Saturday, 1 July 2000

Mountain Profile: Kinder Scout

The rugged slopes of Kinder Scout - looking down Grindslow Knoll
Height: 363m (2,088ft)
Prominence: 496m (1,629ft)
Region: Peak District Dark Peak
Classifications: Marilyn, Hewitt, Nuttall, County Top
Summit feature: Small cairn / grassy prominence
Times climbed: 6 (1x summit)
Related trip reports:
Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook Clough - 17/03/2017
Kinder Scout via Grindsbrook Clough & Edale Head - 26/06/2016
The Kinder Circuit - 26/04/2015
Mill Hill & Kinder Scout - The Northern Edge - 15/02/2015
Brown Knoll & Kinder Scout via Kinder Downfall - The Western Edge - 23/11/2014
Kinder Scout - The Southern Edge - 27/04/2014
A small cairn sits close to the summit and is located well off the beaten track
Kinder Scout is a moorland plateau in the Dark Peak of the Peak District. Part of the moor, at 636 metres above sea level, is the highest point in the Peak District, the highest point in Derbyshire, and the highest point in the East Midlands.

Historically, the plateau was the target of the mass trespass in 1932. From the National Park's inception, a large area of the high moorland north of Edale was designated as 'Open Country'. In 2003, the "right to roam" on uncultivated land was enshrined into law, and this area of open country has been significantly extended.

Kinder Scout is an exciting and varied place, so it seems unfair to limit it to just two pictures and a handful of paragraphs.

Kinder Downfall

Kinder Downfall is the tallest waterfall in the Peak District, with a 30 metre fall. It lies on the River Kinder, where it flows west over one of the gritstone cliffs on the plateau edge. The waterfall was formerly known as Kinder Scut, and it is from this that the plateau derives its name. Although usually little more than a trickle in summer, in spate conditions it is impressive. In certain wind conditions (notably when there is a strong westerly wind), the water is blown back on itself, and the resulting cloud of spray can be seen from several miles away.
Kinder Downfall on a dry day
Kinder's Southern Edge

The southern edge is by far the most popular area for walkers, overlooking the valley of Edale. It is home to a variety of gritstone features.

Ringing Roger
Ringing Roger is the name of a wind-eroded finger of rock coming down the hillside, located to the east of Golden Clough . It is said that it gets its name from the sound that the wind makes when blowing over it. Though the name Roger is unclear, it could be a derivation of the French word for rocks, roches.
Ringing Roger
Nether and Upper Tor
Nether Tor and Upper Tor of two of Kinders most impressive edge features. They overlook Grindsbrook Clough and provide some excellent views of Edale.
Nether Tor looking towards Upper Tor in the distance
Crowden Tower
Crowden Tower is a fortified pile of gritstone, defending the head of Crowden Brook.
Crowden Tower doing its best impression of a castle
Wool Packs
The Wool Packs is an amazing field of gritstone boulders that have been worn into shapes resembling enormous bales of wool or just about anything else you can imagine.
The remarkable Wool Packs
Pym Chair & Noe Stool
An instantly recognisable rock formation, it is said that Pym Chair was the chosen location for a local preacher to deliver sermons. There is also the tale that it was the location of a highway man who preyed on unwitting travellers on the lonely moor, which I very much prefer. Noe Stool is another one of the number of amazing gritstone formations dotted along Kinder Scout's southern edge. The giant anvil shaped rock looks out across the headwaters of the River Noe.
Pym Chair
Noe Stool
Kinder Low
Kinder Low is wrongly regarded by many as the summit of Kinder Scout, thanks to the large trig pillar that stands there. The summit proper sits out in the peat to the north east but Kinder Low provides a worthy runner up. The area has been so popular with walkers over the years that all of the peat surrounding the pillar has been eroded away, leaving a desert-like sandy landscape behind.
Kinder Low
Kinder's Northern Edge

The northern edge of Kinder Scout, stretching from Ladybower Reservoir to the east and Kinder Reservoir in the west is much less frequented than the southern edge yet is no less interesting. While it may lack some of the iconic gritstone scenery, it more than makes up for this with its expansive views and feeling of remoteness. The Edge and the point of Fairbrook Naze are arguably the highlights.
The northern edges of Kinder Scout
Madwoman's Stones
The Madwoman's Stones are close to Blackenden Edge. They are a collection of flat stones, quite modest in appearance compared to some of the features on the southern edge. The origin of the name may be unknown, but it does conjure up a certain image.
Madwoman's Stones