Our second of the Yorkshire Three Peaks
Following the successful completion of Pen-y-Ghent a few weeks ago, we’d got the bug for climbing all of the Yorkshire Three Peaks and we decided to try Whernside next – the biggest of the three.
The weather forecast seemed to be OK, a bit cloudy but not much chance of rain and warm enough, so we packed our rucksacks and aimed for the Ribblehead Viaduct.
It was very busy when we arrived with lots of people a third of the way through the Three Peaks Challenge – how they do all three at once is a miracle to me!!
We made our way up the path, stopping as usual to take pictures of the views. We soon came to the Blea Moor Signal Box, one of the many focal points along the way.
From here we passed over some stepping stones, well not really, the stream was more of a trickle so I just went straight through it.
The next iconic point was the impressive aqueduct which carries a stream over the Settle to Carlisle Railway, together with the Blea Moor Tunnel – the longest tunnel on the line.
The sun had started to come out from behind the clouds now, making the scenery even more beautiful.
We made our way slowly up some steep steps, pausing to admire the delightful Force Gill waterfall and then ‘having a minute’ at the top.
Whernside’s summit was now clearly visible and we could see a steady line of people walking along the ridge.
The clouds had started to gather again, which actually was a welcome relief as it was getting quite warm. We took the opportunity to stop and eat our lunch whilst looking out over the tarn and down towards Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent.
The path started to get quite steep from here but we were nearly there! The only thing that was keeping us from that trig point at the top was the wind.
I have never experienced wind quite like it, it was unbearable at some points. I got the majority of the dust from the path in my eyes, ears and mouth, and had to cling on to to my glasses for fear of them blowing away, Alex took his off!! Poor Bobby’s ears were flapping about so much that he could have used them as wings.
By the time we finally reached the trig point, all we wanted to do was shelter and thankfully the good old, dry stone wall provided just that.
After a brief stop, we braced ourselves then started our descent. The views over to the Lake District and Morecambe were clearly visible from here but I was too scared to take many pictures for fear of my phone being whisked away by the wind.
The path down was quite rocky and steep in places but to my surprise, I managed quite well. I must be getting used to it now!
Finally we made it onto the flat path, where the end (Ribblehead) was in sight.
At this point, I was starting to flag a bit. The sun was hot, we’d walked around eight miles and we’d been out for almost five hours.
A random car that had obviously taken a wrong turn drove by and I asked the driver for a lift – bless him, he did say we could get in but we couldn’t give up now could we? Well I could to be honest but Alex was still fine.
We reached a crossroads and instead of going with our gut instincts, we made the mistake of asking someone the way. Yes, you guessed, it was the opposite direction to where we should be heading!
Thankfully there was a nice little cafe around the corner so we refuelled there before making the decision that I would stop and wait with Bobby while Alex trekked back for the car along the main road. Little did we know, that ‘trek’ was three miles long!!!
He made it though and it was such a relief to see our car come over the brew of the hill – almost like a rescue mission for me.
We headed home but called in to the Pen-y-Ghent cafe en route to reward ourselves with another badge 😂
Two out of three done – Ingleborough next…