Thursday, 29 March 2012

Raising money on the North York Moors!

I am happy to announce that I have given the money raised from the Lyke Wake Walk to the Bishop Auckland EIP team to support their Outward Bound project. Here's what Claire has to say:

"I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who sponsored Tom, Dave and me for the Lyke Wake Walk in January. £200 was raised for my work team's Outward Bound fund. This is a great boost to funding this exciting and rewarding project and will pay for half of the cost of one of our young people attending a week long course with the Outward Bound Trust in the Lake District.

We will shortly be sending 10 service users and 2 staff on our fourth week of intense activity which will increase self-esteem, feelings of belonging and aspiration, important things for young people which are often destroyed by psychosis.

Although we work for the NHS we do not receive any funding from our employers for this and raise all the money ourselves to allow our young service users to access the courses at no cost to themselves. Any money we raise is absolutely gratefully received, so again, a massive thank you to everyone."

Click here to read my account of our Lyke Wake Walk adventure; also our mate and fellow bog-hopper Dave has written a really entertaining report of our epic adventure, you can read this here:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Ingleborough, exploring Limestone Country

A combination of punk rock factors meant that one week after our failed attempt at the Yorkshire Three Peaks, I would be back over in Limestone Country. With only a half a day available there was no challenge walking to be done, but I thought an ascent of Ingleborough would be a good idea.

It was pretty liberating to be doing one of the Three Peaks on its own, and provided me with an opportunity to break away from the challenge route and explore other areas.

Ingleton village
a look back at Ingleton village

As per usual, time was a limiting factor. Having looked up the various routes in my "Walks in Limestone Country" from Alfred Wainwright, the direct ascent from Ingleton sounded like the right route to take.
I parked up at the tourist office, and after a brief walk around the village I was soon out and up on the fells.

Ingleborough from the walled track

The route is well signposted and the path is pretty obvious, so  not much chance of getting lost, especially with map, compass, guidebook and GPS in the rucsac! There were a few people on the path, but it was fairly quiet, which surprised me as is was one of the first warmer Saturdays of the year. I headed up onto White Scars, which was a short detour and give me a great view of Ingleborough and Whernside from over the limestone outcrops.

Ingleborough from White Scars

Then it was back onto the proper footpath, which has been recently repaired and was a real pleasure to walk on. Getting close to the summit I followed the stone steps and before I knew it I was on the vast rocky summit of Ingleborough!

Ingelborough summit
OS trig point on Ingleborough summit

From here I headed northwards, wanting to check out Simon Fell. The reason was simple enough - we have a cat named Simon, so it seemed rude not to go and say hello to his namesake!

Ingleborough to Simon Fell
looking along Ingleborough ridge to Simon Fell

It was an easy walk over some boggy ground, with the summit of Simon Fell being rather unspectacular, but offering some good views of Whernside. It was fairly hazy and Pen-y-Ghent was fairly hard to make out in the distance.

looking over to Whernside, Ribblehead viaduct just visible through the haze

As I headed back towards Ingleborough the clouds came down, and the summit soon became enveloped in mist. With this, the temperature soon dropped and I was glad to get the hat and gloves on, but having already spent some time on the summit, I simply crossed the rocks and found my path back down.

looking back up Ingleborough from Simon Fell

I took a short detour on the return leg to go and have a look at Quaking Pot as described by AW in the guidebook. The GPS proved to be invaluable here in helping me locate the holes, which can't really be seen from the path, and this was a fun detour.

Quaking Pot with Ingleborough

The rest of the walk saw me retrace my steps back down to the village of Ingleton and I was back at the car in no time. All in all a great walk and to state the obvious, there is so much more to this area of limestone country than the Three Peaks challenge!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Hambleton Ales

A visit to a local farm shop is always a good chance to check out some of the fine local ales. I have had my eye on the beers from Hambleton brewery for a while now and I recently picked up a nice selection.

The Hambleton Hills are part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, so I hope to be returning to the area soon for some more walking and of course I am keen to enjoy beers that are brewed in and inspired by the region.

The bottles have a striking label design, using a lot of silver and gold as well with equestrian themes inspired by the Kilburn White Horse .
The beers themselves are nice and refreshing, in particular the best bitter was very light and refreshing. The other ales also had a good traditional taste, which I am sure are best enjoyed on tap in a village pub after a long walk! But I'm certainly not complaining as they taste great from the bottle too.

I'm not normally a lager drinker (unless that's all there is, or if I'm in France or Germany for some 1664 or Berliner Kindl), but I decided to give the Gluten and Wheat Free lager a try, and it's pretty good - cheers!

For more information on these tasty beers please visit:

Thursday, 8 March 2012

A Pen-Y-Ghent Expedition

This was supposed to be a glorious report of a triumphant tour of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, however it wasn't to be. On the drive over the rain and wind was beating down so hard on the car, not to mention having to drive around plenty of water on the roads, so it was soon apparent this wouldn't be a classic walk.

We parked up at the arranged meeting point of Ribbleshead Viaduct, and I managed to get soaked just carting my equipment from one car to the other. We had arranged to walk with our friend Dave, veteran from our Lyke Wake Walk.

Once arrived at Horton-In-Ribblesdale the weather had calmed down a little, and it somehow felt like the Three Peaks were back on! Soon after setting out towards Pen-Y-Ghent though, it was evident that this would be a slog. The paths were extremely muddy, the rock was slick and slippery and the rain which had briefly abated came back for seconds. Despite our raised spirits and banter about the Lyke Wake Walk, this didn't help lift the gloom and cloud off Pen-Y-Ghent. As we got higher up the winds picked up and we even debated whether it would be too risky to hit the higher ground. Oddly enough one of the only other walkers we saw that day was a bloke in shorts!

Ascend we did, and it was quite an adventure! After clambering over limestone, the last section up to the summit was relatively easy, but the cold, wind and wet meant we didn't linger. At this point we had both independantly come to the conclusion that there was no point in continuing as we were soaked through, and had not even reached the boggy section! Despite the relief in knowing we would be back at the car soon, the wind picked up on our way down, with absolutely no shelter available.

We were happy to reach lower ground, and by the time we reached the track at Horton Scar Lane the wind had died down considerably.

The walk back was by far the most pleasant aspect and we had some good views of the pots and holes of limestone country. There was the occasional watery hurdle to overcome...

Soon enough we were back at Horton and glad to be back in the warmth of the car. Sod's law of course meant the cloud lifted within a couple of hours revealing a nice blue sky, but soaked through as we were, the Three Peaks were left for another day.

In the end instead of doing the Three Peaks we ended up following walk #28 as described in Wainwright's "Walks in Limestone Country" and despite the conditions, it was a great little route.