Last Three Peak
A rare blue day in the summer 2015 and I only had a half a day to get outdoors.
Rather than battle the late Saturday traffic and head for the Lakes I headed east to Ingleton, deciding to hike up Whernside.
Having already done Ingleborough and Pen y Ghent this would complete the Yorkshire Three Peaks, all be it not in one fell swoop.
I drove but the start is just by the Ribblehead Station so letting the train take the strain would be a good option.
Hundreds of whom were stomping the trail today.
By going clockwise I did at least have some time without accompanying hordes.
I managed to park just north of Ribblehead station, just by a tea van which was very welcome when I wandered back. The viaduct with all it’s history of death and industry dominates at the valley on the worst of days but today it stretched black and dark against the bright blue sky.
With the most unusual sunshine I walked under and southish. Flanked on the left by Ingleborough, and a little closer, on my right Whernside. Sticking, at first, to the path close to the intake wall along a path labelled ‘Dales Highway’.
This trail over fields with farmers working frantically to get in the hay before the forecast return to rain, was delightfully quiet.
Spotting the path up the hill wasn’t a problem. Hordes of ‘Three Peakers’ were descending. Some plodding. Some running. Some happy and others complaining vociferously.
Way up Whernside
Around this steep ascent I started to think about lunch. Should I stop and eat it now. Enjoy the view of the viaduct and Ingleborugh. No, I thought. Everything will be even better when I get to the top and I will have the satisfaction that I’d done all the hard work and only have the down hill to do. Besides which it looked pretty much half way of my own relatively short route on the top.
Ridge walk to top
So I carried on. Up and over a few false peaks, swimming against the tide of people before dumping my backpack down and looking with satisfaction at the start, and finish. My route simmering in the haze of a summer afternoon.
Ingleborough from Whernside
Imagine my horror when I opened my pack and there was no lunch! I pulled everything out. It must be there. Desperation. Surely not. Then I thought. A friend had phoned me just as I was packing up for the day. Trying to multi-process. To pack and talk. I had obviously failed. My lunch was obviously still in either the fridge or on the kitchen table.
Dentdale and the Howgills
Of course I was then ravenously hungry. Salivating at the thought of sandwiches and Women’s Institute cake! Thankfully I always carry a few ‘emergency rations’ in my pack and a large bar or Dairy Milk had recently been put in. Oh joy! A sugar burst to keep me going.
So I tried to appear nonchalant amongst the joking ‘peakers’. Tried not to look too enviously at their food, but didn’t linger long. My descent at rapid pace had much to do with my lack of lunch.
Captured stream in Force Gill
Pathways more or less empty now. A solid, paved route winds somewhat incongruously over the peatbog. It may not look so good but either side was still wet and memories of the horrendous bog on Pen y Ghent or crossing the Pennines on the Cost to Coast made me appreciate the hard work of volunteers and park agencies. At least walkers would stick to the path rather than degrading yards around in search of a dry spot.
Lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon. Not sure I’ll every do them all in one day. Might cheat a bit and use the train to cut out the boring flat bit between Whernside and Pen y Ghent.
And lunch? I ate it, devoured it, at the kitchen table when I got home!
Easy afternoon hike, 13.3 km