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Thursday, 26 August 2010


Yes folks, its yetanother Yorkshire Dales 2000 foot top. Not far to go now. Nearly finished. Bear with me….
Bruno parked the knipemobile near the tea van at Ribblehead.(Its not fair, I always drive…) I allowed myself to be exploited to the tune of one cup of coffee and one egg butty. They were both very nice.
whernside and ribblehead viaduct
Most people, I suspect, use the Three Peaks path to get themselves up Whernside. Its a big hill, though and sports a number of routes. This one is a slight but interesting version of the Yorkshire Three Peaks (Y3P) route.
retrospect to ingleborough
Thus, we followed the railway line (very busy today) to Blea Tunnel and then the Y3P path till it does a sharp left towards the summit. Three Peakers need to get up and down Whernside as quickly as possible. Today, though, me and superdawg were allowed a bit more of a daunder. We continued towards Dentdale on a bridleway called The Craven Way. This uses a band of carb limestone to make progress through the bogs. The result is a path through white and grey boulders on a carpet of  bright green grass, shorn short by the sheep and very easy to walk on. In fact, with the forward views of the Howgill fells, its an absolute bloody delight.
craven way green trod
We sauntered along easily , downhill for a bit , to Duncan Syke, a ruin which at one time was considered as a site for an MBA bothy. Then it came time to make the climb up Whernside. This starts at the edge of some enclosures and a soggy path climbs fairly gently uphill. There is no need for a sweat to be broken into on this route.
I left the path after a bit to investigate a shelter with a fine view of Dentdale. Worra grand place for a snooze….
dentdale from the shelter
A thin path continues uphill from here, passing two cairns with equally fine views.
dentdale from the first cairn
pensive dog second cairn
After all these fine views, I turned back towards the original path, passing three small tarns on the way. This route would be great for practising your micro-navigation in the hillfog. If it’s foggy and you’ve got your compass, go this way. If it all goes pear –shaped (and it probably will), resort to the simple expedient of walking uphill till you get to the top. Whatever you do, don’t panic and ring your Dad.  Or the police. Or anybody. go uphill till there’s no more uphill to go up. Its an advanced navigation technique, so don’t tell anybody about it. Note: It doesn’t work very well in descent.
whernside tarn
I joined the Y3P path again and was soon sitting behind the wall on the summit with my cheese and tomato butty and banana and some coffee. The summit clientele for today seemed to consists substantially of families or Dads and their kids. This exactly is how it should be. Having a whinge about the crowds on top of one of these hills during the summer hols is just silliness. I think its great. As long as everybody enjoys themselves anyway.
whernside summit ridge
Sooo – after a bit, we slouched off for the trying descent towards the Hill Inn. The path is being repaired just now, but the old path works are awkward and a serious trip hazard. You wouldn’t want to trip up on this path. You’d lose your face…. This would be a disadvantage when ordering a foaming pint of Scruttocks Old Dirigible at the pub at the end, and your dog wouldn’t recognise you either and might bite your leg. This would just rub it in. So be careful.
At the bottom, I followed two lasses who seemed to know where they were going and we all ended up back at the Ribblehead tea van. Once again I succumbed to the temptation of a nice hot cuppa and some cake.
All hail to the Tea Van
ingleborough from bruntscales
We did 10 miles and 1700 feet of uphill. I’d recommend this route if you’re just out to bag Whernside. The edge with the cairns has very cracking views indeed.
The finishing end is in sight…….


Laura said...

At least you kept your kecks on this time.....(pannizax!)

Mike Knipe said...

Bit chilly for that sort of thing.... That was the summer, then.

Adrian said...

I camped up there once ,it smelled of wee.

Mike Knipe said...

Not nice, Adrian.
Incidentally, I noticed that just next to Duncan Sike, there's comfy grass, good water and a grand view.

It might be a bit windy, though...