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Pinnacle of the Peak

Posted 13 April 2012
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Pinnacle of the Peak
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When it comes to walking in the Peak District, it is soften the edges, rather than the summits, that people aim for. This will be true again of a guided walk organised by national park rangers for next month.

On May 12th, the Pinnacles Edges trek will start at Grindleford Railway Station, which is actually outside the village in neighbouring Upper Padley. Beginning at 10:30 BST, the hike takes up much of the day, ending at 16:00.

In between times, eight miles of terrain is crossed with one steep ascent and the trek is being described as suitable for "experienced walkers", who are advised to bring walking boots waterproofs and other appropriate gear.

The edges around Grindleford do offer some panoramic views, with notable ones including Stanage Edge. Those coming with climbing ropes may enjoy a direct ascent, but for the most part the joy is in having a high, airy walk with a sense of abundant space and the ability to see great distances on clear days.

While much of the High Peak is made up of largely flat, often very peaty moorland plateaux, the edges are a key feature. While perhaps only one prominent ridge can be noted - separating the Edale and Castleton valleys - nearby Kinder Scout is almost all about its edges.

Indeed, while one of the two alternative routes on the Pennine Way crosses the middle of the flat plateau, the most well-used route is that following the Jacob's Ladder ascent and following the edges overlooking the Kinder Reservoir to Kinder Downfall, the national park's most prominent waterfall and a very damp experience when the wind blows most of the water back up hill in a fine spray.

Once the fledgling river is crossed, the ridge walk completes the V of the west-facing side of Kinder, offering views to the Mermaid's Pool below and across Greater Manchester's urban sprawl on a clear day.

These paths are very well worn, making navigation easier in all weathers. These are in contrast with the actual summit of Kinder, which, at 2,088 ft, is the highest point in Derbyshire and yet is hard to find with its small cairn and lack of paths.

In the Peak District, it is the scenic edges, not the boggy summits, that attract walkers the most.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801339042-ADNFCR