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Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Bit of Mallerstang Edge

the dawg and the edge

I met the nephew at Thrang, just at the foot of Lady Anne’s Highway over the side of Mallerstang and he, me and the dawg wandered up the bridleway as far as Hell Gill, passing the sculpture placed in tribute to the sacrifices of many a brave lobster in the never-ending pursuit of the perfect thermadore. This sculpture is in the form of a huge lobster claw, rearing up out of the thin limestone soils representing hope, failure and rebirth by recreating in mock stone the many attempts at cooking the perfect lobster that ended up being buried in the back garden.

the lobster claw memorial

Hell Gill is an enormously deep and narrow limestone gorge, almost a roofless cave, in fact, which is spanned by a bridge and which begs for exploration from the bottom to the top. Or from the top to the bottom. I must do this some time, before I get to old and senile to…. are you our Graham? I didn’t take a pic as I was still overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the lobster a mile or so back. These things are always an improvement on real nature dontcha think.

crosthwaite 022

Incidentally, for those who considered that the cow in the picture in yesterday’s blogpost was beautiful, take a look at this sheep. Now worrabout that eh? Impressive, eh? Bit of a knowing wink, there….

ingleborough and whernside from hangingstone scar

Anyway – we progressed up an intermittent path alongside Hell Gill beck to the edge of Hangingstone Scar – noting several sheltered camping spots in the gill (note for all readers named “Dawn”). Hangingstone Scar is impressive and is the start of Mallerstang Edge. We left the Edge to bag the top at Archy Styrigg and followed the wide, grassy ridge easily to High Seat, lunching just out of the perishing draught in the hags at the head of Gale Sike.

further up mallerstang edge

Gale Sike gives an easy route back down through the crags – easier if you trend a bit to the North to avoid a steepening. More camping spots were noticed at the foot of the main slope – nice, flat places with a bit of shelter and a small stream of good, clear, water and, not to mention the cracking views West and North.

We did a sort of descending traverse from here back to the parking spot, which we managed to hit pretty accurately, mainly by aiming for a farm on the hillside opposite and not using any of your modern aids such as maps or compasses. I like to call this the “wet thumb” method. This is very accurate if it doesn’t get foggy or anything (!)

We put the world to rights and talked about music and stuff for eight miles and about 1700 feet of up. The dog didn’t really join in.

Longer walks along Mallerstang Edge are available, specially if you use the train to get from Kirkby Stephen to Garsdale where you can use the ridge to get back to the start. The walking is generally quite easy.

mallerstang edge


Dawn said...

Yes Mike, I am listening, put it on the list. My, that sheep is pretty, cuddly too!! Look at those lovely eyes, so beguiling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

chrissiedixie said...

What did you do to make that sheep smile like that?

Iain said...

Wonderful names, you have Oop North, Mike. We lived for a few years in a small hamlet just below Lord Hereford's Knob! A hard climb, so to speak. I'm worried about Dawn's ovine tendencies: is there any Welsh blood in the family?

Jules said...

Nice looking circuit, odd looking sheep.

I've sort of "got" Mallerstang Edge on my "to do" list. I must remember this route next time we are in the vicinity. Trouble is, I always seem to get sidetracked!

Tony Bennett said...

Worra coincidence - we rode Lady Anne's Highway last saturday on the mountain bikes and had lunch at the lobster. I'm sure we gave that sheep some cheese and marmite sandwich. We then had a miserable experience at The Moorcock at Garsdale Head, where we stopped for tea and cake. Don't go there. I had exactly the same thoughts about Hell Gill. There's a fab looking abseil off a tree near the bridge. Let me know if you get a trip planned

Mike Knipe said...

Dawn - More sheep pics coming up, if you like this one!
Chrissie - I told it a joke about sheepdogs....
Iain - We know a song about Lord hereford's Knob. I did enjoy sitting on it one afternoon last year, in fact...
Jules - easy walking and cracking views - needs to be done.
Tony - I think we could arrange something - I don't think too much gear would be needed. If we went at night, it'd be like a caving trip! Shame about the pub, though...