Expeditions, Navigation, Guided Walks and Trekking
It snowed all Saturday night but the web was devoid of advice to say that Snake Pass could be closed. So after jumping into the Rav 4 at Glossop, Mike and I headed up the pass, only to find a barrier across the road “Snake Pass – Closed”. But it was only half a barrier and anyway there was a car coming down the road towards us! So we headed up into the cloud and tackled the snow-covered road. It wasn’t any worse than the road on which I live, although we did pass a few abandoned cars. There was a very thick fog over the top, but we soon pulled into the lay by next to the Snake Inn.
It was deep soft snow through the woods and up Fairbrook. After we overtook the first party up that day we were ploughing our own way, mostly without the help of any sign of a path. Apart from a brief break in the clouds, it was just us – making our way into the fog (which actually was not how it should have been – according to the MWIS).
It was time for some bearing work as we made our way from the top of the brook across the moor to Kinder Gates, which was found following some excellent bearings from Mike. Good practice for winter navigating today. At the Downfall there were just a couple of people lunching at edge and waterfall was only partly frozen downfall.
We found the natural shelter at Sandy Heys for lunch, during which Mike decided to check-in on Facebook resulting in a debate on how cold it was on my bottom. This place is apparently charged with spiritual energy according to the Aetherus Society. There is a “X” marked on a rock, which marks the special point. As it happened I got a lot of physical energy from my butty and Mikes flask of soup.
We planned to drop down to the pass into Ashop Head, but somehow missed the path and ended up traversing along the edge. The going was hard and bleak so it was time for some fun flailing down the edge to the river. Just then we rather unexpectedly came across the remains of a small jet engine, found in a peat bed. It turns out this is part of the remains of one of the two Sabre fighters which hit the top of Kinder in 1954 and crashed into the valley, killing both pilots and scattering wreckage over a large area.
Just below there, while admiring the icicles, I spotted a Mountain Hare, looking splendid in its grey fur, but was away into the mist as I reached for the camera.
It was straight forward down to the Inn, but we mainly made our own way along the path, only one other walker having made it up Snake Path that day.