MOUGHTON & CRUMMACKDALE from WHARFE

 


Summary

Date - 11th November 2016 & 8th February 2017
Distance - 5.5 miles, and 5 miles
Ascent -
970ft, and 950ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Verge parking on Austwick to Helwith Bridge road (SD 78417 69398)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Moughton 1402 427 SD 7868 7118

 

Preface

Allen and Southey looked up from the books they were reading, to see Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric bringing the flasks and cake.

"Magic", cried Allen, "I gasping for a cuppa", as he and Southey got the mugs and plates.

I'll lend a paw pouring the tea", said Southey.

"Thanks pal", replied Shaun.

Grizzly announced, "Little Eric and I have made Yorkshire Curd Tart."

"Ooh lovely", enthused Allen.

"Scrumptious", said Shaun. "It is one of my favourites. Thanks as always pals for making the cakes."

"I bet Tetley will approve", said Southey, "but where is he?"

"I saw him talking to Dad", replied Shaun.

We all tucked into the tart washed down with the tea, then after a few minutes Tetley arrived.

"Here's your tea", said Shaun.

"And here's a slice of Yorkshire Curd Tart", added Little Eric.

"Ooh lovely. My favourite", replied Tetley. He took a bite, and said, "it's absolutely scrumptious." After he had finished he then went on. "I have been talking with Dad. He is to take us walking on Friday and plans to climb Moughton, using the walk in the Limestone Book. It is about 5 miles, and of course he will be going to Elaine's afterwards."

"Magic", cheered Southey. "That will be another Limestone summit ticked off, and will just leave me with Whernside to complete the challenge. That, I realise, may have wait a while until Dad is able to do longer walks again, due to his back trouble."

"What are the weather prospects?", asked Shaun.

Allen quickly grabbed the iPad and after a few taps said, "lightish winds, sunny to start, but clouding up later. No rain."

"Here's to Friday", cheered Southey, raising his mug on salute to Dad.


Uncle Eric had never climbed Moughton or walked in Crummack Dale, so we were all happy to repeat the walk for him. This time on the section from the ladderstile at the top of Studrigg Scar, to the summit and then north we kept to the route Wainwright had indicated. Hence the reason why the distance was shorter. The account however, still mainly relates to the ascent made in November 2016.

 

The Walk

As the walk was relatively short and Dad did not want to get to Elaine's too early it had been decided that we would not be starting until about 11:00.

Allen said, "Dad is not taking any food himself, but we will need a picnic to have on the way."

"Quite", agreed Grizzly. "So Little Eric and I have made the sandwiches, packed the cake and filled the flask."

"Well done pals", replied Allen. "So now let's get it stowed in my rucksack.

We heard Dad slam the boot shut for the final time so quickly settled in the car for the drive. This was the ever so familiar route that he and Uncle Brian make every Monday when they go to Elaine's at Feizor.

As we got to the A65 and turned right towards Settle, Shaun said, "to get to the start Dad will turn off to the village of Austwick, going left at the junction and along the road to Helwith Bridge."

"Where do we park?", asked Southey.

"Well as far as I can see there will be a barn on the left by the road, and according to Wainwright there should be space to park opposite."

The road was quite narrow and twisty, Little Eric suddenly calling out, "here's the barn."

"And look", cried Tetley, "there's the pull-in on the right."

It was just a grassy verge, but the ground was not soft, so safe for Dad to park.

While he got ready we looked about, Grizzly pointing, "there's Norber on the far side of Crummack Dale."

"The summit is Thwaite Scar, one of the Limestone summits you kindly repeated for me", added Southey.

Dad was now ready, so we quickly settled in his rucksack and he strode off the short distance on the road to take the signposted unmade road left into Wharfe.

"The direction refers to the distance to the farm in the valley", said Shaun.

"It's mis-spelt", pointed out Tetley. "The spelling is that of Crummock Water in the Lakes, but the farm and the dale here is Crummack."

"How right you are, pal", agreed Grizzly.

Passing houses, Dad strode the leaf strewn track...

...and coming down the side of this pretty cottage...

...where on the day in February, there were snowdrops on either side of the track. "A sign of spring to come", commented Little Eric"

...to then join with another path coming in from the left, and keep on ahead up the dale.

"We will come back this way", said Shaun, "but for our outward route we need to leave the track and follow a path on the far side of the wall. Wainwright's map refers to a gate in the wall."

Minutes later, Allen piped up, "or perhaps via this stone step step stile?"

"That will do just as well", agreed Shaun,

The clear path led across the field to a gateway. Now with White Stone Wood to the right, the grassy path led on drifting right as it climbed to come near a wall.

"Now we should take this path swinging right by the stream, with Studrigg Scar on the far side of the wall", advised Shaun.

"Don't we have to get up that?", said Southey rather worriedly.

"Yes pal", replied Tetley. "However we just keep on towards where the stream issues from below the scar."

After a few minutes, Tetley then pointed saying, "our ascent route is a narrow trod that starts above that lower line of scree to the left, and then winds its way up the hillside."

"We have been here a few times", said Allen. "The stream issues from the bottom, but I wonder if long ago there might have been a waterfall over the top?"

"I have wondered that too", responded Little Eric.

The trod climbed steadily and nearing the crest, drifted left to this ladderstile over the wall.

"That's a superb view of Ingleborough under snow", called out Southey. "Got to be worth a shot for our story?"

"Ooh yes", agreed Tetley.

Over the wall a clear path led on...

...running to the left of the prominent rise and skirting along the scar.

"Look at that fungi", pointed Grizzly. "I bet Uncle Jonathan would know if it was safe to eat or not."

To our left we was this wonderful view of Crummack Dale spread out below. The wide valley having be carved out millions of years ago by a glacier.

"I am not sure this was the path we used with Uncle Bob, but then we were coming in the opposite direction", said Shaun. "What is clear, is that the summit is away to the right. So we should take this intermittent trod right, to get there."

After a little while, Allen called out, "you were right as usual. There is the summit in the distance."

Shaun was quite right regarding the path. On the day with Uncle Eric, we took a path to the right of the prominent rise to its top. From there the summit was clearly seen away to the right the trig point standing out white against the lowering sky. Following a path, then crossing a boggy area, and up two rises brought us abruptly to the trig point.

Closing in, the last section being along the same path, on each occasion, Dad took this of the trig point and cairn.

"Yippee", cried Southey. "Just Whernside to go now. Can we have our picture taken on the cairn and trig point?"

"Sure lad, and thankfully there is no water for you to fall into this time!", laughed Dad.

Settled again we now followed a path heading north, Pen-y-ghent under cloud a brooding presence to the right.

The path gave out as we crossed limestone pavement, Dad just heading a much as possible in the same direction.

"We will intersect with the path from Horton, that comes over that wall away to the right", said Shaun. "When we do we should follow it left."

In the end Dad had drifted too far right, but it enabled us to find the definite path running from the ladderstile over the wall, to follow it left.

On the February day, aware of this, Dad correctly navigated the way keeping slightly left across the limestone pavement to each grassy ground and then onto a path skirting the scar and meeting the path from Horton, at the point where it sweeps down beneath Moughton Scars, with Ingleborough on the skyline...

...to a gate where it became walled.

Looking ahead, Little Eric said, "oh dear, there are some flooded sections."

"Not a surprise after the recent rains", replied Dad.

They did not cause too much of an obstacle, and soon we were striding out towards the next gate.

On and on along the grassy path, that eventually became narrower, finally joining the track that crosses the dale.

Here Dad turned right, Shaun calling out, "we should keep forward."

"I know pal, but I want to take Southey to see the pretty clapper bridge"

We took Uncle Eric too, and the picture below is from that walk.

"Thanks Dad", Southey replied.

The Austwick Beck rushes beneath, becoming calmer for a short way. "That's the Sheep Dub Pool", called out Allen. "In days gone by when the sheep needed washing, the farmers would dam the beck to form a pool for the purpose."

"There's an information board with a picture fastened to the wall", said Grizzly helpfully.

Southey went to look, but called out, "the text is there, but the sun has faded the picture. What a shame."

Returning to the junction our way was now a narrower path that led unerringly all the way to Wharfe and then to the car.

"Elaine's now?", asked Tetley.

"Sure thing lad", Dad replied.

It was quiet, but not surprisingly regulars Leo and Pat were there.

We sat with them, and while Dad had a tuna mayonnaise sandwich and tea, they chatted. Lovely company and it made Dad's day rounding it off just perfectly. Of course Dad and Uncle Eric went too, having a nice snack and good chat to round off the day.

After they left, Dad phoned Brian and then very soon we set off for home.

"That was a good day and a nice walk. Thanks for doing the hill again for me", said Southey.

"You're welcome lad."

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