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Wednesday 6th April 1966 - Grindsbrook Gorge


Ann Eastman  Andrew Barlow  Bill Grundy   Leaders: 
Eric Crossley   Stephen Priestnall   William Smith   F R Mason 
David Payne   Jackie Dawson   Stephen Nightingale   
Robert Wiltshire   Paul Mallett   Stephen Ward   

It had been planned that a bus should take a larger party to the Flouch Inn as a starting point for a Bleaklow Crossing. However, as the necessary numbers were not forthcoming, a quick change of plan was made for an assembly at Marple Station.

The folk listed above joined the group and travelled by train to Edale. No particular route was planned, but a start was made with the steep climb up to Ringing Roger. There were large patches of snow remaining on the hill and climbing over it was difficult. Naturally there was plenty of snowballing, which reached a peak on the rocky summit of Ringing Roger.

WW1963-013 An image from 1963
WW1963-013 An image from 1963

From here a way was made through the fog that covered Kinder, alongside Grindsbrook Clough to Grindsbrook Head. Most of us had wet feet by this time owing to the treacherous nature of the deep drifts of melting snow - usually with streams of water underneath.

We had lunch above the upper Grindsbrook Gorge, and then pressed on towards the Kinder Plateau - on the way it was observed that much peaty brown water flowed down Grindsbrook. This suggested a look at the Downfall.

The peat bogs on the plateau were in a particularly gooey state, but all were crossed without serious incident. Owing to frequent bog and snow drift dodging, the party were a little off course and came within sight of the waterfall on the Kinder Edge - a further course had to be set to reach the Kinder Brook.

The groughs were particularly difficult, containing much snow and water, much of the snow being blackened with mud and overlying deep water, but appearing like firm ground - this caused many soaked feet and legs.

WW1963-014 An image from 1963
WW1963-014 An image from 1963

Finally Kinder River was reached but, owing to the amount of water flowing, we were unable to follow the stream bed, which is our usual way, but had to keep to the snowy and muddy bank. Again many feet were well wetted during the crossing of the stream. Eventually the Downfall was reached and a long stop was made for exploring and scrambling around.

It had been hoped to make the quick scramble down the side of the gorge, but the ledge along which the way goes has been damaged and made unsafe by a heavy fall of rock. Bill Grundy made the passage, but it was thought inadvisable to take the whole group that way. A ‘new' transverse route was followed down to the reservoir across patches of deep snow and running water.

One minor amusing incident occurred when Mr Mason sunk the length of one leg in a drift, and immediately behind him Ann Eastman fell, causing the snow to close around his leg, trapping him firmly in the snow - it took some digging in the snow to release him.

As usual when heading for Hayfield the route led down to Kinder Reservoir, up Horrible Hill, past the shooting cabin and so down to the station to catch the 5.20pm train.

Had a little chat with a small group of 14-16 year old schoolboys, from Mossley, near the shooting cabin - nice lads. Nothing to report.

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