Kinder-challenge and mystery

View of Edale from Edale Rocks at Kinder Scout in the Peak District, Derbyshire

I was twelve years old and on my way with the Woodcraft Folk to climb Kinder.

I was very apprehensive as I had been told of the tales of walkers lost and dying in the mists on Kinder and how the weather could change within minutes from clear sunshine to howling gales. We tramped up Grindsbrook with the glowering edges of Kinder looking down on us, they were threatening. At the top of Grindsbrook we took the right turn and clambered and climbed up the waterfalls with water running up our sleeves.

After a short but challenging ascent we arrived at the top. I was astounded. The weather was fine and you could see forever over the wide plateau.I felt elated. My first mountain, my first challenge, my first real feeling of achievement. From then on every hill and mountain would be welcomed by me.

At the top of Kinder Downfall on a still day.
river Kinder and rocks from plateau looking over view
At the top of Kinder Downfall on a still day.

As the years rolled on I explored every hill and valley in the Dark Peak. Kinder seemed always to be in my vision. Most hills and ridges which surrounded and looked towards Kinder had ancient burial mounds on them. But Kinder itself didn’t, apart from a few which were sited on its shoulders below.

Kinder Scout
lone walker on Kinder Scout blue sky
Kinder Scout

What was also surprising there was little if any evidence of ancient people such as their flint tools on the plateau. Because of this I postulated an idea. Kinder was a sacred place for ancient people who were buried on the surrounding hills which overlooked Kinder but their “spirits” would reside on Kinder forever. It was their “Valhalla”, their “happy hunting grounds”.

Perhaps the spirits of long gone ramblers have joined them where they will forever wander over the plateau of Kinder.