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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Tommy Does Penyghent

I’ve provided the history of this type of thing before, but it does bear repetition, particularly for those who don't know what it is (!)
Way, way back in the day, or, in fact, a bit before the day, my Uncle Eric took my elder brother up Penyghent and not me. It was said, amongst the family that I was Not Old Enough. (Uncle Eric by the way, was a postman in Earby, and, made it up to Postmaster. Lovely bloke. Gangly bow-legged gait but as far as Penyghent was concerned, he was a failed diplomat. I still like him, though, bless his soul.)
Hennyway, I did form a bit of an obsession concerning Penyghent and each of my three children, on reaching an appropriate age – about 6 or 7 ish – was taken from Dale Head to the summit of Penyghent and back (not done to abandon children at the top of Penyghent, even in those days). And , later, my children’s children have started to enjoy the same priviledge. “Can I go up the mountain?” is often a cue to the planning of such an expedition. There has been an element of peer-pressure amongst the second generation  of offspring to climb Penyghent. It is, and has been, a rite of passage dating back to about 1958. So that’s quite a long time.
Last year, we turned up at the foot of Penyghent with Tommy and his two brothers, only to find that it had disappeared into some drizzly-driving hill-fog of the type which is No Fun At All. So the walk was postponed in favour of the Attermire caves and crags.
This year, a brief hoisting of the local air pressure ensured a dry day with clear views and so we set off. Mrs Pieman drove us to Dale Head and we secured a successful and incident-free ascent.
So, that was that. The only question remaining is “shall we continue this tradition?” and…. the only two questions remaining are the one I already said, and “who is to be next?” and… amongst the remaining questions (apols to the Spanish Inquisition by the way) – amongst the remaining questions are those questions which have gone before and “if this gouty diabetic with a dicky ticker eventually finds himself unable to escort the kin childer up the rocky bits of Penyghent, who will take-over and continue the tradition if it is to be continued?”
Anyway – well done to Tommy. We’ll ignore the strop on the way down. And Tar also to brothers Ben and Chris for being reasonably well- behaved most of the time.
For those interested in such matters, the walk there and back is all of three miles and 900 feet of ascent. A short walk, by any standards. But it’s not the scores on the doors that matter. Is it?


Dawn Linney said...

Well done to all of you.

Sir Hugh said...

I came down there in gale-force wind and lashing rain a couple of weeks ago before my knee packed up next day. At my advanced years I was really struggling and that was so apparent that a 'junior hard" instructor saw me and offered assistance as I shuffled off the top of a streaming wet slab on my bum and landed like a sack of coal - how undignified. Well done to the young ones (and you as well.)

Janne said...

That's a lovely tradition! It's so important to get kids outdoors and teach them to enjoy nature. Looks like your family has managed that very well! I've been up Pen-y-Ghent last year when we did the Yorkshire-Three-Peaks challenge. Needless to say that it was grey and miserable. Still a great day out!