Sunday morning the sun was shining. We got up early, loaded our boots and rucksacks in the car and drove over to Ingleton in the Yorkshire Dales, which is less than an hour and a half away (traffic willing), to climb Ingleborough. The mountain is one of the one of the “Yorkshire Three Peaks” and as we’d climbed Pen-y-ghent a couple of years ago we’d be able to tick off our second of the three.
It was a beautiful, warm sunny morning when we arrived in Ingleton. We parked up near the Community Centre and set off walking through the small town centre past the church
After about half a mile we reached the start of the path up to Ingleborough
It’s a good track and as it hadn’t rained for a while the path was dry underfoot (which meant I didn’t need to get my new boots muddy!!)
There were good views over to Whernside, the third of the “Three Peaks” but visibility wasn’t as good as the previous week when we’d walked up Clougha Pike, over the border in Lancashire.
The route involved a gradual ascent over a couple of miles along a well defined path followed by a short steep climb of the cliffs up to the gritstone cap at the end to reach the summit.
About half way along the route we passed this isolated farmhouse – “the Little house on the Prairie”? It looked nice in the sunshine but it would be a very bleak setting for much of the year.
As we were walking along the valley, looking back we could see cloud coming in from the north west and there was a strong breeze behind us. The wind became fiercer as we climbed the final steep section up the millstone grit cap that gives the mountain it’s distinctive shape. Luckily we’re reasonably sensible and had come prepared with jumpers, gloves and coats in our day sacks. It was time to put them on. Yet we passed quite a few people ill-equipped wearing t-shirts, flimsy tops and dresses and completely inadequate footwear. As a popular mountain in a National Park it attracts a lot of day trippers who setting out on a bright, warm, sunny day don’t realise just how quickly conditions can change.
As we climbed, the cloud had come in, engulfing the summit at almost the same time as we reached the top and the wind was blowing strongly enough to knock the unwary off their feet.
Despite being a “peak” the summit is a flat plateau which, on a good day, has extensive views over the Dales and to Pen-y-ghent and Whernside.
We managed to find a seat inside the wind shelter to take a rest, a drink and a bite to eat. And we chatted with some other walkers, some of whom were attempting the Three Peaks Challenge. Not for us though, one peak was enough for today!
Unfortunately, the low cloud was obscuring the views
We set back down retracing our route. A circular walk is possible but it would have meant either finishing with a long stretch on tarmac, which didn’t appeal, or navigating along unfamiliar territory without clear paths and we didn’t want to risk that in misty conditions.
The countryside is a mixture of moorland and limestone outcrops
Looking back the mountain had disappeared!
Approaching Ingleton village
A brew awaited in one of the many Cafés in the village. (I wonder what the Bristol ‘grammar vigilante’ would make of the sign!)
So our second of the “Three Peaks” conquered. Whernside next!