Austwick and Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales Week 44 5th March 2012
Just another anonymous RAF station we passed along the way!

This one has a plethora of satellite communications for "intelligence work".

RAF Menwith Hill.

Geodesic domes, like huge bubbles waiting to float away.

We stopped at a camp site just outside Austwick in the Yorkshire Dales.

The Dalesborough Outdoor Center used to be an infectious diseases hospital.

We got off to a good start by mixing up left and right to end up in the wrong field.

Not to worry. It was the overflow area and was not so close to the road.

We had the distinctive shape of Ingleborough beckoning for tomorrow.
Another beatiful day for a walk. We set off through Austwick towards Clapham.

The initial plan was to walk to Gaping Gill then return.

A few fields and styles between Austwick and Clapham.
Ingleborough Show Cave is a mile or so north of Clapham.

No clues before we got there. The sign said the office was unoccupied as the guide was in the cave and the next trip was at 12.

No prices etc. So we carried on.

With a quick look back at the rather quaint bridge.
Up through Trow Gill. A limestone ravine.
And on to the moor.
Gaping Gill is a pothole.

The river falls into the hole in the ground.

Underground is a cavern that's big enough to hold York Minster.

There's two ways in. One is to be winched down this hole. The other is a long crawl along a narrow passage.

We'll stay above ground.

Did I mention that being winched in involves a journey through the waterfall.

Just as well winching is only available when one of the caving clubs provides it at Easter and other holidays.

Its such a lovely day we'll carry on further up Ingleborough.

This is the view of Pen-y-Ghent on the other side of Ribblesdale.


Just like China!

What are mountains coming to?

We've decided we'll walk to the top then make a loop of the day by walking towards Ribblesdale then back to Austwick through Crummockdale.

Easy if we say it quickly.

Thanks to Tim and Angela for lending us the map.

Until a few years ago the dominant theory was that Ingleborough was an Iron age hill fort.

These days the theory is its an earlier burial and ceremonial site.

Either way, the remnants of walls along the edges aren't natural.

Ingleborough is one of the three peaks. Whernside to the north (here) and Pen-y-Ghent to the east are the other two.

Total distance about 26 miles. It can be run in just over 2 hours.

But not by us!

Not natural pile of stones on top of Ingleborough.
Recent addition is this stone pillar at the peak.

Even more recent is me.

Yes, it was cold despite the sun and the snow melting.

We kept moving and had lunch further down.

Ribblehead Viaduct carries the Settle to Carlisle railway across the moor at the head of the dale.

Well known in railway circles. The line was due for closure a few years ago but has been restored and now carries hordes of tourists.

The line was one of the more difficult to build in England's railway era. The last navvy built rail line in the country.

Pen-y-Ghent again.
We are in limestone country.

Pavement areas everywhere.

There are clynts (the cracks) and grykes (the sticky up bits).

Pen-y-Ghent yet again with pavement area in the foreground.

Ribblesdale is between us and the mountain.

About 25 years since I was last on top of it.

An erratic.

The landscape was formed by glacial action followed by water erosion. This rock was carried by glacier and left when the glacier melted.

Its reputedly (silurian) sandstone in the middle of the limestone.

We are near Norber which is famous for its erratics. Particularly the way the limestone has eroded underneath them.

A bit too far for us to walk today we'll have to do with the few we can see.


Ribblesdale is the next valley away.

Another hour and we'll be home for a cup of tea.

Horton in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire Dales and Appleby, Cumbria Week 44 8th March 2012

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