28 October 2013

Minging Roger



Worst Storm for a generation forecast and we were heading as a family to Edale camping, walking and running. We got to the rather lovely Fieldhead campsite at 3'ish. We quickly threw the tent up on the last evening before the clocks go back and winter really begins.

Sunday's forecast was looking pretty shocking all wind arrows and raindrops. I get my trainers on and head up the valley's right flanking hill of Ringing Roger. I figure I can at least get something from the weekend if it all turns too grim later on. I set off up the zig zags at a fair pace, climbing maybe a thousand feet in 20 minutes surprising myself as my legs and lungs both hold out, not bad for an old git. The views are stunning, if you haven't been to the Edale valley go, its beautiful. Back Tor and the brooding bulk of the Mam Tor ridge running left to right on the horizon, the clouds clear away and I get some autumn sun on my face. I have a minute or two getting my breath and spying our tent a spec in the valley floor, then head back down. I take a steep "vertical grass" option for old times sake and then pick the path up once more. I'm back in the tent 45 mins after I left, a proper micro-adventure and all the better for that. Mrs Time Ticks then does much the same and heads off up Grindsbrook adding miles and memories to her haul.

Saturday night is windy, Youngest declares it too windy for him to sleep, it is pretty noisy at times but by dawn it calmer and all blues skies again. We are really here to walk up to the trig point on Kinder's Eastern edge. Somewhere along the way we have persuaded the Ordanance Survey to let us screw a plaque to it celebrating our old venture scout unit and we want to go and have a look, but we want to get our kids into the outdoors too, potential win,win.

We predictably cock up the clocks going back, Mrs Time Ticks declaring time to be an hour behind reality and me taking the declaration as gospel. We end up rushing like loons when we realise we have an hour less than we think. 10.30 and we arrive already sweating at the Nags Head to meet a motley crew of former Vikings, some of their partners, One grandma (my boy's), half a dozen kids and three dogs. We make an amiable rabble that wouldn't look out of place if we were filming a 1 hour BBC sitcom special, off and up we go.

The winds blowing now, Roger sets the pace, in tatty Ron Hills and with a fag on its like the old days. We soon spread out a bit, my Youngest keeping up a cracking pace for a five year old at the back. The hill has been re-baptized "Minging Roger" by my eldest with his childlike gift for anything vaguely gross. The wind is gusting pretty fierce now. Some of the kids are getting blown around a bit. We head on fuelled mainly by fruit pastels. You need your hands for the last rocky 20 metres on Ringing Rodger which makes for more fun, even more in the freshening wind. We get nearly to the edge of the plateau at 500 odd metres and my Brother arrives with his family, some of it on his shoulders. He did well to catch us. The cloud is filling in a bit but as yet its dry. We work our way to the trig across the rutted peaty top which includes the obligatory wade through a proper boggy bit which sucks at your boots, but is a week or two of rain away from actually capturing them.

We are soon at the trig point, many of the kids being as high as they have ever walked thus far. We take some photos and think about lunch. The weather sneaks up on us and throws a shower of some ferocity on our heads. Its cold, near ice and it soaks you through before you can get any waterproof gear on. We head off and back down as fast as we can manoeuvre kids across now very waterlogged bogs. 10 minutes and its done. We are all drenched but laughing at how quickly the weather can change around here.

Despite the drenching everyone is having a great time and half an hour of descending later we are in the pub drinking poor vinegar beer and eating much better chips. A few kids got some character today and a few people got to share a little bit of an adventure with another generation, best of all everyone had a good time. 
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