PEN-Y-GHENT from HORTON IN RIBBLESDALE

 


Summary

Date - 31st March 2016 Distance - 6.25 miles
Ascent -
1430ft
Map - OL2 Start point - Horton in Ribblesdale (SD 8075 7257)

 

Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Pen-y-ghent 2278 694 SD 8385 7338

 

Preface

We were having a quiet afternoon. Tetley was reading his Dalesman magazine, while Allen was having a doze.

Seeing Southey on the iPad, Tetley asked, "what are you on with."

"I'm reading some of the adventures from the times before I was adopted. My there were some big days bagging numerous summits at a time. Must have been exciting?"

"It was pal. Despite Dad saying initially he was not going to tackle the Birketts, as the total gradually increased, we got to the point of no return. So we all became very determined and driven, resulting in those big days.

"Great times", added Allen, who had woken up and heard the exchange.

"I've looked at the calendar", went on Southey. "There is a day down for next Thursday to walk with Uncle Eric. I guess we will have to get our thinking caps on?"

Allen was about to say he agreed, but glancing at the door and seeing Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric arriving, instead called out, "tea and cakes."

He and Southey quickly got the plates and mugs, Tetley then saying, "I'll lend a paw filling the mugs, pal."

"Thanks", replied Shaun.

Grizzly announced, "Little Eric had made cherry and coconut slice, while I have done flapjack.

Southey helped himself. "Little Eric, the cherry slice is scrumptious."

"Mmm", agreed Allen.

Meanwhile Shaun was tucking into the flapjack. "Lovely pal."

So content, Allen now said, "you are right, Southey, we will have to come up with an idea for our walk."

We sat quietly thinking, then Tetley said, "Of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, Uncle Eric has only done Whernside, and Southey you have still got that and Pen-y-ghent to climb. So how about we suggest Pen-y-ghent."

"Having got Ingleborough done, I would love to get Pen-y-ghent bagged", enthused Southey.

Shaun meanwhile had got the Limestone book, and found the walk relating to it. "As Uncle Eric is not doing all the Yorkshire Dales fells, we do not need to take in Plover Hill, rather starting from Horton in Ribblesdale, we go out via Horton Lane and follow the Pennine Way to the summit, before descending the steep nose and returning via Brackenbottom."

"Sounds like a plan", agreed Allen. He then drained his mug and picking up the book said, "I'll go and see what Dad thinks."

"I'll refill his mug", said Shaun, " we all know what a tea belly he is."

"Quite", laughed Tetley.

Soon Allen returned. "Thanks pal", he said seeing his refilled mug. "Dad is happy with the suggestion, but until he has spoken to Uncle Eric, we will not know for definite."

"Just a case of keeping our paws crossed", remarked Southey.

It worked too as Uncle Eric agreed, being happy at last to get another of the Yorkshire Three Peaks done.


For once Dad did not take many pictures today, so to fill out the story we have included a few shots from the day we summited Pen-y-ghent, almost exactly five years earlier, with Uncle Bob.

 

The Walk

We were to be blessed with a nice spring day with some sun and light winds. Out of this it was warm but the wind did still have a chilly bite.

The drive was so very familiar to Dad, as it was the way he and Uncle Brian go every Monday when they visit Elaine's at Feizor. Today the lane to Feizor was ignored, to stay on the A65, and then shortly turn left over Buck Haw Brow and drop down to Settle. Immediately after crossing the River Ribble, we turned left to pass through Stainforth, and so on to Horton in Ribblesdale. The large car park was busy, Pen-y-ghent being a very popular climb and made more so today as it was school holidays.

"It is good to see so many people out walking and families too with their children", commented Grizzly, "Much better than sitting in front of a computer."

"We called out a cheery, "good morning to Uncle Eric."

"And good morning to you my friends" he replied.

We got settled in Dad's rucksack, and then soon ready, he shouldered it and off we went strolling along the road towards Settle.

"This is where we turn left", called out Shaun, pointing to the sign.

The way was along Horton Scar Lane with our objective in the distance.

When we got home and looked at this picture. Allen said, "it is almost a replica of the picture by K Melling, that hangs in the kitchen. Melling views it from slightly further back, and noticeably he has omitted the gate."

The stony lane lead us through the lovely countryside with our objective now away to the right and coming ever closer.

Suddenly Tetley said, "look at that gentleman, he is carrying a teddy bear in his belt."

Well of course we just had to stop and chat, and Dad introduced us too."

The gentleman said, "this is Al the Explorer Ted and like your lads accompanies me on the walks."

The gentleman took our picture, as Dad did of him and Al.

"Great to meet a like minded person", cheered Tetley.

Strolled on coming to Tarn Bar, where through the gate is a crossroad of paths.

We had come from the direction indicated left. Little Eric said, "on the day with Uncle Bob we took the path signed Foxup, leaving it after a while to strike right up to Plover Hill."

"That's right", agreed Shaun.

It was obvious the path we had to take, but Shaun went on, "the famous Three Peaks fell race comes down the way we are going up, and then on to High Birkwith on the way to Ribblehead, for the climb to Whernside."

So the good surfaced track headed on climbing steadily.

"Wainwright mentions a detached needle to the left", said Shaun.

"That must be it", called out Allen.

A this point, the path swung sharp right for the final steep climb to the ridge, from where there was this fine view. Horton can be made out nestling in the valley backed by the huge Horton Quarry, with distantly the Lune Valley.

A short easy climb followed to reach the summit, crossing the stile to the trig point.

This is one of the shots from March 2011. Quiet then, in contrast to today when it was crowded with people and families.

"Yippee", cheered Southey, "only Whernside now for me to be able to say I have done the Three Peaks."

We scrambled out of the rucksack, and quickly settled on the trig point.

This provoked quite a lot of interest, two gentlemen taking our picture and some of the children coming to have a look too. Well like Dad, we are not shy, that's for sure!

Dad mentioned our website, and one gentleman, Simon Burren, e-mailed later, saying he thought it was great and was looking forward to reading about some of our adventures. We think he is the gentleman who appears in the picture below.

"Will you take my picture on my own?", asked Southey, "to mark my achievement."

"Sure lad", replied Dad.

The excitement over and after Uncle Eric had taken his pictures, we followed the flagged then stony path of the south ridge. (picture from 2011)

This is benign, but then comes the very steep, rocky and eroded descent of the south nose, in two sections, down to the gate in the wall. There are some big rocky steps in places and both Dad and Uncle Eric took care to get down safely. Here is the view looking back from the gate. This shows the lower section, with the more difficult upper section being beyond the skyline to the right.

"Have you been up this way?", asked Southey, of his other pals.

"Only down", replied Little Eric.

"The rest of us have", went on Tetley. "It was 27th December 2006. We were with Uncle Bob. A cold day and there was lots of snow and ice. On the lower section they walked to the side of the path to avoid the ice. A tricky climb that day."

Now passing through the gate there followed the long undulating descent on the clear path across Brackenbottom Scar.

"That's a fine view looking back to Pen-y-ghent", commented Shaun. "One of the story?"

Finally we came to the steep grassy slope leading to the gate adjacent to Brackenbottom, and out onto the narrow road.

Following this right, it led us to the main road through the village, passing St Oswald's Church., dating from the early 1100's...

...and then through the village to the car park.

"That was an enjoyable walk", said Uncle Eric. "Thanks lads for doing it again, so I could finally tick it off the list."

"You're welcome", Allen replied. "And after all our pal Southey has ticked it off too."

"So, refreshment time?", asked Tetley.

"Sure thing", replied Dad. "The Pen-y-ghent cafe is rather basic and will be busy too, so we are going to the Blindbeck Tearoom, just along the road towards Ribblehead."

As Dad remembered it from last time, it was quiet and peaceful. Uncle Eric said, "it's my treat today."

"Thanks", said Dad. "Can I have a scone with jam?"

Uncle Eric had a toasted teacake and there was a pot of tea for two.

Then goodbyes were said until the next time we have the pleasure of Uncle Eric for company.

We drove home via Ribblehead, where we saw the magnificent viaduct and then down to Ingleton, and down the Lune Valley.

"That was a grand day out", said Southey. "I have enjoyed every minute."

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