January 13th:

On a cold, pleasant and light winter’s morning, after a week of low cloud and very grey weather, the walkers gathered in Edale car park at 9.15 a.m. Mike Johnson mindful of his rescinded parking fine coupled with a failure to obtain a parking ticket from the parking machine, was eager to park elsewhere, inspire of feeding the machine some of his pension. As we left the car park Axel, always mindful of careful budgeting especially during a double dip recession, managed to extract £4 from the parking machine and duly returned it to a grateful Johnson. As we reached Cooper’s Farm Tony peeled off from the group and headed alone across towards Jacob's Ladder with the hope of a reunion along Brown Knoll.

 

Graham, Syd, Axel and Guy set a brisk pace once on open ground and as the party ascended, the mist on the tops thankfully began to clear giving way to bright sunshine. Good progress was made up Grindsbrook Clough and the traditional route following the right tributary near the top was taken. Great sport was had clambering up the stream way and once the peat tops were gained they were found to be covered in a beautiful hoar frost. The tips of the grasses and peat had square ends and Sid was intrigued enough to start a lively forum talking about how this was formed. Much scientific debate followed and it was generally agreed that the wind strength and direction were responsible but which was the predominant wind direction was inconclusive. Geoff, Jonathan, Ian and Adam soon arrived and a photo call was made whilst we waited for The President and Mike to join us.

Syd had directed us along an easy walking peat gully and we made good time. Axel then wisely decided we had gone far enough North and that we needed to bear NNW if we were to make Kinder Gates and not Ashop Clough. Sure enough Kinder Gates were soon sited and as we passed through them we remarked how strikingly beautiful they looked covered in hard, cold frost.

Kinder Downfall quickly followed on and most of the party took a breather and a well-earned bite. Graham was keen to press on in the hope of meeting Tony for lunch on Brown Knoll. Axel and Mike joined him. Good views were had from the trig. point at Kinder Low and quite a few people gathered at the spot, all keen to enjoy their day. Graham suggested a lunch break and Edale Rocks proved to be an excellent spot. It provided excellent views to the East and South, we could sit in pale and weak sunshine and better still, get out of the cold wind. The rump from Kinder Downfall soon joined the lunch party and shared in the good-natured banter that is the hallmark of the DPC.

As we passed Edale Cross we met Brian Earnshaw. Brian, being Brian, and having recently returned to the DPC fold after taking a very prolonged sabbatical, had failed to read the meet notice carefully and had turned up to the hut at 9.15a.m. However he was still cheerful inspire of his panting and being out of condition. As the party headed off over Brown Knoll Brian waved goodbye preferring to make his own way down to Edale.

The going proved tricky along Brown Knoll once the pavements slabs had been left behind. The ground underfoot was saturated from the recent snow and persistent rain. Syd, Axel and Guy rushed on ahead and missed the excitement of seeing Mike disappearing to his waist in the bog. As he thrashed around to free himself the onlookers ashamedly were laughing aloud. Graham and Syd went to pull Mike out and Graham nearly ended being dragged in. Mike eventually scrambled free and the party continued onwards. As Mam Tor was reached a couple of hang gliders were seen to circle around its summit. On the ridge the party paused in the sunshine and talk was of caving. Giants Pot and Krypton Pot were mentioned, as were thoughts of our own DPC cavers and what they may have accomplished during the day. Then along and down to Hollins Cross and back to the cars in Edale. The time now 4.30p.m.The distance covered was about 141/2 miles. The company had been excellent throughout. What a cracking days’ walk it had been.

Tea was taken at the hut at 6p.m. John Eastwood, Derek Grayson and George Sampson joined us for the meal as did the cavers-Rob Peppit, Mike Peppit, Andy tickle, John and Ed Sampson (guest) and the Cycling duo of Ed and Rich Shawcross.