PLOVER HILL & PEN-Y-GHENT from HORTON IN RIBBLESDALE

 


Summary

Date - 27th March 2011 Distance - 9 miles
Ascent -
1630ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Horton in Ribblesdale car park (SD 808726)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Plover Hill 2232 680 SD 8476 7519
Pen-y-ghent 2278 694 SD 8385 7338

 

Preface

Grizzly & Tetley were sitting in front of Dad's laptop browsing through the latest newsletter from Go4awalk.

"If, which is unlikely, we ever get stuck for some ideas for places to walk, this site has a vast resource", remarked Tetley.

Shaun and Little Eric meanwhile were reading, when Shaun looked up and said, "would you like a mug of tea pals."

"Ooh yes", replied Grizzly. "While you're pouring, I'll get the tuck tin as we have to have a biscuit too.

"Where's Allen. It's not like him to miss out on a mug of tea.", said Little Eric. "He takes after Dad", he went on laughingly.

"Don't know, but he can smell it a mile off, so he will no doubt be here very soon", said Shaun.

Sure enough less than a minute later Allen came dashing in.

"There I told you so", laughed Shaun.

"Oh yes I'd love a mug of tea, but that is not just the reason why I was hurrying. Dad had been talking to Uncle Bob, and they have arranged a walk for Sunday in Yorkshire."

"Where too?", asked Little Eric, who only being adopted in 2008, still had many of those tops to climb.

"We are to climb Pen-y-ghent and Plover Hill from Horton in Ribblesdale", replied Allen.

"That's great, replied Little Eric. "They are two I have not done before. Also I will be able to say that I have done all the 'Three Peaks'."

"It will also be great to have Uncle Bob for company", added Shaun.

 

The Walk

It is not a very long drive to Horton in Ribblesdale, so we did not have to be up too early for once. The route was ever so familiar, through the beautiful countryside of the Lune Valley to Ingleton, then up to Ribblehead, where as always we marvelled at the imposing viaduct that carries the Settle-Carlisle railway line. Then turning right it was just a few miles to Horton. Uncle Bob arrived in his new car that he picked up on Friday. We were all very impressed, and here he is posing by it.

Apart from Little Eric, we had all climbed Pen-y-ghent before in December 2006, at the start of the challenge to climb all the Yorkshire Dales fells. So this was in effect a repeat of that walk, but by way of a variation Uncle Bob suggested doing it the opposite way. So, walking right along the road from the car park, we then took the path left signed to Foxup. This is Horton Scar Lane, and part of the Pennine Way too, as the sign clearly shows.

The good track running between substantial stone walls, undulates over the landscape across Horton Scar.

As Dad took this picture, to the right over the wall were a flock of sheep, most of which were hungrily devouring the fodder that the farmer had provided for them. They deserved it as there does not look to be very much grass for them to eat. We know, more sheep pictures, but as Dad is kind enough to type our stories, we have to let him include at least one each time.

The day initially had started rather cloudy, and quite cold too, so Dad and Uncle Bob, had put a number of layers on when they set out. The skies had brightened by now and the temperature had risen, such that they were now rather too warm.

"I'll have to stop and take a layer off, Gerry", said Uncle Bob after a while.

"Me too", Dad replied.

This necessitated us having to decamp from Dad's rucksack, so we climbed up on to the wall to get a good look at Pen-y-ghent across the valley.

"It was extremely cold when we did the walk in 2006", said Tetley.

"It certainly was pal", replied Shaun. "It was very icy and rather dangerous climbing that steep front of the fell, but at least today there will be no problem with ice, and too, by doing the walk the opposite way, we will be descending by that route.

So, we continued along the lane to reach the gate, where the Pennine Way turns off right to climb directly to the summit of Pen-y-ghent. We however continued ahead over Horton Moor. Just a short distance from the path lies the huge hole of Hull Pot, so we wandered over to have a look. In all it is about 300ft long and 60ft wide with sheer sides. There is no way down other than to jump (not recommended). Dad had to stand quite close to the edge to get this shot, and when we walked round we noted that where he had stood was a grass covered rock overhang. At times, when Hull Pot Beck is flowing above ground there is quite a spectacular waterfall. Sadly not the case today.

Taking our leave we backtracked to pass through a gate in the wall and continue on over Horton Moor, to pass through Swarth Gill Gate, and on to come to the junction where a finger post points right reading 3/4m to Plover Hill.

Now the real ascent started as the boggy path climbed the side of the fell. After a while this became steps, where the path had been repaired, that clung to the very edge with a near vertical drop below.

"Good job none of us suffer from vertigo", remarked Grizzly, as we reached the top of the steps, where the gradient eased as we neared the flat top of the fell.

We followed the wall to the corner then right to the ladderstile, which we took, like last time, to be the top. There is no spot height and the top is wide and flat. Over the unclimbable wall is a small cairn, which may mark the summit, but it cannot be reached. After climbing the ladderstile, we then sat on the top for our usual summit picture.

Allen said, "I remember well how cold it was when we had our picture taken here in 2006."

"Well if we write a story of today's adventure, I think we should include the one from 2006, to show the contrast", replied Shaun. [who am I to argue. Ed.]

Sitting in the lee of the wall we stopped here for lunch, with the view before us towards Pen-y-ghent. As we set off Uncle Bob kindly took this picture of Dad with Pen-y-ghent behind.

Photo courtesy Bob Woolley (Uncle Bob)

The wall that can be seen on the far left of the above picture, was then followed over at times quite boggy ground, to then make the climb up Pen-y-ghent. This wall can be seen distantly as it climbs the fell. Just below the summit we passed through the gate in the wall and to the summit marked by the trig point. Rather surprisingly there were not many people at the summit when we arrived. There was hardly any wind, so we could not resist sitting on the trig point for our picture. You will notice the stile and signpost behind by the wall. This marks the Pennine Way, which we had left near Horton Moor, to take in Plover Hill.

"Hooray!", called out Little Eric. "I can now say truly say that I have climbed the 'Three Peaks' (Ingleborough, Pen-y-ghent & Whernside), like the rest of you."

Then followed the steep rocky and rough descent of the nose of the fell. There were lots of people coming up, so we were lucky to have the top so quiet. Dad was slower than Uncle Bob, partly because he gave way to some of the people making the ascent, and also Dad took his time and took care, as it would be easy to fall.

Uncle Bob had sat down to wait for Dad. He took this picture of Dad, taking a picture of Uncle Bob. Both are included below. Well we have to allow them some silliness!

As Dad arrived, he asked Uncle Bob to pose, while he took his picture.

After a brief rest, we all set off again, to make the rest of the descent to the gate in the wall. Here we paused to look back watching some walkers starting the steep climb to the summit.

Dad said, "it was a bit dodgy going up there with all that ice in December 2006."

"Yes", agreed Uncle Bob. "But we live to tell the tale mate."

Now we went right through the gate and along the good track over Brackenbottom Scar. We paused to look back to Pen-y-ghent, now seen in its full profile.

The path led on finally reaching the road by the hamlet of Brackenbottom.

Turning right, we strolled along the road into the the village of Horton in Ribblesdale, once again. On the corner is the impressive church of St Oswald, with its sturdy lych gate roofed with a huge slab of Horton slate. The church itself is a Grade 1 listed building. It has a complete Norman nave, south door and tub-font, and is the most complete of the Norman churches built in the Yorkshire Dales after the conquest. The square tower was built later.

Then it was off to Elaine's Tea Room at Feizor, for refreshment for Uncle Bob and Dad. A lovely beef burger with chips, accompanied by a large pot of tea. Dad then had lemon meringue pie, and Uncle Bob took a slice home for Aunt Ann. Elaine was surprised and pleased to see them. It had been another busy day here including an 80th birthday party. When they had gone and things had quietened down, Elaine came over and sat chatting for a little while.

A cracking day!!

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