It’s no secret that I’m shortly to make my second and last attempt on Ramsay’s Round and so, in need of a local outing with plenty of climbing and descending, the Kinder Dozen sprang to mind. Having previously done the Dozen three times in 8 to 9 hours and wanting a 12+ hour outing, I next considered doing about one and a half circuits. However, that didn’t seem particularly aesthetic and so a full double Kinder Dozen became my aim for the day.
Kipling, my Border Collie, so called because he’s ruddy ‘ard, and I set off from Rowley Bridge at 5am carrying supplies for the first circuit. It was a clear day and so neither of us had bothered to carry either a map or one of those complicated pointy things that the FRA seem so keen on these days and our first navigational walkabout occurred as we dropped down from Druid’s Stone. We were about half way down to Woodhouse Farm in Edale when I remembered that we should have been heading for Oller Brook. Fortunately, we were able to use the very nice path that contours the hillside thereabouts back into Ollerbrook Clough. Climbs and descents came and went and, as we approached Mermaid’s Pool, the unmistakable honking sound of Canadian Geese betrayed the presence of half a dozen of those plump and tasty looking beasts. Later, after having savoured the delights of Ashop Clough, Fairbrook Naze, Seal Stones and the horrid climb from Blackden Brook to the edge above, we got back to the car at Rowley Bridge 8 hours 26 minutes after having set out.
While I restocked my rucksack and added a headtorch, Kipling settled down and lay in the sunshine but was then very surprised when I locked the car and set off on the second circuit. As we went along the Edale ups and downs it still seemed a very long way to the finish but at least we had the delights of the western and northern flanks of Kinder to look forward to which, for my money, are the best bits. Evening came, the sun set and then as we climbed to Fairbrook Naze and I donned my headtorch for that delightful running descent from Seal Stones towards Blackden Brook. Our twenty-fourth climb of the day took us back up to Blackden Edge and on to the trig point above. We then set off for Madwoman’s Stones at a canter and shortly thereafter I made my second navigatorial error. (Navigatorial actually isn’t a word but certainly should be!) Having continued northeast we reached the highest of the shooting butts but mistakenly took the edge path towards Crookstone Knoll. We were probably half way there before that lack of downhill and a total absence of more shooting butts made me realise what we’d done so we finished our day by hobbling down the crashout to reach Rowley Bridge 18 hours 18 minutes after having first set out.
There is some confusion as to whether or not ours was the first double Kinder Dozen, as Dr. K. and Dave McG. did something similar a few years ago, although that may have been the Kinder Dozen / Kinder Killer combination. Their itinerary notwithstanding, I understand that they took ten minutes longer and so, if anyone can be bothered, our time of 18:18 is the easy-to-beat world record. Or, the fleeter of foot, might consider three Kinder Dozens in under 24 hours. Go on, you know you want to!
For the record, my GPS watch recorded a distance of 70.37 km with 6,044 m of ascent which, in pounds schillings and pence, is 43.7 miles and 19,829 feet.
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2020
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