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Saturday 3rd December 1966 - Crowden Brook

A small party, as under, assembled at Marple Station to board the 9.55 train for Edale.

Stephen Priestnall  Graham Booth  L M Mason, Mrs 
Bill Smith   F R Mason   R Booth 

The weather had been bad for several days and some snow had fallen. The forecast for the day was not good - hence the small party.

However, on arrival at Edale the sun was shining brightly, although there was cloud on the hills. The mountains looked fine - snow covered under bright sunshine. Never seen the country looking more beautiful.

The route chosen was over the fields to the old landslide, and so on to Crowden Brook. Met an elderly gentleman in the meadows who gave a full story of his holiday adventures - it was very interesting, but the weather was rather chilly for standing around. We pressed on up Crowden Brook; there was more water than usual in the brook, presumably from melting snow at higher levels.

At this stage there was considerable cloud on Kinder and the upper part of Crowden gorge was filled with creeping mist. A few (three) people were seen on the snow slopes immediately below Crowden Tower, but they were not contacted. A halt was made for lunch at a place well below the cloud, sheltered from the wind but open to the very pleasant sunshine. The cloud decreased during the lunch stop.

WW1971-002 an image from 1971
WW1971-002 an image from 1971

On reaching the steep boulder part of the brook we struck up to the right, endeavouring to move roughly parallel to the stream. However the going was difficult as we traversed the steep slope, which was well covered with snow. Working round in a loop we re-crossed the stream just below the falls; an exploratory attack was made on the fall, but it was well iced and had plenty of water flowing.

Decided it would be uncomfortably wet and dangerous to follow our usual route up the falls - instead we scrambled round the rocks on the steep snow slope below Crowden Tower, and battled our way to the top. It was all jolly exciting and thoroughly enjoyed by us all.

From Crowden Tower we set course across the Kinder plateau on a heading of about NNW (north-north-west). The cloud had cleared, the sunshine was bright, visibility excellent and the snow was thick and clean on the ground. Never have we seen the moorland looking more beautiful - a really glittering Christmas card scene.

Naturally the going was fatiguing through the soft snow drifts, but it did keep us above the peat bogs and good time was made to join Kinder Brook. On joining the Kinder River we met a group of six folk from a Manchester group carrying out a map reading and navigation exercise. These folk were obviously fit and experienced - well clad and shod and well up to what they were doing. They planned to locate the Kinder Low trig point and then Crowden Tower, and work through the Woolpacks and back to Hayfield.

WW1971-001 an image from 1971
WW1971-001 an image from 1971

There was more water than usual in the Kinder River, overlaid by a thin layer of ice. Obviously there had been thicker ice - in one place recent gales had piled it up in a heap. We had fun following the river to the Downfall - it was great fun with ample water, a layer of ice and thick snow on the banks. We were unable to cross the river and worked our way to the Downfall on the right bank.

Not much time was spent at the Downfall - there was too much ice on the rocks (wet ice) for a lot of scrambling around. Pressing on along the RH (right hand) side we decided to loose height as the weather was misting up and temperature falling rapidly. We dropped down to the rocks, crossed below Sandy Hey and headed toward Kinder Reservoir - soon most of the snow was behind us, and we were at Kinder Reservoir.

The usual struggle up Horrible Hill and the normal pleasant couple of miles into Hayfield where, after a cup of tea, we boarded the 5.13pm train for Marple.

NOTE As we approached the Downfall, saw a lone walker heading towards Sandy Heys - did not contact him. Also when dropping down to the Reservoir, saw one walker heading up hill - seemed to be wearing a track suit. Did not contact this man - but thought later that it was a little late to be heading up Kinder. However, have heard nothing of anyone missing so presumably all was well.

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