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Just another Whernside walk report.

Just another Whernside walk report.


Postby trailmasher » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:16 pm

Hewitts included on this walk: Whernside

Date walked: 07/06/2017

Time taken: 2.49

Distance: 13.6 km

Ascent: 623m

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Whernside.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


This Hewitt in the South Yorkshire Dales was on my 'to do' list and Jim had mentioned that he also would like to get up it once again as it had been quite a while since he'd done it whilst it would be a first for me. However, whilst Jim had been away for a weekend a few weeks ago he hurt his back and had to cancel the walk with me which was OK as I had other things to get up anyway, so I was quite surprised when I got a phone call from him saying that he was ready to 'give it a go' on the next available date that I had free. So that would be today, Wednesday 7th June, a day that opened up with cloud but a promise that it would remain dry, warm, but windy, the wind increasing as the day progressed, not what we wanted but we have to take what's on offer.

I collected Jim at 8:30am and we set off for Hawes with plenty of horse drawn caravans going in the opposite direction due to it being the Appleby Horse Fair on the coming weekend. From Hawes we then took the B6255 Ingleton road past the Youth Hostel to travel along Widdale and park up on the Batty Green car park that sits at the junction of the B6255 and the B6479 right at the bridge over the unnamed beck, one of the small waterways that run into the head of the River Ribble.

It was busy today with all of the car parks more or less full even though it was barely 9:30am, the sky was full of dark clouds with just a hint of blue sky scattered about in and amongst and despite the 10°c there was a chill in the breeze. From the car park and looking across to Whernside and Ribblehead Viaduct both looked dark and moody in contrast to the sun dappled green and brown of the grass stretching across Batty Green.
4 - Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside.JPG
Ribblehead Viaduct and Whernside.

Directly opposite the car park there is a long, narrow, grey ribbon of compacted stone that cuts across the corner of Batty Green to join up with the much wider but of similar build wide track that acts as both a pedestrian way, farm access road, and service road for the rail maintenance staff, this is the way we chose to start our walk to the top of Yorkshire Dales highest mountain.

But first of all a photo of the viaduct, one that would be similar to the many thousands that are taken each year of this iconic structure. Some of those thousands of people come here with no intention of climbing to the summit of Whernside but are quite content to look in awe, take photographs, and wonder at the toil and hardship that went into the building of the Settle to Carlisle line.

Leaving the wide track and just following the similar but now once again narrow path that runs parallel to the viaduct to then rise up a short by the viaducts north abutment before continuing on alongside the railway line along the very easy graded to very soon arrive at Blea Moor Signal Box.
6 - Approaching Blea Moor Sidings.JPG
Approaching Blea Moor Sidings.

8 - Blea Moor signal box.JPG
Blea Moor signal box.

Although - I would presume - Blea Moor Signal Box has some kind of status within the train spotting fraternity it is in a fairly poor condition cosmetically with the paint peeling off in many places and there are even signs of some deterioration of the integrity of parts of the cladding boards. It's also a shame to see the decent dwelling that keeps company to the signal box going to rack and ruin and although it has no vehicle access I would have thought that it could have been made into some sort of accommodation for use by some of the many walkers that pass this way.

From Bleamoor Sidings we continued on along Blue Clay Ridge crossing Hare Gill by using the three very large stones - well I did - with Jim like a naughty little schoolboy walking straight through the water. Within a few more minutes the aqueduct came into view…
10 - Looking towards the aqueduct and along Little Dale to Blea Moor.JPG
Looking towards the aqueduct and along Little Dale to Blea Moor.

but before reaching it we first had to cross Little Dale Beck by the wooden footbridge. Once over the bridge we were soon stood on the bridge part of the aqueduct that bridges the railway line and consists of not only a passage for water but a narrow farmer's track plus the wider one that we used for passing over the railway line.
12 - The aqueduct over the Settle to Carlisle Line.JPG
The aqueduct over the Settle to Carlisle Line.

There is also a good view of the entrance to Bleamoor Tunnel.
13 - The entrance to Bleamoor Tunnel from the aqueduct.JPG
The entrance to Bleamoor Tunnel from the aqueduct.

As we walked over the aqueduct we left the well stoned up path behind for a while to now use the more typical one of grass and stones before reaching a paved section and then back to normal conditions. The way forward is easy and very well graded, firm and alternating between being paved, stony, and the well rolled grey Type 1 material and we soon reached a position where we could now see the Force Gill Waterfall.
14 - Force Gill Waterfall.JPG
Force Gill Waterfall.

Looking back on ourselves we got a good view of Ingleborough, Simon Fell, and Park Fell from Smithy Hill…
15 - A view across to Ingleborough-Simon Fell, and Park Fell from Smithy Hill.JPG
A view across to Ingleborough-Simon Fell, and Park Fell from Smithy Hill.

just behind the aqueduct and as we are now gaining a little height so is the breeze becoming noticeably a little cooler and stronger. From here on the path is straight forward and really needs no description apart from that from the point above Slack Hill and where we left the Dales High Way it is a mostly paved way right the way up to where the path turns to the south as the dry stone wall is reached.

Before climbing the fence stile as we left the Dales High Way - or The Craven Way as it is named after a good few metres - we were able to see the mounds of the spoil heaps that were left behind after sinking the air shafts for the Bleamoor Tunnel with the mounds of spoil standing higher than the protruding shafts themselves.
16 - Three mounds of spoil mark the sites of some of the Bleamoor Tunnel air shafts.JPG
Three mounds of spoil mark the sites of some of the Bleamoor Tunnel air shafts.

Looking across Blea Moor we also had a good view of Pen-y-ghent but once again the views are a tad hazy and just knocking the edge off clear shots into the distance and of course Ingleborough is still sporting herself in the distance.
18 - Looking back across Blea Moor towards Pen-y-ghent.JPG
Looking back across Blea Moor towards Pen-y-ghent.

Whernside is getting slowly larger as we approached it…
23 - Whernside from Hagg Worm Haw.JPG
Whernside from Hagg Worm Haw.

24 - Looking to Blea Moor from Hagg Worm Haw.JPG
Looking to Blea Moor from Hagg Worm Haw.

and this must be the easiest climb up a 2,000 foot plus mountain that I have ever done the gradients are so well formed…
25 - Jim paves the way forward.JPG
Jim paves the way forward.

with the hardest bit being the short pull up the bank as the wall is reached just below the summit on the south side of Knoutberry Hill. It was at this point that we decided to stop for a short break and a drink as we watched a line of other walkers following on behind us.

Just as we started the short climb to our resting place the small body of water below the Whernside ridge came into view sitting nice and serene on Greensett Moss.
34 - The tarn on Greensett Moss below Whernside.JPG
The tarn on Greensett Moss below Whernside.

As we sat under the wall with the summit more or less in sight we could see for miles across the open moorland the only distracting feature being the cold breeze that was slowly picking up speed. Once we had set off again we were grateful for the protection of the wall as the wind was now strong enough to cast one over the edge of the east face of Whernside with any of its sudden and stronger gusts.

From our resting place the path was now rough and stony but still at a nice steady gradient…
37 - Jim in fine fettle before the last push to the summit.JPG
Jim in fine fettle before the last push to the summit.

and from where a good view across the small 'tarn' could be had. There was also a good view across to Ribblehead Viaduct but it was too large a vista to get any real detail on the viaduct itself. Nevertheless we were soon at the summit passing people sat under the wall sheltering from the wind as they ate their lunch and once there found the east shelter fully occupied with the west one with a fair covering of rainwater on the ground. Before we settled down for a bite to eat I took the regulation photographs…
41 - A shy Jim at Whernside trig column.JPG
A shy Jim at Whernside trig column.

and noting that someone had left a bunch of red roses behind had to include it in one of the shots.
42 - Trig column and roses on Whernside summit.JPG
Trig column and roses on Whernside summit.

There are excellent views all around from the summit, but as mentioned the haze takes the edge off them.
43 - Looking across Dentdale towards Baugh Fell.JPG
Looking across Dentdale towards Baugh Fell.

As we retired to the east side of the wall and shelter from the wind the people that were sat in the east side shelter moved off so Jim and I moved in PDQ to be soon joined by another couple of chaps. After we had eaten I wandered around and even though it was a long shot with a little camera I decided to take a picture of Ribblehead Viaduct before we set off on our way down the south ridge.
46 - A long view to Ribblehead Viaduct.JPG
A long view to Ribblehead Viaduct.

We continued to follow the wall along a lot rougher path than we had on our way up to the summit although it is still pretty good. The path is now a steady gradient downhill as we passed over Skelside and High Pike from where we had to negotiate a rough stone paved set of steps that are in need of some attention. As we dropped off High Pike the long back of Combe Scar was stretched out in front of us…
50 - Jim surveys Ingleborough and Combe Scar.JPG
Jim surveys Ingleborough and Combe Scar.

whilst to the left sits that always in your face mountain, Ingleborough and sitting between the two there is the large expanse of the Twisleton limestone pavement gleaming as a large white patch in the sunlight.
47 - Ingleborough-Simon Fell-Park Fell with the greyTwisleton Scars below them.JPG
Ingleborough-Simon Fell-Park Fell with the grey Twisleton Scars below them.

Instead of continuing on along Combe Scar and West Fell we turned down onto the rough path that has now acquired the name of 'A Pennine Journey,' from where after quite a long descent it joins up with the Dales High Way. Initially the way down this part of the route is comprised of a series of steps that are faced up with stone risers to contain the stone treads. The risers create a problem for some as they are stuck up above the level of the treads and with some of the steps being quite narrow between risers care has to be taken that the foot is lifted high enough to clear the upstanding lip or a bad fall could be due.

As we descended we could see the path laid out before us snaking its way down to Bruntscar from where we would pick up the DHW to complete our walk back to the car. It's an open panorama that's laid out before us with the higher and stony fellside running into boggy ground that is full of rushes before finally petering out to the farm lands and pastures that fill the valley bottom.
54 - 'A Pennine Journey' takes us down to the Dales High Way at Bruntscar.JPG
'A Pennine Journey' takes us down to the Dales High Way at Bruntscar.

All that remains now is for us to follow the DHW to Ivescar and then continue on for a short distance towards Winterscales Farm. Instead of following the track to Winterscales we turned off to the left along a metalled lane that put us at Gunnerfleet Farm from where it was just a short stroll back to the car at Batty Green.
58 - Buttercups and Ribblehead Viaduct from Gunnerfleet Farm.JPG
Buttercups and Ribblehead Viaduct from Gunnerfleet Farm.

The day has been good with easy walking throughout and with lots of other walkers taking advantage of the decent weather that was mostly cloudy but with the oft times welcome sun to alleviate the coldness of the strong wind that built up over the course of the walk, but at least it stayed dry. Once we were in the shelter of the wall we did get a high of 13°c which for June is not that tropical but ideal for walking.
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trailmasher
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:08 pm

Nice to see what it really looks like up there, was clagged up with a howling gale when I climbed it.
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby trailmasher » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:34 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Nice to see what it really looks like up there, was clagged up with a howling gale when I climbed it.


That's so often the case JK and has happened to me on countless occasions :( :? but at least it's an excuse to get back up it at a later date :lol:
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby simon-b » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:23 pm

Nice pictures, tm, which all look very familiar. But I haven't done the real 3 peaks for a while, so it's about time to do them again.
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby trailmasher » Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:11 pm

simon-b wrote:Nice pictures, tm, which all look very familiar. But I haven't done the real 3 peaks for a while, so it's about time to do them again.


As the title says simon-b 'just another Whernside report' :wink: one of many before it :? but it was my 1st time up it so had to say something about it :lol: I have done all 3 peaks but not in one go but will maybe find time to do it sometime in the future :roll: Thanks for your comments :D
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby simon-b » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:43 pm

trailmasher wrote:
simon-b wrote:Nice pictures, tm, which all look very familiar. But I haven't done the real 3 peaks for a while, so it's about time to do them again.


As the title says simon-b 'just another Whernside report' :wink: one of many before it :? but it was my 1st time up it so had to say something about it :lol: I have done all 3 peaks but not in one go but will maybe find time to do it sometime in the future :roll: Thanks for your comments :D

Familiar from having been there a few times rather than having seen other photos :D
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby RedAndy54 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:48 am

It's nice to know that Whernside isn't perpetually shrouded in clag and rain. I must have made 10 or so ascents over the years but I've never had views as good as these! Even when conditions are fine at Ribblehead or Dent or wherever I've started from, I've always been greeted by horizontal sleet at the top.
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Re: Just another Whernside walk report.

Postby trailmasher » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:59 am

RedAndy54 wrote:It's nice to know that Whernside isn't perpetually shrouded in clag and rain. I must have made 10 or so ascents over the years but I've never had views as good as these! Even when conditions are fine at Ribblehead or Dent or wherever I've started from, I've always been greeted by horizontal sleet at the top.
RedAndy54 wrote:It's nice to know that Whernside isn't perpetually shrouded in clag and rain. I must have made 10 or so ascents over the years but I've never had views as good as these! Even when conditions are fine at Ribblehead or Dent or wherever I've started from, I've always been greeted by horizontal sleet at the top.


I guess that I was just plain fortunate then RA54 :D and we didn't expect getting much of a view as there was quite a bit of low cloud about prior to starting up it but fortunately it lifted as we climbed :) I've had similar conditions to yours on the many times that I've been up Skiddaw :? Thanks for your comments :D
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