We believe kit should be highly versatile, suitable for a range of different outdoor activities. In doing so you can carry less and enjoy boundless possibilities on your adventures in the great outdoors. This philosophy is instilled throughout our spring/ summer collection for 2022.
Who better to put this idea through its paces than Montane athlete Kat Roberts. This all-round adventurer loves exploring in a range of ways, with a particular passion for running and climbing. Keep reading to hear how she got on during a day’s adventure in the Peak District National Park.
At around 260 miles border-to-border, with an average 520 square km of open access land, we have the Peak District National Park. With endless trails, an incredible number of popular crags - the possibility for adventure here is endless.
Last spring I spent the day with fellow Montane athlete Howard Dracup discovering the Peak District, with the aim of seeking out as much of the National Park as possible. This is what we are made for: moving, connecting and exploring new places.
Sunrise run warm up
We started out before sunrise. The air fresh and the night brightly lit up by the moon. As we headed out, the ground was crunching under our feet from the morning frost… perfect conditions to run in my opinion! With our head torches on, packs all loaded and ready to go, we were committed. Off we ran into the early hours of the morning.
Setting off from a lay-by on the A57 Snake Pass, we ran towards Higher Shelf Stones. Underfoot the ground was solid which is perfect for getting into a good flow and pushing the pace. As the sun began to rise, we carried on running along mud and gritstone until we got to Higher Shelf Stones at Bleaklow Dark Peak. We stopped and there we were rewarded with an awesome sunrise.
Exhaling the clear, crisp air on the summit felt like one of those special moments – what better way to start the day? After that we went into full send mode (that’s a runner’s term for going at full speed), activating the legs and flying back down the hill to morning coffee!
Kinder Scout via Blackden Brook Scramble
After getting our caffeine fix and a bite to eat, we headed down the road to Blackden View Farm which was the starting point of our next loop. With the sun shining and energy levels still high after the stunning morning sunrise, we were excited to get going.
We intentionally packed light, making us feel like we were floating, whilst allowing us to move faster over rock, without any extra weight. I decided to change out of my shorts into my Ineo pants, as I wanted something more durable and abrasion-resistant for this stage, but that still allowed me to move freely over rock.
We found our way on a well-trodden dirt path down towards the bridge to cross over the river Ashop. Here we lost a lot of ascent and knew that we would need to work hard to gain this back. But the valley is breathtaking and it is these views that are the small rewards we get along the way. As we moved along the path the terrain and scenery changed. Breathing got deeper and the burn in my legs began. Off up we went and the effort was rewarded by a series of waterfalls. There I filled my bottle and took a short breather before carrying on to the scramble. Carrying on up along the river until we arrived at the base of the scramble, we decided to take a grade 1 route up… taking into account the limited kit we had.
The rock was dry and my shoes were super grippy on the gritstone. Even in the worst of conditions, I love that feeling of moving over rock, confident with every footstep, flowing like water along the route. We topped out on the Kinder Scout Plateau. It was too nice to head back down straight away, so we ran along the tops, taking in the panoramic views. Here we opened out our stride, enjoying freedom of movement and the chance to explore.
We made our way back down to where we parked via an eroded path. We did end up running further and found ourselves splashing through bogs and back through the river with no footbridge in sight…but that is what it is all about, right?!
Ending the day at the crag
With still so many hours of daylight left, we were determined to make the most of it. I always pack my boulder mat into the car, especially if I am in the Peak District. So off we went to Stanage Edge, the largest of the gritstone edges that overlook Hathersage. Stanage is a very popular destination for climbers as well as walkers all year round, with climbs and problems to suit everyone of every grade - it's perfect.
We worked a few problems, fell off a few problems, laughed and had an ace time just moving and connecting with the rock. We climbed into golden hour and very quickly decided to change out of our climbing clothes and back into our running kit which we had packed with us. We hid the mat under a boulder and off we went chasing the sunset along the rocky tops of Stanage - what a way to end a fantastic day.
We are made to move further and faster but how you play the game is entirely up to you, whether it's climbing, running, fastpacking, scrambling or all of it, we are made for more and Montane clothing is made to help us explore in each way as easily as possible.