Winter on Whernside   12 comments

Twas the weekend before the weekend before Xmas and friends from across the country gathered in the Old School Bunkhouse for a weekend of walking and gluttony.

The weather has been pretty poor for the past few years we’ve been heading up here. We were hoping for a small slice of winter and despite reports that there was nothing like the feet of snow we’d had in lowly Herefordshire things looked promising when we got up early(ish) for a walk on the Saturday



Even more surprising was the fact the kids also got up early and wanted to climb a mountain. I was underlined on the virtual sheet of paper and therefore the nominated hike leader so I chose Whernside on account of the fact I’ve only been up once, on a dreadful day in my University days


The ground was frozen solid and the paths and roads were treacherously slippery. Not a great combination when you have the Dangerous Brothers in tow


The clouds rolled in but rather than deliver rain as is the norm on this weekend it sent us some rather nice cloud effects on a pretty much still day


The steep path onto the ridge was very icy with snow depth increasing as we climbed. A chance to stretch on my microspikes and perfect conditions to use them. I was glad I had them and rather smugly reached the ridge ahead of the rest of the floundering party


We stopped on the ridge to throw a few snowballs and look at the icicles


From there is a was splendid rise up onto the ridge in ever-deepening snow, all powdery and clean




As the summit approached the pace slowed primarily as the kids were having fun in the snow. No problem for me. I get as much pleasure out of seeing other people enjoy the mountains in winter as I do myself. Watching the DBs have fun was infectious and put a smile on everyone’s face. I have to say I was in a pretty damned good mood on this walk. The pressures of work seemed a lot further in the past than 24 hours



This photo didn’t come out as well as I’d hoped but if you look closely you can a snow-bow. Very pretty


The summit ridge was proper winter, icy cold and deep snow with a thin mist and vague hints of a blue sky above



Inevitably, snowballs were the order of the day!



The DBs and their dad spent ages playing in/with the snow while the rest of us headed down



Snowballs in action!



The walk down seemed snowier than the way up


It passes by the rather nice waterfalls on Force Gill. I wanted to take a closer look but I was alone in that thought and the ground looked seriously boggy. Another day


The fields on the way back were full of large pools of frozen standing water. Cue more fun for the DBs. Despite the fact the water was likely only a foot or so deep, it still made us edgy as they slid about and the ice made rather worrying deep cracking sounds. These things never worry the DBs though. Wellies and boots full of water is all part of the days fun



The plan was to be back at the bunkhouse for lunch and then head up Ingleborough in the afternoon. The walk and its snowy fun had taken longer than expected so we called it a day and focused on the gluttony aspect of the weekend


A nice picture of the Ribblehead viaduct to finish off.


Cracking 8 mile walk


Normal weather service was resumed for the rest of the weekend. Sunday was awful, low cloud, wind and heavy drizzle until just after it got dark when the skies miraculously cleared. Monday when we had to drive home was clear and sunny.

Still, another great weekend with one excellent walk and much fun and laughter. The Jones family were not too disappointed with the wet Sunday as on Tuesday we were heading off to…….


12 responses to “Winter on Whernside

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  1. Wonderful stuff, days like that are to be grasped and savoured. Cracking photos too.


    Brenda-Dawn Linney
  2. Great snowy walk, and as good a weather as we got in December. Shame the weather is as bad now as it was throughout last month


    • Best day of the winter was hen I was stuck at home as we had a foot of snow. This was a good day though with some excellent company and kids enjoying the snow – doesn’t get better than that


  3. Would so love to have been hiking with you on this day. Certainly an exciting magical experience tagging along via your photos! I just love the top of the ridge pics. but the winner is the 2nd last one, walking towards the snowy ridge.


  4. Looks a good crowd and a nice area. I’ve only been caving in that area and never explored the hills properly. Most times I’ve been depressed or utterly miserable in my life its usually been work related :o)


    Blue Sky Scotland
    • Work is just a necessary evil that I have to do to fund the fun stuff – life is so unfair! 🙂
      The walking and caving is great in this area. It’s a great place to explore, loads to see, limestone features, caves, mountains, rivers, waterfalls. These are my friends from University days and we we grown middle aged together and are now watching our kids grow up. Its wonderful really and we all really treasure these weekend get togethers


  5. So much fun to play in the snow! I loved all your snowball fight action shots!


    • I wasn’t much involved in the snowballs for a change – normally, like the big kid I am I’m normally in the heart of the action. I think I’ve realised the kids are now fitter, faster and stronger than me and I’d end up a victim! 🙂


  6. Fantastic day from another very relaxing weekend. You did right to keep out of the snowballing; DB1 is merciless, and pretty accurate. I had to call a halt when I looked like the abominable snowman.


    • A great weekend as always and I really enjoyed the Sunday as well, just chilling out while the rain fell. I’m learning very quickly not to engage in any sporting activity with DB1 (if snowballing is a sport). He’s so fit these days and built like the proverbial. It was fun watching them enjoy the snow and it was nice that they all made the effort to get up and come with us


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