I wanted to try out some new kit on an overnighter on Kinder Scout, last year I bought a DD Hammocks tarp and an Alpkit Hunker XL bivvy bag.
I was up in Sheffield visiting family and planned the night out around this visit. The weather forecast was for heavy rain from midnight, fine, if I set off from Edale about 2pm that would give be plenty of time to get up top and set up for the night, I also wanted to get some pics of the downfall and was hoping for a cloud inversion in the morning…. Hmmm!!
The going up Jacobs ladder was the usual sweaty slog, with lovely sunshine and a bit of a breeze, a stop at the top to make a quick phone call as up till now I had no signal, then I cracked on to the downfall.
On the way I met a couple of people who were a bit lost….the guy had a map, that was the full extent of their equipment! He asked the way back to Edale but not via Jacobs ladder as they had come up that way and it was boring to go back the same way!… I showed him the map and pointed out where we were, he thought they were at Crowden clough, and was surprised when I said this is Kinder Downfall!! He was going to go across the plateau, I convinced them this was not a good idea and his girlfriend just wanted to get back down, so they headed back to Jacobs Ladder… I hope!!
Anyway the Downfall didn’t disappoint and was doing its upward flowing water trick in the wind! I got some pics and carried on, I was walking the edge route and just wanted to see how far I could go before the light faded.
About 7pm (sunset was supposed to be at 20.20) the clag came in so I found a little ledge tucked away on Fairbrook Naze and decided to call it a day. No sooner had I got the bivvy bag out than the rain started… A bit early then!! I quickly knocked up a hot meal and battened down the hatches, the ledge wasn’t a great idea to start with as I rushed into the decision to stay there, there wasn’t enough room to properly pitch the tarp so I just covered every thing up the best I could and got under it, the rain was now torrential…. This was gonna be a bloody long night!!
2.30am came with a beep from my rucksack… Oh no I thought my phone and camera is in there, feeling across I realised I was laid in about an inch of water… The tarp had blown open a bit and let the rain in, my groundsheet was now a paddling pool!! The phone and camera survived luckily.
Rain still torrential, I had no choice but sit it out, the bivvy bag was very moist inside and my sleeping bag feeling damp too, I was wet but at least I wasn’t cold. I dropped off in to a slumber, God knows how as this was the most uncomfortable night out everrrrr! And thank you Lord it passed a couple of hours. I awoke at 5.30 and hopefully peered out of the tarp, the rain has stopped but the bloody clag was still there… No bloody cloud inversion today then.
I packed the kit away as quick as possible, I just wanted to be down in Edale now in some dry clothes!! I bog hopped my way along to golden clough (if I never see a peat bog again it will be too soon!!) and made the steep, leg wobbling descent to civilisation, and back to the car.
So this was a learning curve on many levels. The biggest one is not to leave it too late to set up the sleeping area and don’t trust the weather forcast too much!