Last year, me and #1 grandson climbed Penyghent by the shortest route from Dalehead. This is a Knipe rite of passage started in 1958 when my Uncle Eric climbed Penyghent with my brother and didn’t take me. So I took each of my three kids up there, and now it’s time for grandchildren. There’s no compulsion – they want to do it. I get asked “Am I old enough to go up Penyghent yet?” A six year old is “allowed”. Elder children can also accompany their younger siblings for the provision of good hillwalking advice, mainly consisting of confirming that they have to do as they’re told and which rocks are the best for the scrambling.
And so, it came about that it was time for grandson#2 to climb Penyghent. He was bustin’ to go. So today, we went.
The day went well, I thought. Its just about a mile and a half from the verge parking at Dalehead to the summit of Penyghent. Lunch can be taken after about half a mile. This is followed by pushing the limits of traction on the limestone band, some energetic scrambling on the grritstone boulders and a bit of self-discipline on the gritstone band. A second lunch can be taken on the top. Today, grandkids spent some time chatting to a chap from East Yorks ( who seemed suitably impressed) and breaking stones “to make dust”.
The descent was, more or less, a reverse of the ascent. More scrambling on the gritstone boulders was had. Holes were investigated and rocks containing small fossils or lumps of quartz were collected. Juncus was declared ideal for hiding in and the damp properties of sphagnum moss had a desultory investigation.
The next grandchild qualifies by age to ascend Penyghent in three years time. In the meantime, we might do Ingleborough or Wild Boar fell or, perhaps, Helvellyn…..although I did notice, and so did the childer, that I had some significant difficulty in keeping up with their rate of climb. They obviously don’t watch enough telly.