/ First foray into the Peak District

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richardsonneo on 19 Jan 2013
I'm planning to leave the South and North Downs behind to try out my skills around Mam Tor and Kinder Scout late February for a couple of days camping and walking to gain more experience to lead my schools bronze dofe expeditions. Im moderatley experienced and sufficiently equipped; should I be ok?
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

Unlikly, haven't you read the stories?:- O
Muel - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: No, you shall die.

General rules and common sense still apply. Read the weather, take the correct clothes and gear, keep warm, attempt to keep dry.
Phill Mitch - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: Don't underestimate Kinder Scout, if you plan to cross it you will need a compas, and will wonder at some point weather you will ever get to the other side! The boggs are deep and wide but it's all good fun! Enjoy it.
Al Evans on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Phill Mitch: He's right, on kinder and Bleaklow map reading skills are not enough, especially if the weather clags in. Good compass skills are essential.
aretherenoneleft on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: it's not nearly as bad as people say if you're just sensible. We often go for walks up on kinder after parties in edale just wearing jeans and t shirts (and maybe a hoody if it rains) and we haven't died yet.
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to aretherenoneleft: You from Newcastle?? Jeans and T shirt after a party in late Feb???
Ramblin dave - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Al Evans:
> (In reply to Phill Mitch) He's right, on kinder and Bleaklow map reading skills are not enough, especially if the weather clags in. Good compass skills are essential.

Agree - and even with good compass skills it's somewhere between hard and impossible to do proper "pick a feature on your bearing and walk towards it in a straight line" type pinpoint navigation on bits of Kinder and Bleaklow because a) there aren't many features and b) you can't always walk in a straight line because of the bogs. So being able to relocate yourself when you reach the edge of the plateau or start to find some proper features is useful as well.

Having said that, it's a great place to practice because provided you pick a direction and walk in it you will get down to somewhere in the end, and (famous last words) you'd have to be reasonably creative to get yourself into serious trouble...

Other bits of the peak are a lot less difficult though - I don't think Mam Tor or Win Hill or the eastern edges or the limestone dales would present any particular challenges you won't have dealt with in the South Downs, apart from possibly being a bit colder and wetter and bigger.
aretherenoneleft on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth: nope. To be fair we would probably wear a jacket in this weather but when we went for a wander up there on New Year's Day we just chucked on a hoody and wellies.
John W - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

Certain death will ensue - FACT!
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2013
aretherenoneleft on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth: A fair point but it was raining and foggy on kinder. All I'm trying to say is kinder isn't nearly as serious as some people say it is.
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to aretherenoneleft:

Sometimes it isn't sometimes it is. I've rescued folk off there a few times now: in all cases lost, cold, and probably in some trouble on their own. On the top plateau its really hard to navigate in poor vis at any time of year because of the bogs and deep cloughs . Even just following the watercourse can bring you out on the wrong side of the hill facing a very long treck round. When you know your way and the key landmarks its all a lot easier,
richardsonneo on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: thanks very much everyone... I think. I dont know if im encouraged or picturing a day of wishing I had just gone to The Surrey Hills again, while I stare at a featureless landscape, waist deep in a bog, just before I walk off of the edge. But hey, I've already spent 1 on my megabus up to Sheffield so I guess I'm locked in. Looking forward to it.
Ramblin dave - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth:
> (In reply to aretherenoneleft)
>
> Sometimes it isn't sometimes it is. I've rescued folk off there a few times now: in all cases lost, cold, and probably in some trouble on their own. On the top plateau its really hard to navigate in poor vis at any time of year because of the bogs and deep cloughs . Even just following the watercourse can bring you out on the wrong side of the hill facing a very long treck round.

These things are relative, obviously. But I think for someone reasonably robust with sensible gear, even getting spectacularly lost on Kinder is going to result in a long day and possibly an unexpected and expensive taxi ride, but probably nothing worse.

In any case, hopefully the OP isn't going to get spectacularly lost...
Offwidth - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Ramblin dave:

Unspectacular is often enough. I do wonder if aretherenoneleft leads E6 in his wellies as well.
aretherenoneleft on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Offwidth: Thats very different to walking through some mud in wellies. Admittedly my mates and i grew up in the peak and know kinder very well, but it really isnt a serious proposition for anyone in any weather is it? Worst that happens (leaving out broken bones) is you get a bit lost. All one would need to do then is walk in a straight line until they got down or follow the path they're on back the way they came.
Offwidth - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to aretherenoneleft:

Being serious for a moment, it's obviously a very serious proposition to some and more so when the weather is bad. You will find folk who are not strong enough even to walk up in good summer conditions. From that point there will be a continuum to those like yourself happy to go up with no proper weatherproof clothing in winter. I'm sure the OP will be fine but to think no-one could get caught out up there and risk exposure is a bit of a strange view (and one the local rescue teams certainly wouldn't hold with). For fitter folk you don't need broken bones, a bad sprain will do: the terrain is hardly non-conducive to slips.

DynamoCL - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:
>lead my schools bronze dofe expeditions.

Do you mean lead from an adult staff, supervisory role or lead as in you are partaking in the Bronze Expedition?

If you are just doing Bronze, wild camping on Kinder in snow etc seems a bit much.
DerwentDiluted - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

As someone who has spent more hours on Kinder/Bleaklow looking for the lost than most the single thing I'd say is do not underestimate how very difficult it can be there to follow a bearing in a straight line in poor visibility. Crossing groughs if you are following a bearing can be exhausting and time consuming so develop more advanced nav skills than simply following a bearing to where you want to go. Not a problem for DofE bronze groups but potentially a problem for anyone going up there in Feb.
Alyson - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: Kinder is easy enough if you walk round/along the edge. The plateau, as others have said, is featureless and the terrain can be challenging but there really is no better place to practice some micro-navigation skills and there are fun things to hunt with a map and compass (like aeroplane crash sites). Plus you get a good feeling of wide open skies and being very alone, without actually having to be three days walk from the nearest human being.

Compass is essential - don't rely on a GPS! I've been up there in fog when a GPS was as much use as jelly scaffolding.
DerwentDiluted - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo:

Just as an add on, on one search I remember a dozen or so team members including myself, from more than one team and including search dogs, with dead GPS batteries and absolutely exhausted after 10hrs out on the hill had great difficulty locating and following the Pennine Way in darkness and whiteout conditions. The subject of the search was located deceased. Kinder and Bleaklow are not considered really 'remote' but still need treating with some respect.
richardsonneo on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to DynamoCL: hi, yeah I suppose a bit more context might help you all advise me better. Im 30, reasonably fit, well equipped (as in good waterproof gear etc). Ive led the DofE at my school for 3 yrs, supervising expeditions in the downs but have recently started working towards gaining qualifications im in the consolidation period of the bel course and training has made me aware of potential dangers (hence consulting you all) and its given me a desire to 'get out' a bit more. School holidays aregoing to be my only get out times and i want it to be both enjoyable and challenging and as a born and bred londoner this trip feels good to me. Ive been hillwalking for about 10 years if I can call it that... grisedale pike and moel famau are my only walks of any note, in summer, im growing to love it. I had originally planned to walk from jacobs to downfall and back past fox holes but I think ill go straight around the edge from jacobs to crowden tower. I will absolutely take and use a compass. If I get a gps, I hope its always used as a last resort. Sorry tovgo on. I hope it helps you know where im coming from. I appreciate all your input.
Phill Mitch - on 22 Jan 2013
In reply to richardsonneo: I am sure you will be fine. The words above are all there to help you, not to put you off. Good luck and enjoy it.
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richardsonneo on 23 Jan 2013
In reply to Phill Mitch: thanks Phil. They haven't put me off but I'm glad I asked.

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