DATE                                           31.07.12 

DISTANCE                                 JUST OVER 8 MILES

WEATHER                                 MOSTLY GREY WITH A BIT OF SUNSHINE

START / FINNISH                     ROADSIDE PARKING

Today’s walk was going to be Whernside, for some strange reason I felt that I needed to “tick” this off a must do list ……………why I haven’t got a clue, I am the last person who keeps tabs on what mountains/hill/fells call em what you want and as far as I know I don’t have any tick off lists so I don’t know why I just had to do this one. Half the time I can’t even remember where my last walk was even yet alone remembering all the names. But there you go; perhaps I am finally losing the plot.

However todays walk wasn’t going to be plane sailing I have some more emotional baggage that I will ditch and bury after today nothing bad or anything but something that been nagging away in those dark forgotten about places somewhere in the back of your mind.

It’s not my first time at Ribblehead; we paid this area a visit a few years ago when I couldn’t walk very far or very well for that matter, and if my memory serves me right I just about managed to get under the huge railway viaduct, something that even today is very impressive and makes you realise how we humans can shape and change the landscape to suit our needs.

 And I can clearly remember sitting down looking up towards the top of Whernside thinking if only and perhaps one day I might get up there I suppose like most things it was a bit of wishful thinking at the time , you know how you kid yourself that good things would happen if you wished hard enough. Any way without wanting to relive those dark times I will quickly move on.

Today I would be up there looking down and nothing was going to stop me yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway back to the walk, I naturally asked my better half if she would like to join me for this walk ………….”are there any big hills to go up? “ was her answer , eh yes dear……………..then the answer is NO and went on to inform me that she intended to have a lay in then spend the rest of the day sunbathing and lounging around doing as little as possible .  What a hack I thought but keeping that thought to myself, I will admit that I’m stupid but not that stupid.

I had done a bit of reading up on the route and decided that I would do the touristy route up and drop down via the three peaks route (I think).

I duly arrived at the very well-used roadside layby early in the morning only to find that there was a few cars already parked up …………hum looks like it’s going to be another crowded day.

I noticed that there was a white tea/snack van busy setting up , and wandered across hoping that I could get a coffee before I set off, the lady (sorry can’t remember your name ) was very kind and went out of her way to make me one whilst she was still setting up shop , not only that but gave me a good talk through of the route that I was doing and what the weather would be like later on then asked for my mobile number “just for her piece of mind “ in case I didn’t make it back before she packed up for the day . you know sometime I am very moved by how kind and caring some people are , after sorting everything out we said our goodbyes and I informed her that I would be back long before she packed up for the day off I went .

The route was first class, the people who maintain and repair the path have done a first class job and I can’t fault it, but I personally prefer walking on a more natural path rather than small chipping and stone slabs but that’s me, I can of course realise why they keep the path in such a good state but somehow it doesn’t “feel” right.

Anyway for the route see the map, it was a very easy walk, the viaduct and train line made interesting viewing, and once again I was impressed when I crossed over the railway line only to find that the force gill stream also crossed over by its own bridge.

Then a bit further along I met up with a very impressive water fall (sorry don’t know its name).

The climb up was very gentle and steady until I reached the “ridge” then it was more or less a straight walk to the trig point. At this point however the wind decided to pick up and started to threaten with rain and low clouds.

On reaching the trig point I decided to stop for lunch, there are two wind shelters up there one each side of the wall, quickly I got in one, only to leave almost straight away, in all my years of walking I have never seen or smelt such a rubbish tip, there was rubbish from one end to the other and the place smelt like an open sewer with bundles of yellow stained tissue laying around and tucked in between the stone work , words cannot describe how I felt , who to blame ? I can’t say but there are some very lazy dirty people around perhaps this are the price you pay when you make it too easy to get to the summit.

I tried the other wind shelter on the other side of the wall only to find that was just as bad.

Needless to say lunch was had further along the wall , where I met up with several other walkers who like me where pissed off about the state of the shelters and the general opinion was it was down to  couple of large groups of “the three peaks charity walking groups “who went through in the last few days . However there’s no proof so that’s the end of it.

My route down was much harder , as an above knee amputee I really don’t like going downhill at the best of times , but if you want to go up you have to go down ,so……….. my route took me straight down mostly over rocky steps, and well-worn stone path, I managed to walk down most of the way just on the edge of the path where it was possible to walk on dirt and grass this has the advantage of if I fall I can land on the softer grass rather than the unforgiving stone which tends to bring tears to my eyes. I will say that I really did enjoy the downhill section; I guess all the practise that I have been doing is starting to pay off, I still don’t like the downhill sections but once I start I do get an incredible sense of achievement .(I know that doesn’t make sense).

From the bottom it was a simple case of walking back via the viaduct and back to the car. Where I treated myself not only to a cup of coffee but an ice cream as well from that lovely lady in the tea van.

As per normal a few photos enjoy.

 Taken from the car looking toward whernside .

Just past the viaduct looking back.

Not really sure what this is something to do with the railway line .

Looks big and high.

Crossing over the line.

Waterfall.

Looking back along the route , which has been very easy ..............so far.

The route ahead climbing all the time but very easily.

A few photos as I slowly make my way up.

Tarn on Greensett Moss (do they call them tarns in yorkshire ?)

Still slowly heading up.

Looking back down towards the viaduct.

At max zoom.

Looking over the other side , dont know what it is or where.

Looking back .

A few views , pity the weather isnt at its best.

The Trig point.

My new lunch spot.

A few more photos before I start down.

Now the fun starts time to start going down , the short way.

Still going down.

Looking back , nearly down now.

Made it , phew no falls either .last look back .

Once again very easy walking heading back  towards the viaduct.

A few photos as I make my way back.

Heading back to the car , I am pleased that the tea van is still there.

Last look back , look at the amount of people ugh!

Day after thoughts.

no aches or pains when I go up , still cant belive how much mess there was in the shelters what a shame. but yet another good walk.

YORKSHIRE DALES