Monday, 26 July 2010

Round of Easegill

three men and another man and a dog of gregareth
This is yet another of one of those Yorkshire dales 2000 foot tops walks, the tops in this case being Great Coum, Green Hill and Gregareth. These three grassy lumps are arranged neatly in a little horseshoe around the little dale of Easegill. Easegill, of course is much more famous for its 75km of caving system than for a soggy round of three grassy lumps but not for us today.
on crag hill
I picked up the brother from Kendal and whisked him off to some lane parking at a high road-end just next to Bullpot Farm. Bullpot Farm is the Red Rose Caving Club’s “hut”. Bullpot of the Witches being a pothole very close by….
But none of this for us. Instead, we had a damp trek through soggy sedges for just a bit more than a thousand fairly gentle feet to the top of Crag Hill, which was occupied by a party of sheep, and then on to Great Coum for lunch. I’d been here before, of course, and I repeated the egg butty lunch. I’m not obsessed by Great Coum or anything, but its on the round y’see.
crag hill occupied
Hill fog had cleared on our climb up Crag Hill but here it rolled in again. We descended to the County Stone, not loking at the extensive view that we couldn’t see due to the hillfog. The County Stone marks the old county boundary of Lancashire, the West riding of Yorkshire and Westmorland. It sports some graffiti which is clearly older than the boundary walls that meet there….
county stone graffiti
We plodded on to Green Hill and then to Gregareth, meeting with a very stroppy Swaledale (Swardle) ewe who stamped her feet at us and wouldn’t get out of the way.
dull dull dull bolshie swardle
I must say that if you decide to do this ridge, wait for clear weather. Its not that its difficult to navigate the place, its just that in hill fog and without the lovely view of Ingleborough, the ridge is, well, not to put too fine a point on it, a bit dull. Its just too easy. You just walk alongside the wall…. and thats it.
We descended to the Three Men of Gregareth – three stone “men” or tall cairns..actually there’s now four of them.  Bruno dozed off here whilst we had a snack and a shelter out of the wind and drifting mist. I’m not sure how he achieved this as the stones here aren’t exactly comfy cushions…..
going ...going... gone...
We descended further to Leck Fell House and then across the moor to Easegill Kirk. Unfortunately, due to the extreme slipperiness of the carb limestone (its always like this when its wet), we couldn’t explore the Kirk properly. I’ll be back, though – its a fine and interesting gorge…
easegill kirk
An easy path took us back to Bullpot Farm…..
I think Gregareth could well mean Heather(y) Height.  by the way. There’s a fair amount of Welsh in the place names around here. Its just a guess…
bullpot farm
We did 9 and a bit miles and 2000 feet of climbing.
There’s only seven Yorkshire Dales 2000 foot tops left to do. Can you guess what they are?


Tony Bennett said...

Ah happy memories. So many hours spent below those hills getting lost in the Three Counties System and so many times walking back through snow or fog on the way back to BPF from Easegill.

Coincidentally, there was an article on the Three Counties cave system in yesterday's Mail on Sunday. It's published on their web site and linked from my blog.

Nice walk.

Mike Knipe said...

Thats an interesting article, Tony.
The system just keeps on getting bigger. My only experience of it is an uncofortable trip in Ireby Fell Caverns as the snow on the fells melted in a quick thaw... (brrrr)
Ding Dong Bell Pussy Well...

Martin Rye said...

You are tiring that dog out and hence he slept soundly:) Fine walks you have been having.

Mike Knipe said...

He's kind of late middle age, Martin. He's like me, when in standby mode, he drifts off......