Sometimes it feels like I haven’t had any good light in the Peak District in recent months, however there are times when it is exceptional. I went up to Kinder Scout a couple of weeks ago with my girlfriend to shoot the waterfalls on Grindsbrook Clough and then just have a bit of a walk, going to the summit via the Woolpacks and Pym Chair and down Jacobs Ladder.
I started at Barber Booth, knowing that this would make the return leg that little easier and walked over to Edale before heading up Grindsbrook Clough. It was a bit of a miserable day, overcast with light but constant rain but nothing too unpleasant to walk in. It was a slow walk and half way up we stopped at the waterfalls to get some shots. The waterfalls on Grindsbrook Clough don’t seem to get shot often, though I find the peaty coloured waters and the rich slate walls of the waterfalls interesting. Here are my efforts:
Grindsbrook Clough Waterfall
After this brief stop, we carried on upwards and headed to Grindslow Knoll summit and realised we were already quite a bit behind time so headed off quickly across to the Woolpacks walking along the path to get to Swines Back. Getting to the Woolpacks we were already in “golden hour” and we had planned to be down by this point. We crossed the point just after the Woolpacks where it got very boggy and this took a long time to get across. My girlfriends ankle had started to hurt due to a climbing injury she did last November and progress became painful and slow for her.
Low cloud had started to develop over on Mam Tor, capping it and I could see it was moving across the valley slowly. What came next though was totally unexpected, I could see fantastic strong light being cast onto Mount Famine and South Head in the distance. I took a quick look around and everything was still grey everywhere else so I didn’t think too much of it given the circumstances, we kept walking but then Pym Chair ahead start receiving the glorious light hitting the rocks. Again I looked around and because of the sun setting to the north west, nothing else around was getting it, even the distant hills behind us. So it was a quick sprint to Pym Chair to try and capture some shots. It was a moment of magic, glorious red light, low lying cloud and rainbows all appeared before me. I had to work really quickly but here is what I came up with:
Pym Chair Sunset
The conditions didn’t last long but as you can see it was somewhat special. After that we moved along, my girlfriend still in pain. That low cloud I saw over on Mam Tor started to float up the valley and eventually got to the point where it was on Kinder reducing our visibility greatly. Luckily, I knew the way and knew we’d be ok but I don’t ever take that for granted on Kinder where it is so easy to get lost at times. I knew once we got to Swines Back though it was straight forward descending via Jacobs Ladder. It turned into quite the adventure though not managing to get to the bottom until 11pm, at which point I had to do a bit of a run to fetch the car for the last leg being thankful I had only parked at Barber Booth.