At last!!! some hill action.

Hewitts: Yarlside

Date walked: 24/04/2021

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 10.5km

Ascent: 750m

After reading some recent posts on walkhighlands we started to accept that we were able to "get out there at last" so, with that in mind, we thought a trip to the "quiet" Howgills was long over due :D

I had a little route planned as a leg stretcher that included the final couple of main tops we'd not visited last year, just how we'd get on after six months lack of hill activity remained to be seen, I had chosen quite a steep initial ascent just
as a tester :shock:

Our hills for today are:-

Wandale Hill

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After a bit of research as to where best to start from and the availability of off road parking (thanks to trailmasher for his advice on that one :thumbup:) we decided to start from the Cross Keys Temperance Inn on the A683.

We set off from home early to make sure we got parked, as it turned out, we were the only ones there when we arrived at 08:30 so we got ourselves tucked in beside pile of stones, well off the road, got booted up and were off by 08:45.

The weather was ideal, sunshine, cool, no wind and dry underfoot.

From the Inn we crossed the footbridge across the River Rawthey and turned right along the Pennine Journey footpath and walked along the lower slopes of Ben End.


Looking to Great Dummacks and Cautley Crag


We wandered along this for about 300m then turned off left to start the steep ascent that would take us more or less to the summit of Yarlside.

It was really a case of "keep going uphill until you run out of uphill", thinking it was going to be a slog due to lack of fitness I was prepared to take a few photo stops on the way, as it turned out it wasn't a bad way up, yes, we stopped a couple of times, but the general conclusion was it was a good way to get to the summit and the views were really good all around :D



The view to Cautley Spout was good, there wasn't much water in it so when we've had a wetter spell of weather we might re-visit just to see what it looks like with loads of water falling.


Cautley Crag and Great Dummacks reminded me of some of the hills in the Lake District and all around were the gentle fells of the Yorkshire Dales.



Still a fair bit of "up" to go




and what's been done :lol:


Well earned break


Views from the ascent



Wandale Hill


There's a decent cairn marking the summit of Yarlside, we had a long break and munchies on the top and felt pretty pleased with ourselves that our six month break from the hills hadn't taken too much of a toll on our fitness.


Summit views





Looking at the route forward we decided to include Kensgriff on our way to Wandale Hill so we set off NNW from the summit for about 300m then went down the steep sides towards Saddle, we could see the path up Kensgriff but no trace of one for the descent, we just went down, it was very steep so we just went steady a slip could be nasty.

We started the walk up Kensgriff, by now the ascents were getting a bit easier so it didn't take long or too much effort to reach the summit, the last time we were up here we were leaning into the wind, today was the complete opposite, no wind, nice and warm and the Skylarks were singing away, it was so good to be out in the hills again, we'd really missed this so we stayed a while on the summit just looking and listening :D


Yarlside from Kensgriff


Looking over to Wandale Hill it was difficult to judge the terrain to make an easy way across, we could just make out a fence lower down which could make it difficult to proceed especially if it had barbed wire on it, Backside Beck is steep sided so it was difficult to see what was down there so we decided to go the long way round and head for the waterfall and cross where Stockless Gill and Spen Gill meet at SD698998 it looked flattish there on the map so off we went.

Our crossing point is just below that small chasm to the left of the photo, middle hillside


Setting off NE from Kensgriff we walked on the path for about 600m then took a fairly direct route towards the waterfall, we could see the fence and were hoping it wouldn't cause any problems, as we got lower we could see it crossing the beck below where we wanted to be, then climb the hillside opposite, we could see it take a right leaving our intended route with no obstacles :D

The beck crossing was no problem, once across we followed the fence to its right turn then headed uphill unhindered all the way to the summit.

Our fence was protecting some recently planted trees



This ascent was gentle compared to a lot of the Howgill ascents so it was a nice steady plod to the summit of Wandale Hill where there's another decent sized cairn.


Sleeping Elephants


Harter Fell


It was 11:30 so getting close to lunch time, there was a cool breeze on the summit so we wandered off the top to find a decent spot lower down, we found one just off the path sat down and enjoyed our lunch in lovely surroundings with views that are as good as anywhere in the British hills.

Saddle between Yarlside and Kensgriff






After a decent break we set off on the last leg of our day out heading South for a sheepfold marked on the map. At the sheepfold we turned right heading for the Bridleway that would take us to Narthwaite and then the Pennine Journey path back to the Cross Keys.

Bridleway view





Narthwaite view towards Cross Keys


We had a good day out, only 4.5 hours but it was just right, we were debating where to go for our next day out in the hills on the way back to the car and concluded that there were still a couple of days out in the Howgills so that's our plan, at the moment we'll leave the Lakes alone until it quietens down :roll: :lol:

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User avatar
Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire
Occupation: Employed
Interests: Mountaineering, Photography, History, Historic Buildings and sites, all of Scotland
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Helwith Bridge Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Isle of Harris
Gear: Paramo Windproof
Member: National Trust
Camera: Olympus/sony compact
Ideal day out: A good long walk taking in several summits,varied terrain and brilliant views.
Ambition: Compleat the Munros
Walk wishlist

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Grahams: 10
Donalds: 7
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 148
Sub 2000: 2
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Last visited: May 08, 2021
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