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!

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