About 2km in, the hike transforms into a little bit of a climb. The path becomes one with the brook and you have to carefully navigate your way from rock to rock on the brook. Then the elevation begins to take off, you start climbing up some rocks, with the brook still there. Making this a treacherous climb where one must be very confident in every move. The climb is about 1km with an elevation gain of 500m. For me that’s the steepest path I had to take so far, but the climb is full of breathtaking scenery and as you go higher you get to see more and more of where you came from.
Upon reaching the peak, you realise it’s actually a plateau and you can see the entire valley where you walked. A little further in, most people will proceed to climb to an even higher peak, but not me. My trail map said go right and so I did.
What was I expecting? From the map, I knew the trail would pass trough the Kinder Scout Reservation. I expected a nice area, abundant in vegetation and tall trees, you know a reservation.
What did I get?
The path I followed (at this point alone, as everybody else would go in the opposite direction) was next to a water stream and as such the ground was rather muddy and soft. Then the trail map said go west and so I did. After a while I found myself in a rather muddy area, with no visible path and no obvious direction to follow. The sun was still out and I was about 1/3 of the trail in so I pushed forward.
After a kilometre of walking trough some rather shitty conditions (mud and weird terrain), fog set in out of a sudden; combined with the lack of a path and the only direction I knew being WEST, I pushed on like any sane person would do.
Not 5 minutes later I was in the middle of a post-apocalyptic scenario. Fog everywhere, terrain at this point was composed of dunes of mud combined with little streams of water and random ponds surrounded by quicksand like mud.
This is when it hit me. I am in a swamp.
There were many questions going on in my head at the time:
I realised that I might not have the time (sunset was 2-3 hours away) to juggle around the terrain of the swamp, so I took a split second decision and I started going SOUTH in the hopes of intersecting with the public footpath sooner rather than later.
After adventuring trough the swamp like a mad man, trying to reach some solid ground. Getting mud all over my boots and pants, finding a rather suspicious metal box under some rocks and getting bad looks from frogs, I eventually got out of the fog, away from the mud and reached the Pennine footpath where I slowly walked my way back to Edale.
It was definitely an experience that I will not forget. And honestly I would do it again, this time going trough the entire swamp and maybe even see what’s in the box.
I didn’t cover the entire trip, there were other sights to see, like Jacob’s ladder and the High Peak area.
More hiking stories to come (with full HD videos of the entire trip).