A wander along the northern edge of Kinder before descending down Ashop Clough

Distance: 15km; Ascent: 550m; Light snow, low cloud with a bitter wind; with lots of TGO Challengers

Despite neither of us actually being on this year's TGO Challenge we decided it would still be nice to head over to the Snake Pass Inn for the Spring Gathering, especially as it's not too far from home. This year we booked a room for Friday and Saturday nights so we could both attend the meal.  After a sociable Friday evening in the pub, I joined a large group of TGO Challengers at 10am on the Saturday morning for a walk along the northern edge of Kinder Scout from the pub.

Group of TGO Challengers by the Fair Brook
We crossed the Fair Brook and began to climb roughly southwards, up into the mist and snow to reach the edge of the plateau, with some breaks on route to allow everyone to catch-up.  After a bit of a wander along Seal Edge we stopped for a spot of lunch in the small amount of shelter provided by some of the gritstone outcrops.

Heading into the mist and snow
Lunch in the mist
There was a surprising amount of old snow remaining up here from the previous snowfalls, which was hard in some places, and soft and quite deep in others.  After crossing the Fair Brook for the second time today, we reached Fairbrook Naze before continuing westwards along the edge.  The windblown snow had created some nice patterns in the rocks and grass along the edge.

Snowy rocks
Snowy grass
After reaching the western end of the edge we descended north-westwards to the junction of the Pennine Way and the Snake Path.  Here we opted to descend directly back to the pub, by following the Snake Path down Ashop Clough.

At the path junction above Ashop Head
This way to the pub!
Now that we were out of the cloud, the group gradually began to split up and I spent most of the rest of the walk chatting with Andrew and Carl.  I had also not been this way myself before so it was nice to be walking somewhere new so close to home.

On the Snake Path in Ashop Clough
Ashop Clough
The valley became quite steep sided as we descended eastwards, with some views back westwards towards Kinder and Mill Hill.  As I crossed Upper Gate Clough, I spotted something interesting a hundred metres or so upstream so I decided to go and investigate.  It turned out to be some sort of measuring instrument, which was presumably measuring water flow in the beck.

Measuring instruments in Upper Gate Clough
Sign at the east end of the Snake Path
The last kilometre or so was through the forest back to the pub, where I found Lynsey & Isabel waiting for me at around 4pm.  That evening there was well attended sociable meal in the pub's function room, during which it started to snow.  Here are some links to Martin's and Gayle's reports of the weekend, and many thanks to Alan for organising an excellent weekend :-)

N.B. 02/06/13 - Post date updated to actual date of walk, i.e. 09/03/13 (from 20/03/13) 

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