Sunday, June 06, 2004

Kinder Scout

Friday 5th June until Sunday 7th saw the inaugural yearly Cordon hike on Kinder Scout in Derbyshire's Peak District. Friday was mobilisation day. The five Cordon Brothers converged on Cooper's campsite in Edale, Nigel was late and the intended method of contacting him would not work because it relied on mobile phones for which there was no signal. Eventually the rest of us gave up and adjourned to the nearest pub where Nigel duly appeared in time for his round. After a few more pints in the Nags Head we went to bed. Two of us using the post office campervan for the first time and the others in Simon's tent. Next morning after breakfast we started on our trek up the hill and immediately began to feel the pain resulting from lack of fitness as we trudged up the hill and were passed by turbo charged octagenarians with smirks on their faces. We did make it to the top however and were happily marching along when Ryan declared that we had gone the wrong way. After much map viewing and compass watching our leader decided that all that was required was a short one eighth of a mile detour up a stream bed and we would find the missing path. After trudging through peat bogs up to our knees for a few miles fruitlessly searching for the mythical path we stopped for lunch. Simon then lumbered Christopher with his pack and set off running hither and thither until eventually he exclaimed that he had found a path. It was in fact, entirely the opposite side of the mountain from the point we intended to be but a path is still a path no matter how you spell it. We followed this path in the correct general direction until Ryan again decided that we needed to follow another stream in order to get back to the path we wanted. Surprisingly enough, this time he was right. For a few miles Nigel's boots had been eating his feet and he was as a result hobbling in agony, so his boots were traded with Ryan for his shoes and progress was made. Again we were back in the groove and soon found our way to the trig point where on consultation with the map Ryan confidently explained that our path was due South and then pointed to one going East which we duly followed. It soon became obvious by looking down to our right that Jacob's Ladder, our intended path was several hundred feet below us. Rather than double back we decided to go straight down the hill over Christopher's Nedge. Several falls, sprained ankles and damaged knees later, after accidentally finding the remains of Wing Commander Dickie Speares Avro Anson, in which he crashed fatally in 1945 we gained our target and made an uneventful journey back to our campsite with minor tea stop at Upper Booth on the way. Here we were joined by Cousin Graham with whom we adjourned to the pub and by whom we were regailed on the excitements of community nursing for the rest of the evening. The next day, after a short walk up Mam Tor, a short lecture on the joys of goniotites and an ice cream stop at Blue John Cavern we returned home satisfied that our aches and pains were a small price to pay for a very enjoyable weekend.


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