The viaduct at Ribblehead.


Chapel le Dale (Old School Bunkhouse),

Yorkshire Dales

8th - 10th May 2009



Pen-y-Ghent cafe in the village of Horton, on the Pennine Way.



The Old School Bunkhouse in Chapel Le Dale is the one venue in the Xerox Hiking Club calendar that has been visited annually for a number of years now. Owing to its location, it provides an opportunity to climb what is known as the Three Peaks, which comprises the mountains of Whernside at 736 metres, Ingleborough at 723 metres and Pen-y-Ghent at 694 metres. Though I had never done all three peaks in the same day, as has been accomplished by many, I had never ascended Pen-y-Ghent either. That was about to change, however, on Saturday 9th May, 2009. I joined a small group including Andy and Maeve Weber, Martin Lighten and Vanda Ralevska. My memory of that day having long since faded, I do recall that we drove from the bunkhouse to a car park in the village of Horton (we might even have taken the train) and we it was from here that we commenced our walk. Though a circular walk to Horton is one of the popular walks, this was not the planned route today, Maeve assuming map reading responsibilities.



On the approach to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent from Brackenbottom Scar, on the Pennine Way.


View back towards Brackenbottom Scar on the approach to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent , on the Pennine Way.



The final slog to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent at Gavel Rigg, on the Pennine Way.




Views from the summit of Pen-y-Ghent, on the Pennine Way.


The weather wasn't the greatest either, being overcast, windswept and intermittent rain. The classic path to the summit of Pen-y-Ghent is a relatively straight-forward and clear path via Brackenbottom Farm following a wall as one climbs towards Brackenbottom Scar. En route one joins the Pennine Way from the direction of Malham Tarn. The walk looks deceptively easy, though the summit, where we stopped for a tea and lunch break in the shelter of stone walls at the trig point, does not always remain in view en route when approached from this, the southern side. The last section from Gavel Rigg is where the climb assumes its steepest gradient, as one negotiates the snout first and then the brow of Pen-y-Ghent. From the summit we descended along the Pennine Way path that would ultimately lead us back to Ribblehead, though not before we crossed difficult, boggy seemingly endless moorland terrain - this may have been that we deviated from the path across Horton Moor, though I do not recall. It was just before we reached Ribblehead that the weather deteriorated rapidly and it did not take much for us to terminate the walk at the Station Inn pub, though Martin and Vanda decided to push on towards Whernside. We were soon joined by others who had taken a different route. Upon leaving the pub, it began to rain heavily, as we took the path underneath the viaduct back to the bunkhouse at Chapel Le Dale. If we arrived back drenched and soaked, it was probably nothing like the state Martin and Vanda found themselves in.


Tea-break on Pen-y-Ghent, on the Pennine Way, Martin & Vanda; Maeve, Andy & Martin.



On the descent from the summit of Pen-y-Ghent towards Ribblehead down Pen-y-Ghent side.


Donning jackets on the descent from the summit of Pen-y-Ghent, as the chill sets in - Maeve, Martin and Vanda.






Numerous views of the landscape and viaduct on the approach to Ribblehead.


Tufts of grass typical of that found on the Yorkshire Dales landscape.


A final bridge to cross- Cam Beck?



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