Yorkshire Dales Weekend - September 29th/30th

Posted 30/9/2018

An excellent weekend away for DVWG this weekend, as a large group of our regular walkers visited the Yorkshire Dales to walk, socialise and generally engage in silliness which has now become connected with these type of DVWG adventures. So our story begins ……

It was an extremely early start for most of our party on Saturday morning, with our party rising before dawn in order to travel to the Yorkshire Dales for a 10am meet and walk start at Ribblehead for 10am. Our party of twelve assembled.

The start however was slightly delayed as we searched in vain for toilet facilities, setting off at around 10:20am heading for the summit of Whernside and the roof of Yorkshire.

Although it was a sunny day, the temperature was quite cool, it was also quite windy, nevertheless our party made good progress walking alongside the viaduct through Little Dale and onto the Dales High Way as we commenced a reasonably gentle ascent of the mountain.

Ascending Slack Hill we left the Dales High Way shortly after seeing Force Gill waterfall walking along a footpath passing Grain Head and Pot Hole with the footpath steepening sharply as we climbed onto the ridge of the Whernside massif.

Once on the ridge we continued to climb quite steeply to Cable Rake Top, here we decided to take an early lunch break at Cable Rake Top sheltering in front of a wall from the cold wind.

After lunch we walked the last few hundred yards along the ridge to the summit trig point and the roof of Yorkshire. It’s fair to say that the summit has a magnificent view and the weather was kind enough for us to enjoy a view. Shelly and Andrea were however a little engrossed in conversation, missed the summit and started their descent, happily we managed to recall them to the summit and take some group shots at the summit to mark our achievement.

Whilst the Yorkshire 3 Peaks walks is doubtless popular and obviously raises thousands for charity every year, it is fair to say there seems to be little attraction for our party trying to cover 23 miles and 3 peaks in 12 hours, watching some people trying to do this, moving a speed it seems that it is not a pleasurable “walk” as there is certainly no time to stop and enjoy the beautiful views around them.

After completing our summit photography, it was time to descend via Skelside to Bruntscar. It’s fair to say that the descent from the ridge was steep and technically very tricky due to exposed stones and loose scree. Our party descended steadily and safely. We next crossed fields to Winterscales Beck, which was completely dry and we momentarily mistook it for our bridleway back to Ribblehead, which we duly found walking the short distance to pass under the fine Victorian structure that is Ribblehead Viaduct to the road and the end of our walk.

Despite walking to the top of Whernside, a highly respectable 736m above sea level and the tricky descent, it was still only 2:45pm, our party had excelled in their efforts covering the 8.5 miles and ascent very briskly indeed, it was time to celebrate in true DVWG style with a post walk drink at the Station Inn at Ribblehead, after which it was time to go our separate ways. Rob Evans had joined us for the day, therefore he was returning home, the majority of our party were staying at Ingleton YHA, whilst some of our party had opted for other accommodation options. Our main party took the short drive to Ingleton.

The YHA in Ingleton is centrally located in the village down a narrow side street and is somewhat difficult to access by car but nevertheless it proved to be a fantastic base. Unfortunately though were unable to check in until 5:30pm that meant we had an hour or so to explore Ingleton.

Whilst a couple of our party opted for a cup of tea in a nearby café, the majority of our party headed for the Three Horseshoes pub and a couple of further drinks whilst watching BBC’s Final Score programme, as you can tell, this was about to get incredibly messy…….

After around ten years practice of taking DVWG groups on weekends away involving mountain walks and overnight stays in hostels it has become apparent that our group of normally respectable citizens regress into childhood silliness in this environment, we feel sure that if a trip was ever arranged which involved accommodation in a camping barn this would quickly descend into the law of the jungle.

Arriving at our opposite rooms, there were no personal possessions of Nicola’s or Audrey’s in the room, (they had checked in earlier), our males opted for room 10 and the females room 11, so imagine Audrey’s shock upon returning to room 10, where she had earlier checked into and partially made beds up to find our male party as residents, her face was a picture.

Within 5 minutes of being removed from the room, Audrey returned to the room with further female backing to repossess the room, to no avail. The next protest from the females was about the fact that the beds in room 10 had been made up, at which point Steve Pennock decided to calm the situation by telling Audrey this was the reason she had been invited to make the beds. Seemingly Steve’s application for the HM Diplomatic Service has been unsuccessful!

What followed can only be described as Operation Desert Storm by our females led by Nicola Royston to repossess items of bedding from room 10, a point of principle proved here!

More silliness followed with shower temperature adjustments being made in the men’s room whilst the women risked eviction by smuggling in and drinking Prosecco.

Next we were off to the Wheatsheaf in Ingleton for our group meal, our YHA party were joined by Sophie, Sue and Stuart as well as Alison and Mark who had travelled for Sunday’s walk. It was a great meal, thanks to Steve’s effort in organising.

It was obvious by this point there would be a few more beers drank by our party and hopefully some dancing too, Paul Whitham had transformed himself into John Travolta for the evening in white disco attire, unfortunately Ingleton is too sleepy to be “Staying Alive” and we finished up watching an assembled folk band before a quick night cap in the Three Horseshoes before bed, this is a very different Yorkshire to the one we are used to.

Once in the men’s room David Kirk managed to lock himself in the toilet much to Steve Pennock’s amusement, until it happened to him the following morning.

We awoke the next morning early, with Steve and Paul protesting that the night before had, “been like sleeping with a wild boar”, or “like Yorkshire Wildlife Park” referring to David’s snoring, even a recording had been made!

The females gave a similar account of their evening with Audrey being named as the main culprit, Emma also admitted snoring offences, whilst a third female culprit was anonymous, following our journey home we can exclusively reveal Shelly as a suspect, however in order to crown our new club snoring champion, Steve has suggested that a “snore off” takes place between David and Audrey. Steve meanwhile was crowned DVWG’s new rectal gas champion!

After breakfast it was time for our second walk around the Ingleton Waterfall Trail, a surprisingly strenuous yet beautiful circuit along the River Twiss and River Doe seeing the stunning waterfalls of Pecca Falls, Thornton Force, Beezley Falls, Snow Falls and Baxenghyll Gorge to name but a few. The walk around the trail is simply stunning and well worth the £6 admission.

At the end of the walk it was time to head for home with hearty goodbyes ringing in our ears bringing to an end a superb weekend for DVWG walking in some of the finest Yorkshire countryside and enjoying a social evening and some enthusiastic but friendly banter between our groups. What could possibly be better?

Thank you to everyone who came along for the weekend and well done for taking part in the walks. One final question remains unanswered however, what was the jam jar conversation about?