Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Kinder Trial – 31 January

Described as a ‘low key orienteering event’ this is the type of race I know, in theory, how to navigate my way round but, in practice, all too often I discover the gap between one and the other. I am not very familiar with Kinder and this is part of a plan to get to know it better and so I was very pleased to see the fine weather on Saturday, comfortable with the assumption it would last through Sunday too. Sunday morning’s snow was a bit of a surprise as was the low threatening cloud cover that extended from Manchester south over Kinder and beyond. The snow fall was very local but the low clouds weren’t and nearing Hayfield I really began to wonder if I would be able to chew what I had bitten off.

There are 10 controls to be visited in any order and all are below the plateau and, much more importantly, below the cloud base. Little or no fresh snow had fallen and apart from navigation (and the one control placed in the wrong gully – thanks, Andy) the main problem was the old hard ice fields that could not always be avoided. More than once I wished I hadn’t left my spikes in the car – or I had taken a wiser line and avoided the ice. Despite a couple of moments when the map didn’t match the ground and a wrong turn, or two, in Hayfield at the very end I avoided getting badly lost. The results are here and I managed a “middle of pack” finish both in my age group and overall.

Kinder Trial 2010 (1 of 6)

 Below Kinder and the clouds

Kinder Trial 2010 (2 of 6)

 Below Kinder and the clouds again

 Kinder Trial 2010 (3 of 6)

  Away to the west under a leaden sky

Kinder Trial 2010 (4 of 6)

  West under a leaden sky

 Kinder Trial 2010 (5 of 6) Kinder Trial 2010 (6 of 6)















Hoar frost on a fence

With frost on the ground below and a heavy sky above almost the only colour to be seen was on competitors’ clothing and I think the monochrome images prove a better idea of how the landscape was. In complete contrast, the event is great fun with a fantastic atmosphere and good food at the finish – I’ll be going back for another go next year.


  1. great test of brain and brawn. have you even done any of the dark&white events? think you'd like them, 3hrs of trying not to get too lost ;)

    the b&w works really well. looks bloody freezing!

  2. I haven't done any of the D&W events despite being on a mailing list. May have another look though - I do want to do more on Kinder (and the Lakes and Scotland and ....)

    Glad you like the b&w and it wasn't as quite as cold as it looks (:

  3. The black and white images are great, Ian!