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Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.


Postby trailmasher » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:32 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Ingleborough, Simon Fell

Date walked: 24/08/2016

Time taken: 4.17

Distance: 16.54 km

Ascent: 565m

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Ingleborough and Simon Fell.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


It's Wednesday, the day after our trip to Great Shunner Fell yesterday, and after a good night's sleep and a decent breakfast we were raring to go as we stepped outside the hostel to a warm sunny day with a sky that still hosted quite a few clouds of the white variety and not at all looking anything like threatening.

We had decided to walk Ingleborough and Simon Fell today and as the road to both is right outside the hostel's front door it was an easy start that would find us at Ribblehead Viaduct in not too long a time travelling. In fact 20 minutes after leaving the hostel and turning immediately left onto the B6255 Blea Moor Road we were pulling onto a small, stoned up roadside parking area just east of the Station Inn and directly opposite the lane that would be the start of the walk.

We walked down the track with Ribblehead Viaduct overlooked by Whernside in front of us both looking as they should, magnificent…
1 - Ribblehead Viduct.jpg
Ribblehead Viaduct.

one a feat of construction and engineering and the other a feat of nature and weather and before many minutes we were standing underneath the viaduct looking at the memorial to those of yesteryear who originally worked on the building of it, and those of today who strive to maintain it.
2 - Ribblehead Viaduct Memorial.JPG
Ribblehead Viaduct Memorial.

Walking on from the viaduct we crossed underneath it to take a narrow metalled lane through the fields to soon arrive at Gunnerfleet Farm from where we then continued on following the lane roughly north until we met the lane leading to Winterscales at which point we made a turn to the left along quite a long straight stretch of tarmac to reach Ivescar. We felt quite small with Whernside towering over us to our right and Ingleborough, Simon Fell, and Park Fell to the south on our left.
5 - Ingleborough - Simon Fell - Park Fell from Ivescar.JPG
Ingleborough - Simon Fell - Park Fell from Ivescar.

Even though the last three named fells are still far away they look enormous, especially Ingleborough with its prominent brow and 'nose' looking more like the profile of someone's head sunk into a pillow and from where we were there was no obvious route of ascent.

Once Ivescar had been reached we continued along the lane that now turned to the south to pass over Winterscales Beck…
7 - Ribblehead Viaduct looking across Gunner Fleet Moss.JPG
Ribblehead Viaduct looking across Gunner Fleet Moss.

and make a meandering way through the fields to meet up with Low Sleights Road where we turned right to follow it along to a small car parking area that is just before a public house. From the car park we crossed the road to Philpin Sleights to access the start of the walk proper to Ingleborough and where there is a fingerpost pointing the way to Great Douk and Ingleborough plus information board.

Our walk to this point had been a quiet affair with nobody else to pass the time of day with, but things were slightly different now as the foot traffic picked up as we made our way along the obvious farmers machine track. After stopping to open a gate and waiting until two chaps with huge packs on their backs had passed through it as well we got talking to them and established that they were from a hang gliding club making their way up to the summit - or near enough - to allow them to enjoy their favourite pastime. They seemed quite excited about the state of the thermals saying that it was a good day for hang gliding.

As we walked along the limestone scars became more evident to our left and then the limestone paving's of Southerscales Scars made an appearance and this is where we decided to stop for a quick break as there are plenty of readymade seats available plus the advantage of beautiful countryside to cast ones eye over. With the grey of the limestone surrounded by green grass, local flora, small shrubs and trees and a backdrop of Ingleborough this was a good place to linger awhile as we parked up away from the main path and the steady flow of likewise walkers on the same journey as us.
13 - Ingleborough behind Southerscales Scars limestone pavement.JPG
Ingleborough behind Southerscales Scars limestone pavement.

At one point a party of around twenty went by us and I couldn't help but think that it wasn't my cup of tea walking in such a large group as that one was, but then again I may be deemed unsociable for having such thoughts.

Break over we set off once again along the slightly rising path to pass by Braithwaite Wife Hole (Cave) that was on our left, and a fine hole it is too. A very large and nearly cone shaped grass sided affair with a couple of small trees or shrubs right at the bottom that must conceal the entrance to the cave. I wasn't game to scramble down the steep sides as there was a great possibility of disappearing down into some dark, dank, depths of a cave/pothole and I'm enjoying life too much just now to foreshorten it un-necessarily.

Soon after leaving the Hole behind we arrived at the first of the paved sections of path that were doing a good job of keeping everyone's boots clean and dry. There is quite a good length of paving's climbing up the fellside and in fact from a distance we actually thought that it was a beck falling down the fellside as the light shining on it gave it the appearance of water.

After quite a good few minutes walking on the stone slabs we arrived at Humphrey Bottom where the ground is very wet and the paved way was now replaced by a wooden walkway set up on legs of square timbers.
16 - Boardwalk across the wettest part of Humphrey Bottom.JPG
Boardwalk across the wettest part of Humphrey Bottom.

Although not very long the walkway must have taken quite a bit of constructing in very wet working conditions as solid ground beneath the bog would have had to be found to help stabilise the legs that supports the actual walkway part. When the walkway has been crossed it is back to the paved path that now runs all the way up the fellside that at this time of the year has plenty of purple heather growing amongst the rough grass. And all the while Ingleborough gets bigger…
18 - Ingleborough.JPG
Ingleborough.

and the views are opening up across to Ribblehead and Whernside in the north and over to Twisleton Scars and its massive area of limestone in the west.
17 - Looking back to Whernside.JPG
Looking back to Whernside.

The path meanders on its way dipping up and down as the ground requires until getting over the final rise the eye is led to the steep bank with its roughly paved path and the white water of the beck tumbling down its right hand side.
19 - The climb up by the side of the beck.JPG
The climb up by the side of the beck.

I'll make no bones about it, this path is steep, very steep, and in places is more of a scramble than a hard walk up a steep path but after giving it a steely eyed glare and attacking it with great vigour we were up it in just a few minutes to arrive at the fence and gate where a quick rest and drink was taken before proceeding on our way up the last of the slopes and the summit.
21 - Elizabeth waiting for me.JPG
Elizabeth waiting for me.

Once at the gate the first thing that caught our eye was the work that was being carried out on repairing the path from just above the gate right up to the summit.

There was a gang of workers, various machines, and many packs of paving stones laid out from bottom to top in readiness for laying. We got talking to one of the Yorkshire Dales Rangers supervisors who told us that apart from himself and another couple of other workers the rest of the gang were D of E candidates doing a day helping out with the repairs. I'm not really sure how this works as an Access Ranger is responsible for maintaining the paths within the three peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough, and Pen-y-ghent and is funded by the Three Peaks Project and other sources of income including donations, whilst the Pennine Way Rangers are funded by Natural England. Seeing as that the path repair is part of the Pennine Way and the Yorkshire Access Rangers were effecting the repairs a deal must have been made between the two separate authorities.

As the slabs were laid the ground on either side was planted with clumps of local turf that was taken from further around the fell, soil filled the gaps in between and then grass seed scattered over the soil. The square, thick stone slabs that are being laid have come from the old and demolished cotton and wool factories of Lancashire and Yorkshire and anyone who has walked along the Pennine Way - and indeed other such areas that need this type of path maintenance - should be eternally grateful of the efforts of the people that make good our paths from these durable and re-cycled slabs of stone.
25 - Stairway to heaven.JPG
Stairway to heaven.

26 - Just waiting to get laid.JPG
Just waiting to get laid.

Just to the right of the gate as we came off the top of the bank there were a few hang gliders setting up for their forthcoming flight and we also spent a few minutes chatting to one of those before we set off on the short but busy climb to the summit.

After a few minutes of climbing we stopped for a look around and we could now see Simon Fell with the relatively flattish area of Park Fell peeping out to the left with an even better view of Ribblehead Viaduct, Whernside, and the green pasture land of the farms with Winterscales Beck snaking in between it all.

Once at the top of the path the mixture of grass and shattered limestone underfoot made for easy walking over to the four walled wind shelter with its built in stone seats, its centre being a circular column. Over to the west there is a massive cairn with views over to Ingleton whilst Gragareth is more to the northwest. Just south of the wall shelter stands the OS trig column.
32 - Ingleborough wall shelter - mound of stones and OS trig column.JPG
Ingleborough wall shelter - mound of stones and OS trig column.

31 - A view northwest from the top of Ingleborough.JPG
A view northwest from the top of Ingleborough.

A look to the north reveals Wold Fell, Great Knoutberry Hill and Dodd Fell Hill further round to the east. Over to the east there is Plover Hill, Pen-y-ghent, Fountains Fell, and many more that I'm not familiar with.

Getting back to the wall shelter we joined a man that we had spoken to whilst on our way up to the summit and he told us that he had now been on Ingleborough 35 times and knew the Yorkshire Dales intimately as he walked them twice a week all year round so we took advantage of his knowledge as he pointed out the various peaks and points of interest. It was nice chatting to him, it was a lovely day, warm and sunny, but eventually it was time to part company and move on.
35 - Looking down the Dales High Way.JPG
Looking down the Dales Highway.

34 - Green Hill-Simon Fell-Park Fell- just follow the wall.JPG
Green Hill - Simon Fell - Park Fell - just follow the wall.

We made our back down past the path works to the gate from where we now carried on in an easterly direction to follow the wall on its right hand side opposed to the path on its left to pass over Green Hill.
37 - Looking back to Ingleborough from Green Hill.JPG
Looking back to Ingleborough from Green Hill.

The path over grass was mostly alright with only a few damp places that with a short detour allowed the boots to stay mostly dry and within 20 minutes we was climbing over the barbed wire topped wall to reach the small cairn of stones that mark the highest spot on the large grassy dome of Simon Fell. Upon leaving we continued on towards Park Fell still following the wall on a wide grassy track but now on its left hand side until we arrived at a gate and step stile over which we duly went to put us back on the right hand side of the wall again.
41 - Looking to Ribblehead and Whernside when descending Simon Fell.JPG
Looking to Ribblehead and Whernside when descending Simon Fell.

After a while we thought that we had done the wrong thing by moving back over to the right of the wall even though there is a good path all the way to our next hill, but as things worked out it proved to have been the best move as it did save us some distance and a short climb later on.

The path was still wide and over grass as we continued on our way with Park Hill getting ever bigger in front of us as we began to descend Black Rock to reach the very wet col between Simon Fell and Park Fell.
42 - Park Fell.JPG
Park Fell.

Once again Ribblehead Viaduct was plain to see below and to our left along with a clear view of the fells in the same direction. As we reached the low area we were met with some rather dilapidated but welcome boardwalks that allowed us a dry but carefully made passage across the worst of the bog. The boardwalk is a mixture of old sleepers covered with chipping covered heavy grade roofing felt and wide slats covered with the same material but due to the age of the timbers there was some crumbling and cracking that warranted a quick withdrawal of boots from amongst the splintered timbers to avoid getting wet feet.
43 - Ancient boardwalk on the way to Park Fell.JPG
Ancient boardwalk on the way to Park Fell.

44 - Looking back to Simon Fell and Ingleborough from the side of Park Fell.JPG
Looking back to Simon Fell and Ingleborough from the side of Park Fell.

From the col all we had to do was follow the ever diminishing track through the grass to finally reach the pathless summit - or so we thought - until we spied a narrow trod through the grass that was heading in the direction of the rock surrounded OS trig column of Park Fell.
47 - Park Fell OS trig column.JPG
Park Fell OS trig column.

48 - The view northeast from Park Fell.JPG
The view northeast from Park Fell.

Park Fell is as Simon Fell, just a large grass covered flattish dome with good views in all directions. From the summit our way off is northeast, first to a gate and then immediately through that over a step stile on the left to pass over a fence and tumbledown dry stone wall where we picked up the path that would put us on and down the steep and grassy ridge of Park Fell. Halfway down we stopped for a break and to savour the views in front and below us picking out various points of interest like the old quarries at Gauber that must have been one busy place when the railway was under construction and trying to imagine what it must have looked like with the large construction camp on Batty Moss.
49 - Another view into Ribblehead.JPG
Another view into Ribblehead.

Fed and watered we set off once again down the steep fellside to pass through a small gate to follow the wall until we arrived at another gate in the wall which opened up onto the flat grass land behind the Gauber Quarries. There were no obvious paths so we just ambled along in the direction of the main quarry where we joined a marked trail that led us into and through the quarry then onto the stoned up access road from where we could see the railway station on the opposite side of the track. This quarry road allowed us to reach the main road just west of the railway bridge and the Station Inn from where but a short walk past the pub we arrived back at the car.

This has been a good day for a walk, warm and sunny with just a few clouds scooting about and whilst the first part of the walk was nice and quiet being people free, once we had arrived at the start of the walk proper at Philpin Sleights it was quite busy and one could have got dragged into a line of likewise walkers making it more like a trudge than a decent walk. Letting the main body of walkers pass by and get well in front was a far better experience than having to wait for an opportunity to blade past other walkers especially in the wet and lower areas. All in all this has been an enjoyable walk and easier than we expected with good paths throughout and a couple of interesting chats with people who was full of local knowledge.
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trailmasher
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby Broggy1 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:33 am

Nice report.

I can totally get why somebody may have climbed Ingleborough 35 times. There are so may routes - Ingleton, Clapham, Chapel le Dale, the Park Fell route, via Moughton, Horton in Ribb, the Three Peaks - all with so much to recommend and varying scenery.

A truly excellent mountain.
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby ChrisW » Fri Sep 23, 2016 5:09 am

With such a stunning place everyone should do it at least 35 times :wink: Lovely stuff again mate :clap:

At one point a party of around twenty went by us and I couldn't help but think that it wasn't my cup of tea walking in such a large group as that one was, but then again I may be deemed unsociable for having such thoughts.


Couldn't agree more TM, alone or with a very small crew is always the way to go :wink:
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:39 pm

Looks like a perfect day to walk up the magnificent Ingleborough TM Great report as ever.
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby trailmasher » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:05 pm

Broggy1 wrote:Nice report.

I can totally get why somebody may have climbed Ingleborough 35 times. There are so may routes - Ingleton, Clapham, Chapel le Dale, the Park Fell route, via Moughton, Horton in Ribb, the Three Peaks - all with so much to recommend and varying scenery.

A truly excellent mountain.


An elderly gentleman with two bad knees :( no car so uses bus and train to get around. Got to admire the man and they don't make many like him today :clap:

You're right, a great mountain indeed :D
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby trailmasher » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:08 pm

ChrisW wrote:With such a stunning place everyone should do it at least 35 times :wink: Lovely stuff again mate :clap:

At one point a party of around twenty went by us and I couldn't help but think that it wasn't my cup of tea walking in such a large group as that one was, but then again I may be deemed unsociable for having such thoughts.


Couldn't agree more TM, alone or with a very small crew is always the way to go :wink:


Will definitely be going up it again Chris and would like to do it in winter with a bit of snow about :) 35 rules OK :wink:

Thanks for your comments and reading :D
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Re: Ingleborough and Simon Fell - hills with a view.

Postby trailmasher » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:11 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Looks like a perfect day to walk up the magnificent Ingleborough TM Great report as ever.


Thanks very much JK :D and we couldn't have chosen a better day as it wasn't too hot, perfect indeed :clap:
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