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Walk takes in Kinder's neglected summit

Posted 11 July 2012
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Walk takes in Kinder's neglected summit
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This weekend (July 15th) sees a guided walk in the Peak Dstrict National Park over Kinder Scout that emphasises one of the ways this mountain is different from most.

National park rangers will be leading what is described as "a strenuous moorland walk to the highest points on Kinder Scout".

On any other mountain, of course, this would be the norm - people put on their walking boots, start climbing, reach the top and then come down again.

But the geomorphology of Kinder is such that its flat plateau makes the summit a very indistinct place, hidden amid the groughs and peak bogs on the vast expanse of exposed ground.

Walkers tend to explore the far more scenic edges of the mountain and one indicator of the low profile of the summit is the fact that neither of the two alternative pennine Way routes across the plateau visit it. Instead, the route provides vistas into the surrounding valleys, visits the famous Kinder Downfall waterfall and peers down on the Mermaid's Pool.

And to add to the confusion, anyone taking the Jacob's Ladder option may mistake the trig point at Kinder Low for the true summit. 

In fact, Kinder Low only reaches 2,077 ft above sea level, the same height as Bleaklow to the north. There is also a trig point near Sandy Heys on the north side of the plateau, which is lower at 2,047 ft.

The actual 2,088 ft summit has no path leading to it and consists simply of a small cairn, often surrounded by a bit of a moat amid the squelchy, bare peat.

But the guided walk starting at 10:30 BST and lasting until 17:00 promises to visit this and the other high points of the mountain.

As ever, good footwear, waterproofs and a packed lunch are required.

Kinder Scout is a mountain famous for many things. There is no doubt the 1932 Kinder Trespassers never reached the summit or tried to, with the area of the incident around William Clough being much better known and more visited, not least as an ascent route to the plateau and as part of the Snake Path.

On a mountain famous for the battle to gain access, the very top is one part those with the freedom to roam often ignore.