Date - 1st February 2009 Distance - 10 miles
Map - OL30 Start point - Parking area Nr Grinton Lodge(SE 047978)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
High Harker Hill 1528 466 SE 0181 9719
High Carl 1820 555 SE 0009 9577
Gibbon Hill 1781 543 SE 0127 9606
Height of Greets 1676 511 SE 0282 9568


The Walk

It was another early start about 06.45, going over that oh so familiar road to Hawes. On through Wensleydale to Leyburn and finally over the firing ranges, to meet Uncle Bob near Grinton Lodge at the junction with the road to Redmire. It was another cold day (we are having a real winter this year) and snow was threatened later and overnight. Dad got his boots etc on and we then hopped up into the rucksack, finally setting of about 09.30. The road climbed quite steeply and we passed two other paths leading off, before taking the bridleway where the road turned left.

This was as you can see a good track, which we walked for some miles, climbing up over Low Harker Hill to the first summit of High Harker Hill and then onwards.

Allen chirped up, "that small bank by the track seems to be the highest point"

"I agree", cried Grizzly.

As we scrambled out of the rucksack, Shaun called, "come on Dad take our picture".

Uncle Bob explained that the track is so well maintained to facilitate shoots, due to the area being extensive grouse moors - we saw lots of grouse too. Now as we walked along we enjoyed excellent views down to Swaledale, being able to see for miles along the valley. Here is a shooting hut used by grouse parties ,with Swaledale stretching out behind.

Blea Barf, which we had climbed in August 2008, was clearly in view. We could see where we had descended down to the Bloody Vale, and the high wall that Dad and Uncle Bob had had to climb. Although now grouse moors, this area in the past had been extensively mined for lead and there was evidence of this in spoil heaps etc. Eventually we reached Green Hill Ends and here the track turned south and dropped down. This then brought us to a junction of paths, however not at the point shown on the map but further west on Whitaside Moor. Dad and Uncle Bob could only assume that the track had been moved since the map was printed. It did not present any problem except to add a bit to the distance. Here we turned left and walked up to the fence line. Oh how nice it would have been to just continue on the track, but to do the summits we had to turn up by the fence to first reach High Carl - a flat moorland top.

It really was cold up here, so sensibly Uncle Bob was well protected against it.

The next top was Gibbon Hill, reached by walking along the fence over the trackless moor. It's featureless summit being marked only by the remains of the fence junction. The ground was reasonably solid in this cold, but in the warmer weather it would have been very boggy. Even so it was hard going and we were glad to be carried in the rucksack. We heard Uncle Bob comment to Dad about how many times we have walked along by a fence from seemingly nowhere to nowhere!! So, it was more of the same to eventually come to the final summit, Height of Greets and reach a good track again. They were glad to get that hard slog of two miles or more behind them.

Tetley called out, "look at last a cairn. We're fed up with having to sit on the boggy ground to have our picture taken."

We all had our lunch here, sitting in the shelter of some stones and out of the bitterly cold east wind. Easy going now along the track to the road, then along this to another path. As we descended we enjoyed this fine view of Calver Hill and Swaledale bathed in sunlight.

This led to the road by the bridleway we had taken this morning, and we strolled to the cars. We were surprised it was 10 miles as it had not seemed to be so far. We dived into the warmth of the car as a snow shower came over.

Drove to Reeth. We stayed in the car while they went to the Tourist Centre as Uncle Bob wanted to get some socks for Aunt Ann, but unfortunately they did not have the right colour. Then of course it was cafe time! Their usual, Ivy Cottage, had closed early, so they went to another near the Tourist Centre, for tea and chocolate cake, on Uncle Bob. On the table was a draughts board so they played a game - Uncle Bob won. Dad had not played this for years. By now it was even more bitterly cold in the strong wind, so hurried goodbyes were said after a great day. Uncle Bob followed us to Leyburn where we went our separate ways. Of course we stopped at Eileen's. Dad having already placed his order yesterday, he collected orange sponge, chocolate cake and scones. The farm is high up so exposed to the weather and with the forecast they had placed a large board blocking the lower doorway to prevent the snow coming in. Best to be well prepared.


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