More Bog Bashing than Peak Bagging!
At first the day appeared to be quite civilised. A picturesque train ride to Horton with the plan of walking to Ribblesdale station via Pen y Ghent.
Though it was clear that the blanket sunshine once forecast had forgotten about the Yorkshire dales. As when we stepped off the train, all of the ‘Yorkshire Three’ were covered in transient mist.
This was the first time I had walked up Pen y Ghent and the limestone was very familiar and similar to my local hill Farleton Knott. With white walls and pavements providing good footing and easy walking.
In fact at times it was a little too like street walking. Oh how blissful ignorance can be.
Just before the final short scramble, there was even a hint of blue sky and sun!
and looking back the dale opened up again …
but bliss never lasts and within five minutes of reaching the summit a thick black curtain closed and my backpack became somewhat bereft as I donned waterproofs gloves and woolly hat.
Sandwiches were quickly shovelled down before they became too soggy and we left the relative calm of the shelter to head off towards Ribblesdale. Once below the cloud there were another few moments of ignorance and I smiled and exchanged happy hellos with hikers heading up to the pouring rain and blackened hills. Then we noticed one or two who looked a little muddy. But you know people are somewhat succinct with their words when out on the hills and never wanting to spoil anyone’s day they just remarked, cheerfully, that ‘things are a bit wet down there’.
Masters of the understatement. It was wet, and then got wetter. The stretch from the stepping stones, not sure we even noticed them, SD 825 750, over Todber, Black Dubb and Red Moss was not a lot of fun and I would avoid it until we have a drought!
Rosie just about lost the plot and had to be carried when she refused to go any further. The rescue resulted in tragedy!
I must highlight here that if you want someone sensible on a walk, don’t count on my dog or myself. Having been thrown clear Rosie, as you can see, proceeded to wash herself and I, though doubled up with hysterical laughter, managed to take pictures and little else. As this stretch took a least an hour to negotiate, it became somewhat tedious avoiding further dunking, so once we hit the Pennine way again we decided to head back along a fairly robust route to Horton. The onward way to Ribblesdale crossing more becks and bogs was not very enticing.
The final challenge of the day came when checking the time around Sell Gill, there was half an hour to the next train and then not another for two hours! Now I don’t generally do running but the thought of waiting another two hours in wet kit, well my legs were instructed in the art of ‘can do’.
Pleased to say we made it.
Great walk… but wait till it stops raining!
Full route . Buy OS OL2 from my home page and ideas for further walks in Yorkshire here, and here.
You might even want to read somewhat drier Cross Fell, Nidderdale and Dent. Enjoy!