Quick walk up Ingleborough

Saturday, 11 April 2009

The kids were off for the Easter holidays this week so we decided to go up to my Mum’s to spend a night and have a walk up Ingleborough. This was one of those hills that I have not quite managed to do, once going half way up before turning back for a reason that now escapes me. So we went up on Wednesday evening to the pub to watch Liverpool and Chelsea in the Champion’s League, 1-3 to Chelsea Jan not best pleased. Mum and Dad joined us later on after passing their first responder’s course and are nearly doctors now !!

The weather forecast was for dry but bright conditions with a bit of light drizzle earlier on. We set off in and parked in Ingleton and off we went up hill, to loud cheers from the kids, (not), whoever invented this walking lark did not have teenage kids in tow.

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The path up to the farm was easy going which meant we covered some distance quite quickly. The new Spring lambs were out and had been separated with the ewes from the rams who all stood in a field bleating in unison knowing that they had had their fun for the year.

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It was windy and coldish but not too bad for April in the UK, fleeces and coats were a must though as there was rain hanging in the air and we got a few spots falling on us. There had been a lot of rain in the general area from the reports from Mum and the paths were full of puddles, the streams full and off the path the ground was a little boggy.

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The path started to climb up a little more steeply and we saw the classic Ingleborough profile from time to time as the wind blew the clouds around the summit. Matthew and Dad marched on ahead and soon left the three girls and myself behind, Matthew talking to my Dad about his plans in the sound engineering field which is his main job idea at the moment.

We caught the Matthew up and it was so windy that all but me decided to put waterproof coats on to block it out. Matthew wrestled with his for a couple of minutes before finally getting his long arms in the right place. Dad put his hat on, those who had gloves put them on but the rucksack I had on was keeping me plenty warm enough.

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The mist kept giving us all glances of the summit, but I think Matthew missed all these and he was constantly disappointed as we reached each false summit and at each ond suggested that we pretend that this would do as the top. Christina seemed to enjoy the scramble over the rocks at this steep point and she raced on ahead trying not to get her new boots dirty. It wasn’t long before the subject of lunch was brought up by, yes you guessed it, Matthew, however he received the usual response, ‘dinner at the top’ !!

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Christina in her new purple boots was first up, almost sprinting the last 50 m and a ‘high five’ followed when we caught her up. The summit of Ingleborough was a little disappointing, being flat, wet and due to the swirling mist, looking pretty uninviting. Having said that me and Mum had the trig point photos taken before we were ushered over to the crossed stone shelter for lunch. Soggy ham and tomato sarnies, egg for Jan, and gingerbread made by the fair hands of my Mum. All this washed down with lashings of fruit cordial. I always feel a walk is not a good walk unless soggy butties have been consumed, it’s just a pity we didn’t have any tea made up to warm us all up.

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We had planned to walk over the top towards Simon Fell and the next one but we were all cold and couldn’t see where the path led away so we decided to head back down trying not to get blown off the top by the wind.

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As we descended the Ribblehead Viaduct came into view below Wernside, one of the other North Yorkshire 3 Peaks, the others being Ingleborough and PenY Gent. Aparantly there is a cafe where you can log in with a time before doing all three in a day and log out when you finish to get an official time for the day, another time maybe for that one!!

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We worked our way down through the scramble trying not to slip and the sun started to come out. Over towards Wernside we could see the limestone peeking through the heather and grass, a stark contrast to the gritty stone block that is Ingleborough. I could see a limestone pavement on the tops above our path up which reminded me of the one on top of Mallham cove but nowhere near as impressive.

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About half way down I peeled off from the girls, Matt and Dad had raced on ahead again, and went up to the exposed limestone I had seen earlier on the descent. I was not disappointed for the extra effort, the limestone was wind worn and pools of water rested in the hollows of the rocks. Odd sheep folds were in various states of repair too, moss covered and wind beaten. I spent a while up there taking pictures of Ingleborough and Wernside with the limestone as a foreground before descending back onto the path down where no one had waited for me !!

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After catching Mum, Jan and Christina up I had a last look up to Ingleborough before it disappeared behind the high field walls and would you believe it, the dry bright weather we had been promised was out in force and the best views of our walk came into view.

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There was plenty of awwing from Christina when the new lambs lay together in the fields before trotting off bleating for their mums. Matt and Dad were waiting in the car for us, the smell of sheep poo wafting from their boots outside. However that was nothing compared to the smell inside the car of Matthew’s feet!! I am glad we went up even though the route was shorter than I intended, Christina was delighted about the height she had climbed and the distance walked, (about 5 miles in all). A good walk again.