Thursday, 3 November 2011

Green Bell (605m)

Green Bell (605m)

Summit: Green Bell - NY 699 011
Summit Cairn: 605 metres
Walked: 22nd Octyober 2011
Distance: 13 km (8.2 miles)
Time taken: 5 hours
Start/Finish: Ravenstonedale
Weather: Cool, very windy, sunny, excellent visibility.
Height gain: 370 metres
Map: OL19

Route: From Ravestonedale, I walked alogn the road to Greenside then followed the bridleway west to the road at Will Hill. I followed the road westwards then took the public footpath south (indistinct in places and VERY boggy around Pinskey) via Pinskey, Stwarth, Hunthoof Pike up onto Green Bell. This summit is a superb vantage point, with the rounded, unenclosed hills of the Howgill Fells, dissected by steep-sided deep valleys, stretching away as far as the eye could see southwards.

From the summit, I followed the broad ridge south-westwards via Spengill Head and Stockless to the saddle of land below Randygill Top (head of Stockless Gill), where I turned east, contouring across the hillside to reach the saddle at the head of Long Gill (Grere Fell). I then followed a narrow path across the steep upper slopes of Green Bell high above Long Gill to the saddle of land between Green Bell and Knoutberry and then up onto Knoutberry. From there, I followed the east spur down into the saddle between Knoutberry and Knott, where I picked up a clear path which I followed along the eastern side of Wyegarth Gill to the enclosure at Thornthwaite where I followed the track back into Ravenstonedale passing Kilnmire along the way. The final 30 minutes of this walk was completed with head-torches (planned!) - e sunset across the Howgill Fells was magnificent!

I guided a group of 6 people along this route, as part of their NNAS Silver Award navigation course.
OL19 map and compass required for this walk. Much of this walk heads across Open Access land, with indistinct or non existent paths in places. Navigation will be difficult in poor weather. The Howgill Fells are remote, high, exposed and navigationally challenging - but fantastic for walking!

These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011

Monday, 25 July 2011

Nine Standards Rigg (662m) & High Seat (709m)

Nine Standards Rigg (662m) & High Seat (709m)

Summits: Nine Standards Rigg - NY 826 061; High Seat - NY 802 012
Summit Cairns: 662 & 709 metres
Walked: 24th July 2011
Distance: 25 km (15.5 miles)
Time taken: 9 hours
Start/Finish: Kirkby Stephen
Weather: Warm, sunny, excellent visibility.
Height gain: 700 metres
Map: OL19

Route: From the centre of Kirkby Stephen, I followed the the Coast to Coast route to the summit of Nine Standards, following the path across Frank's Bridge and into Hartley, from where a road climbs steadily up to reach a fork at the end of the road. A track then carries on across gently rising moorland alongside Reigill then Faraday Gill up onto the summit of Nine Standards Rigg - an easy walk! There are superb views across the Vale of Eden towards the North Pennines. From Nine Standards to Outhgill, the route mostly follows Open Access Land, with indistinct paths in places but much of it pathless.

From the summit, attention to navigation is required to follow the correct path down across Rollinson Haggs to reach the head of Dukerdale, from where a grassy path heads across limestone to reach the unfenced moorland road at Tailbridge Hill. A grassy 'quad track' then climbs steeply up onto High Pike Hill, from where an intermittent path heads south across the broad moorland ridge (above Mallerstang Edge) up onto the broad summit plateau of High Seat (709m), marked by a small cairn. This is a magical spot, with breathtaking views across to Wild Boar Fell, Ingleborough, Great Shunner Fell and a vast sea of moorland. A remote, wild and lonely place.

From the summit cairn, I turned west down a short but steep escarpment before reaching Mallerstang Edge proper. Care must be taken in choosing the correct route down as there are cliffs and steep ground here that could prove dangerous. I chose a steep but grassy route down between the two small streams that flow down towards Outhgill - the only difficulty was the steepness, as underfoot it was a grassy slope that required a lot of zig-zagging! At the foot of Mallerstang Edge, I continued down alongside the stream across rough, boggy ground to pick up the 'dead end' footpath that leads into Outhgill. Field paths, tracks and lanes then took me back to Kirkby Stephen via Pendragon Castle, Lammerside Castle and Wharton Hall.

I guidied a group of 13 people along this route.

OL19 map and compass required for this walk. Public paths and Open Access Land. Navigation will be difficult in poor weather. The descent down Mallerstang Edge from High Seat is very steep and requires care and attention to pick the correct line of descent.

These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011

Friday, 1 July 2011

Yorkshire Three Peaks

Yorkshire Three Peaks
Pen-y-ghent (694m) - Whernside (736m) - Ingleborough (724m)

Walked: 26th June 2011
Distance: 40 km (25 miles)
Time taken: 12 hours
Start & Finish: Horton in Ribblesdale (7am start)
Group: 9 parents raising money for our School PTA (over £1,000)
Weather: Warm, sunny spells, light winds, good visibility, occassional shower late afternoon.
Height gain: 1,600 metres!
Map: OL2

Route: Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Brackenbottom, Pen-y-ghent, Black Dubb Moss, Birkwith, God's Bridge, Ribblehead, Force Gill Aqueduct, Whernside, Bruntscar, Hill Inn, Ingelborough, Sulber Nick and back to Horton.

A well-trodden path, paved with flagstones for much of the way, although with long sections across boggy ground. Navigation straightforward in good visibility, although care must be taken on the summits and across the boggy ground of Black Dubb Moss as well as Sulber towards the end of the walk. The climbs are not that difficult - easy scrambling up onto Pen-y-ghent, long plod up onto Whernside, very steep ascent along a pitched-stone path onto Ingleborough, whilst the descent from Whernside is very steep. The challenge is the long distances between the mountains - 10 miles from Pen-y-ghent to Whernside across bog as well as a river crossing, and 6 miles from the summit of Ingleborough back to Horton, which seems to go on forever across slippery and muddy limestone.

Good stamina and endurance are essential, as well as plenty of food and water. I drank 5 litres over the course of the day, and snacked on high energy food throughout. There are two possible 'escape routes' by bailing out at Ribblehead (train back to Horton) or at the Hill Inn (walk along the road back to Ribblehead Station).

In summary - a test of stamina and endurance, where personal barriers have to be overcome. The climb up Ingleborough is particularly gruelling, although I thought the long walk along Sulber Nick to be the most difficult part of the day as it went on and on and on across muddy limestone. Great sense of achievement though as we finally made it back to Horton. Pick your times carefully as the walk is very busy at weekends throughout summer.

Photos of the walk
These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Whernside (736m)

Whernside (736m)

Trig Point: Whernside - SD 738 814
Walked: 8th February 2011
Distance: 17 km (10.5 miles)
Time taken: 6 hours
Start: Dent Station
Finish: Ribblehead Station (catch the Settle and Carlisle Railway back)
Weather: Cold, clear and sunny - superb visibility.
Height gain: 650 metres
Summit Cairns: 736 metres
Map: OL2

Route: From Ribblehead Station, park your car then catch the train to Dent Station (less than 10 minutes train ride), then walk back!

From Dent Station, I followed the road winding steeply down to Cowgill, then followed the valley road up thorugh Dentdale passing the Sportsman Inn to reach Bridge End Cottage. I then followed the path past Dent Head Farm and Blea Moor Tunnel (northern portal), before climbing steeply up through forest to emerge on Blea Moor, with its fascinating Air Shafts. I followed the path over Blea Moor (following the line of the tunnel beneath ground) down to reach the Aqueduct near Blea Moor Tunnel southern portal.

I then followed the clear path up passing Force Gill and then Greensett Tarn onto the summit ridge of Whernside. The views from the summit were superb. I continued along the clear path across the summit ridge before dropping steeply down to reach Bruntscar Farm, from where I followed paths and track back passing farms then beneath Ribblehead Viaduct back to Ribblehead.
OL2 map and compass required for this walk. Public footpaths and bridleways all the way.

Photos of the walk
These photos are in order, and the files are named. Copyright Mark Reid 2011