Archive for the ‘Yorkshire dales’ Tag

A Day of Two Halves   12 comments

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The weather on the Sunday following our south Lakes wander was appalling. Cloud right down and heavy slanting rain. We’d arranged to meet friends for a walk in Yorkshire but rang them to postpone by a couple of hours in the hope things might improve later. The Forecast wasn’t promising seeming to indicate a spell of cloud and rain between two longer spells of rain! As we drove over if anything the weather got worse and the car was rather quiet as we looked forward to a soaking. As we met up in Clapham it eased off a bit and we decided to head out anyway in a light drizzle.

The waterfalls in Clapham looked nice after all the rain.

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We took a route to avoid the walk up Clapham Beck as they charge you for it! We headed to Trow Gill as it’s a top spot even on wet and miserable day.

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We re-lived a memory from university days on a walk with very deep snow. In those days the top of the gorge had a stile to cross and me and my mischievous friends had realised an opportunity for fun and games. The narrow stile was a perfect ambush opportunity so we raced ahead, made a pile of snowballs and pelted everyone that came through. Of course once past that point meant that the next person through had one more person to be pelted by. Someone had to be last and one of our party took that role. I can still hear the sound of dozens of snowballs pelting him and the surrounding rocks to this day! Childish but fun.

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Back to the present day. We emerged onto the open moors above Trow Gill and turned to make our way over towards Crummack Dale, the main target of our walk. Whilst it was still damp and grey it had stopped raining.

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There was even sunshine back towards Clapham.

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We found a spot out of the wind for a bite to eat and a brew looking over the rather nice and splendidly named Clapham Bottoms.

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If we look a bit wet it’s because we were. As we finished up it started raining again sadly and we thought that was it for the day.

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Looking back to Trow Gill.

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However it soon stopped and from there things began to improve.

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Cloud started to lift and Pen-y-Ghent appeared from the clouds.

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From Sulber Gate, the view over Thieves Moss and its wet limestone catching the sun (yes it was starting to put in an appearance) was superb.

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As we crossed Beggars Stile, the magnificent expanse of Crummack Dale came into view. I’ve wanted to come back here for a long time as I’ve only ever walked it in the dusk and darkness many years ago.

 

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The heavens clearly understood my longing and the sun suddenly came out in full force lighting up the crags magnificently.

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The day and mood were transformed and there was a real spring in the step as we walked down through the dale on wonderful grassy paths.

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There is something special about the grassy paths through limestone areas that I just love. Whether it’s just the ease of walking or bright vivid green colour I’m not sure.

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The views were sensational – an incredible contrast to the damp and wet gloom of the previous 24 hours.

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Mark recommended we cut across to the Pennine Bridleway by way of the Norber Erratics under Robin Procters Scar.

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A good call. A fine path through interesting limestone edges littered with glacial erratics (boulders of a different rock type picked up elsewhere and dropped by receding glaciers).

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Superb views out across the valley towards the Forest of Bowland and Pendle Hill.

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Maybe TJS needs glasses?

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The crags of Robin Proctors Scar. Much as I love my local mountains in South Wales, they do lack large crags and rock bands so my camera was trained on these for the rest of the walk.

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One more treat in store as we wandered along the Pennine Bridleway back to Clapham. The sun came out between the clouds in full force.

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The low angle lit up the fields and crags to stunning effect.

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I was captivated by the scene and stopped many times to take photos. No-one else seemed to have noticed as when I looked up they were all out of sight. Their loss!

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The sign on the way down warned cyclist of steep slopes and tunnels so I was surprised to find these on the way down.

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Back to Clapham after a surprisingly long walk of 10 miles.

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One of those days when deciding to go out in the worst of weather delivers substantial rewards. Sometimes you just have to give it a go. Sometimes (like my walk on Dartmoor in January) it delivers a miserable soaking. Sometimes you are treated to glorious views like this. The weather in the UK is fickle and unpredictable but when you gaze on a view like the one above it makes you glad for all that uncertainty.

Clapham

Back to Mark’s for another one of his slap up meals (a lamb roast that was everything you could want after a day in the hills). A top weekend (thanks to Mark and the gang for putting us up) and a chance to see TJS before he really settles into to his first term at Lancaster

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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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

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

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

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Inevitably, snowballs were the order of the day!

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

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Snowballs in action!

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The walk down seemed snowier than the way up

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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

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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

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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

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A nice picture of the Ribblehead viaduct to finish off.

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Cracking 8 mile walk

Whernside

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…….

And the Sun it did Shine…   4 comments

The annual pre-Xmas gathering at Ingleton and a car full of wellies and waterproofs. The past couple of years here whilst great fun have been appallingly wet and pretty miserable. Saturday looked well set to continue the trend. Gloomy skies and the threat of rain ever hanging in the air. We convinced the kids to go out with the promise of caves to explore (we neglected to tell them it was an hour’s walk away – very remiss)

Well some of the kids (and adults) love caves and we had a great couple of hours messing about (although some of the party were bored within 10 minutes and wandered off back). Runscar caves are great for kids, no big pot holes or loose rock and wet enough for the Dangerous Brothers. You can in fact walk through from top to bottom but we weren’t really equipped for that. We made a solemn promise to return in summer, hire some proper gear and have proper explore. An ideal activity for a gloomy Yorkshire day although the long walk back in increasingly heavy rain was wearisome by the end. A hearty chilli cooked by yours truly aided by his sous-chefs more than made up for it. Needless to say a grey and rainy day combined with caves was not camera friendly so no photographs

Rather astonishingly there was actually a small amount of blue sky the next day. Despite this (there was food to eat and carol concerts to attend) only myself and Uncle Fester were keen on a walk. TJS was not feeling too well so again he failed climb the iconic Ingleborough with us.

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The further we walked the brighter the weather became. Forecast was for very heavy showers and they were clearly all around but we seemed to be in a sunny spell. The walk through the Limestone slopes was a pleasure and even the boggy swampy morass that is Humphrey Bottom is now easy seeing as they flagged the whole stretch.

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The steep section up to the edge is also less of a chore and when we reached the top the low angled sunlight was majestic. It was turning into a mighty fine day

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As we crested the summit the wind suddenly found it’s feet and roared its greeting from the edge overlooking Ingleton. Not a day for stopping so we waved at the sun, congratulated ourselves on our grand fortune of a day of sun in this most miserable of winters and headed down.

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UF wanted a quick retreat but the day was too good to waste. I went on alone along the path that skirts the edges. Its a superb route, airy with grand views over the valley and across to Whernside and Ribblehead. In my younger days I always followed the broad, boggy path up the middle of the “ridge”. Finding this path has been a real revelation.

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I was worried that going off piste to get back to the bunkhouse would be tiresome and boggy but it was easy and dry (well, as dry as Yorkshire can be in the Monsoon season). It was even enlivened by meeting MM and EWO on my way down

 

More gustatory excellence was in order for the evening courtesy of UF. The following day we left early. We had a places to go! 🙂

9 go mad in the North – A walk in and below the Dales   7 comments

Our second day, and free from the shackles of the Bank Holiday we felt safe to venture out into the wide world beyond Silverdale. Mark had posted last Easter about a fine walk in the dales involving caves (you can read his post here) and the mix of walking and adventure seemed ideal to keep the kids amused.

After a aimless wander about Settle looking for toilets we were off. The start of the walk is brutally steep with some grumbles and dragged heels.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

We were looking for somewhere to picnic in that classic British style when it really is too cold to do so. After rejecting many potential sites on account of the fact they were too windy or too swarthed in nettles. I was accused of doing it deliberately just to delay lunch and wind everyone up. As if! As we climbed the eminence of Pen y Ghent revealed istself

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

We eventually found a fine albeit slightly inclined spot and feasted. In the other British tradition we’d brought far too much food including a mountain of cheese. It was even sunny while we ate although for reasons unknown I hardly took any photos. Surprising as the views across to Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar were fantastic. I’d never been up this way before and its a fabulous and dramatic little corner full of crags, caves and hidden valleys. We saw a few people but nothing like the numbers you see in other better known spots in the Dales.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

On to our next objective, Attermire Cave. If you look at the photo below, its the dark mark at the right of the line of crags with a green terrace to it’s left

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

It looks hard to get at an indeed it is. It involves a very steep scrabble up the grassy slopes and short scramble onto that green ledge which is fairly narrow and quite exposed. It had my pulse racing primarily on account of the fact that I was in the presence of the dangerous brothers who have a dangerous lack of a sense of, well, danger and who had to be restrained from running around on the ridge and giving me a coronary.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

The entrance to the cave involved an awkward little step but once in its free from danger. It’s a narrow cave with a very high ceiling and is full of quartz crystals and other interesting stuff (including some large black spiders much to TJF distress)

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

We had a grand time exploring but it was over all too soon

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Luckily there was more fun to be had. A narrow trod traverses high above the slopes below, itself a superb walk with wide ranging views and into a nameless valley to the north.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

I really liked this spot with it’s limestone cliffs and green grassy paths.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

A mile or so on and you reach more caves. At the bottom is Wet Cave, which was well named and quite unpleasant but above is Victoria Cave. It’s an old show cave with an artificially enlarged, and what looks like is now a largely unsafe, entrance. Ignoring the signs and barriers (I’m a rebel) I ventured in and wandered a few hundred meters into a long narrow passage before it got too narrow. You can see the entrance in the photo below just up on the left but strangely I took no other photos here either

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

On again to our final adventure at Jubilee Caves. These were not as interesting as Attermire but were a lot more fun. They had several passages and entrances all linked together, some very small.

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Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

The kids, big and small had a great time squirming in and out and some adults with arms in bandages who should have known better also joined in. Trouble is I like caves (and I’m a big kid at heart) and couldn’t stand not getting involved. Trying to scramble and squeeze my middle aged spread through a small hole, one handed was a cause of much amusement for the assembled posse

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

The weather was really rather splendid now, albeit with the cold theme that would dominate the week. We had to turn for home now with our trogladytic appetites quenched.

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

The walk back to Settle along the Pennine Bridleway was magnificent with great views along the Ribble valley and down over Settle

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

Yorkshire dales, caves, limestone, warrendale knots, attermire scar, attermire cave, victoria cave, wet cave, jubilee cave, brent scar

A fantastic day out and a superb walk always enhanced when you discover something new.

Attermire

The Dales really are a special place and I’ve really missed them since I moved away from the area back in the mid-90s. The trips to Silverdale and the days out we’ve spent there have been superb. More please 🙂

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