Monday, 16 February 2009

Ingleborough Revisited

The whole new year resolution thing has always seemed a bit negative to me, who wants to spend their time giving up things? Ok murderers and smokers excepted it does seem to be the wrong way around. Having had prior discussion with my climb the big hill pal, he’s resoluting to do at least 2 walks per month. I’m going to resolute to do loads more than that as I like playing out.

To get a head start on the years’ resolutes we headed out on a three day trip on the 2nd of January. I was probably ok to pass a breath test at this point (a police one, as opposed to a ‘am I ok to snog horses’ one) since I’d stopped drinking just over 24 hours before. It may still have been a close call (not with the horses). With the days still being pretty short, a fairly sharpish 9am meeting in Clapham just outside of Ingleton was going to be needed.

 As Craig pulled into the car park at 8.55 am I nearly fell over in surprise, unfortunately Beechy had taken directions from his old man who seems to have less sense of direction than dill the dog. To make it worse Chris adopted classic taxi driver tactics, ‘yeah yeah I’ll be with you in 20 minutes’  2nd call, ‘no worries I’m just round the corner’, 3rd call ‘1 minute just pulling into the car park now’ ‘ Chris you are not, we are stood by the gate!’


Prompt at 9.40 we headed off to climb Ingleborough and view the magnificent Gaping Gill, the highest single drop waterfall in the UK. The immediate uphill climb certainly helped as it was a bit parky, I’m not sure Craig was as pleased with the sudden incline. Back down the hill and along the river to be greeted by a dead rabbit on a bench. Quite why it chose to pass off this earth while having a snooze on an old blokes bench is beyond me, not a mark on it. Craig then went through the whole pose with the dead thing rigmarole ‘by the feet mate’, that’s what the hunters do. Did I mention he kills owls?


It’s a great route up to gaping gill through crevices in rocks giving great protection from the wind. Gaping Gill on the other hand quite frankly left way too much to the imagination. Its was 98% imagination as we watched the stream pass into a small cave opening and then looked at the picture of the waterfall on the information board ‘ let’s see what you would’ve won’. I’m so pleased I didn’t bring my kids here I could just imagine the response ‘dad it’s a hole in the ground’ ‘yeah and not a very good one, can we go to the funfair now?’ us hardier souls nodded sagely (if I was a sage I think I’d do a lot of headshaking just to confuse people) and moved on towards the hilltop.


I know its supposed to be cold and windy at this time of year, but heck it was too. 

As we approach the plateau at the top of Ingleborough and headed across it to the trig point it must have been minus 15C. We’re coming back in the summer to play cricket up here though, one hit over the side is going to go miles. Spicy parsnip soup again and a bit of shelter did the trick and it was off back down via the longcut (no songs this year). 

Simons path is a gentle stroll really, well without the ice it is, with the ice I was suddenly doing Tucker impressions down to a nearly full splits (9 out of 10 judges please). Am I the only person who doesn’t get this whole celebs not being able to dance on ice thing, I made exception to this nonsense once when we won our medal in the winter Olympics but it should have been strangled at birth. (even the scots playing shove h’penny on ice have more merit in their meddle). It’s not that it’s just crap, and even more crap when you put people who can’t skate out to do it but there is no real marking. A bunch of nomarks giving no marks to nomarks , no thanks. And a youtube video of said nomark mark/tucker whatever bloke gets 1,000,000 hits……shakes head sagely.

 Here it is

The strange thing about this walk was we never once got off track, we had a few doubts and a few, ‘where the hell is the stile’ moments but 100% on track. I’d have this down as a bit dull normally but we had misjudged one thing, Beechy being late, my time and distant planning and Craig’s post party sluggishness had combined perfectly to make it a race against the oncoming gloom. 

We nearly lost Craig to a dead ovine colleague and then nearly lost him to a bit of a fall or so we thought, he was having a sit down in a spot where we couldn’t see him. Fortunately we hit a small road just as it was getting dark and then had a lengthy pitch black tunnel to negotiate. 

It was probably the childish woooooo—ing that caused the girl at the far end to give us a very strange look, either that or the fact we were all looking a bit knackered, bedraggled and were seriously in need of a drink.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I bet he killed that rabbit and put it on the bench just so he could play with it