#21 – If at first you don’t succeed… The Nantlle Ridge

Nantlle Ridge 11 June 2008

My last trip to Snowdonia had been on 3rd December (blog #3).  I had intended to walk the east section of the Nantlle Ridge as part of the research for the Discovery Walking Guides Snowdonia project.  I already had a GPS track log for the route, but it was a messy composite of two different days walking – I also had some photographs, which were OK if you like different shades of grey mist, but didn’t really show the route to its best advantage.  A combination of deep, fresh snow and low cloud meant I was unlikely to improve on what I already had, so I made a vow to return before too long.

Moel Hebog, Moel yr Ogof and Moel Lefn in the morning mist

Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon) with Yr Aran off to the right

8th April – A weather forecast so optimistic as to be almost a work of fantasy had tempted me back to North Wales.  Following my usual route cross country from Ruthin to Cerrigydrudion, I had an early view of Tryfan and the Glyderau, and there wasn’t a cloud in sight.  So, I couldn’t believe it as I approached Pen y Gwryd and saw the clouds down low over Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon).  By the time I reached the start point at Rhyd Ddu things were starting to improve a bit, and as I set off up Y Garn the clouds finally broke up.

Start of the Nantlle Ridge - Mynydd Drws-y-Coed from Y Garn

Mynydd Drws-y-Coed - "Up Close and Personal"

The most interesting part of the ridge comes into view near the top of Y Garn, with Mynydd Drws-y-Coed standing up like a shark’s fin.  As well as looking interesting, it has the most technical part of the outing, being classed as a grade 1 rock scramble – this is probably over-graded, as there are only a couple of places where you have to stop and think about the next move.  Extra interest was added by the state of the rock – slate, still a bit greasy after the damp winter weather, requiring just a bit of care extra.

The summit of Trum y Ddysgl

The ridge off Trum y Ddysgl

Then all too soon it’s over, at least as far as the rock is concerned.  What follows is a superb romp along an undulating, grassy ridge.   You not only look as if you are on top of the world, you also feel as if you are!  The summit of Mynydd Drws-y-Coed is succeeded by a small grassy plateau on Trum y Ddysgl (highest mountain of the day at 709 metres), from where a wide, easy path drops down to a col with bit more scrambling on the way.  From there an easy slope takes you up to Mynydd Tal-y mignedd, with its large stone obelisk marking the summit.

Mynydd Tal-y-Mignedd, with Craig Cwm Silyn beyond and left

"...imposing and impressive..." Craig Cwm Silyn

Another wide, grassy ridge drops down to a col nestling below the imposing and impressive Craig Cwm Silyn.  That was for another day though.  The complete Nantlle Ridge from east to west is recognised as one of the finest high-level routes in Wales, but getting back to your start point at Rhyd Ddu is far from simple, unless you use two cars.  A simpler option is to leave the route before Craig Cwm Silyn, taking an easy descent down a grassy cwm to return to Rhyd Ddu by a bridleway through the edge of Beddgelert Forest.  A visit to the Cwellyn Arms to finish off was the perfect end to a perfect day

The easy descent down the grassy cwm

Looking back to Craig Cwm Silyn from the bridleway

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Posted in 5. North Wales | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

#20 – From one extreme to the other … (a tale of two walks)

The main aim for the weekend was to get out in the camper with the dog, to see if there were going to be any problems with an energetic Border Collie cooped up in a van – we have a 2-3 week trip to the Hebrides in the planning stage, and didn’t fancy any dramas hundreds of miles from home.  So, having got a reason for a trip out, we just needed a couple of walks  to hang it all on.

A busy morning at the Walna Scar Road

One of our favourite spots in the Lake District is the start of the Walna Scar Road, just above Coniston.  Vans regularly overnight there, but the place is kept clean and treated with respect, and so far there aren’t any restrictions.  A walk up Coniston Old Man is a good option, as a couple of routes start from the van door.  One good thing about being there overnight is that at least you can find parking when the morning rush starts.

The path through the old mine workings

Looking down to the old mine buildings

The walk starts easily enough, heading towards old mine and quarry workings.  Some would regard this as an unsightly tip, especially amidst the beauty of the Lake District, but time has worked to advantage here, making the ruins more of a testament to the hardiness and determination of the men who struggled to make a living here.  The old workings soon give way to a more conventional grandeur as the path suddenly arrives by the side of Low Water, though at 550 metres altitude it isn’t exactly low.

First view of Low Water

Looking down to Low Water from the final ascent

Low Water is well placed as an ideal lunch stop, which was probably why we weren’t alone.  There was a steady procession of bodies heading upwards, some having a great time, others beginning to doubt the wisdom of pressing on.  It’s the kind of hill where walking gear often consists of sandals, shorts and a Tesco carrier bag, though there were a good number of well-equipped walkers out for the day.  A steep climb above Low Water soon brings the summit into view, yet another place where you are unlikely to be alone.

The summit cairn of Coniston Old Man

Looking north from the summit towards Swirl How

The summit at 803 metres altitude is obvious, and rarely deserted.  Most people turn back here, which is a pity, because they miss a glorious gentle switchback of a ridge running north to Swirl How; it’s one of those routes where you feel on top of the world in every sense, and in good visibility most of the major peaks of the Lake District can be picked out.  Not for us today, though – time and weather pointed to a shorter alternative, descending by Goat’s Water below Dow Crag.  Dow was one of the earliest crags to attract rock climbers in the nineteenth century, and as we lost height we could hear climbers, though we couldn’t pick them out on the huge grey rock face.

The descent by Goat's Water and Dow Crag

Although the day had been dull and a bit on the cool side, we had been far from alone.  This is the usual state of affairs for the popular hills of the Lake District, and lovers of solitude should look for elsewhere, at least at weekends.  So, for something completely different we did just that.

On Whitbarrow

Lord's Seat, the highest point at 215 metres

People heading for Coniston from the south might, if they look for it, notice the limestone face of Whitbarrow Scar rising above Morecambe Bay.  We aren’t talking about high country here, in fact the large summit plateau rarely rises above 200 metres.  If it doesn’t have altitude, there is another thing missing – crowds!

Wind-blown tree on limestone

Parched limestone country

The landscape here is completely different to that of the Lake District.  Whereas much of the Lakes is characterised by volcanic rock mountains and outcrops, Whitbarrow is on limestone, making it more reminiscent of the nearby Yorkshire Dales.  Well usually, that is.  By Monday the sun had come out, and the well-drained limestone plateau could have been a good match for parts of the Massif Central in France, with the ground looking parched and dry.

Green English scenery

Early Blossom

Then it was all over.  We descended towards the A590 to be met by green fields, lambs and early blossom on some of the trees.  Just as we were thinking that it couldn’t be any more ‘English’ we came upon the last surprise of the day –  the well named “Hiker’s Rest” tea shop at Beck Head.  Tea, cakes, scones and jam all on offer, with the request to put payment in an envelope and post it through the door of “Number 2” –  now how ‘English’ is that?!!

The Hiker's rest

..."Please post the money at number 2"...

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Posted in 2. Lake District, 4. Northern England | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

#19 – Bleaklow and the Wain Stones

“I’ve been over Snowdon, I’ve slept up on Crowdon;
I’ve camped by the Wain Stones as well.
I’ve sun bathed on Kinder, been burned to a cinder,
And many more tales I can tell.” Manchester Rambler – Ewan McColl

Looking towards Crowden from Torside Clough

McColl’s song, written in the 1930’s, starts like a ‘tick list’ of the walks well known to the working class Mancunian hill-walker of the time.  Although I know Snowdon well enough, my knowledge of the Derbyshire Peak District is limited to no more than a handful of days out.  There’s less excuse for this now that I live in West Yorkshire, as it’s as easy to get to parts of the Peak District as it is to get to the Yorkshire Dales or Lake District, but I still tend to head north and west rather than south.

The Wain Stones

The new car had a niggling problem with the engine management computer, and had to go back to the dealer to be fixed.  The job was expected to take at least half a day, so I needed something to do to pass away a few hours.  The garage was near Glossop on the edge of the Peak District, so there was no competition – I would walk out over Bleaklow to visit the Wain Stones in McColl’s song.

'Mist' on the Longdendale Trail

I dropped the car off at Padfield, and set off with ‘Mist’ on the Longdendale Trail.  The route follows the old railway line over Woodhead, and forms part of the Trans-Pennine Trail that runs coast to coast from Liverpool to Hull, and having the gentle gradients of a railway it makes for fast and easy walking, especially with an impatient Border Collie as a companion.

"Come on, then!"

The flat gentle trail doesn’t last for ever though, and soon it’s time to gain some height along the edge of Torside Clough, following an even better known long distance path, the Pennine Way.  After Clough Edge, the route follows the stream of Wildboar Grain through typical Pennine countryside, arriving at last at the large cairn at Bleaklow Head, with the Wain Stones nearby at the highest point of 633 metres.

Bleaklow Head

The Wain Stones

From the Wain Stones, a path heads down next to a stream, heading for the junction with Wildboar Grain that I had passed earlier.  My route from there was over Harrop Moss, where I encountered the first true Pennine walking of the day – wet, sticky, black peat!  A succession of wooden duckboards kept me out of the worst of it, and took me to a curious looking construction high on the moors at about 480 metres altitude.  It looked like a suburban patio had been dropped there, but a more likely explanation is that it’s a shelter for shooting parties; the duckboards were probably also for shooters.

...a suburbian patio...?

From here it was all downhill back to Padfield, where the nice people at David Oldham Ltd. had not only fixed the car in less than the predicted time, but had also washed it as well!  What brilliant customer service – how many other companies would take so much trouble?

"I've seen the white hare in the heather"

“I’ve seen the white hare in the Heather
And the curlew fly high overhead”. Manchester Rambler – Ewan McColl

I heard a curlew but didn’t see it, but I did see white hares – three at least, possibly four.  The Mountain Hare (Lepus timidus) is a relative of the Arctic Hare and is more usually seen in Britain in the Scottish Highlands.  The hare is not originally native to Derbyshire, and was introduced for the hunting entertainment of the local gentry.  Their white coat makes them quite visible on the moors at this time of year (early spring), but the longer days soon trigger a response that turns the hare’s coat back to a more useful camouflage brown.

White hare near the Wain Stones

Note – Although McColl is well known as the author, “Manchester Rambler” is often regarded as a traditional folk song.  Versions differ due to the ‘folk process’, where subtle changes creep in to established songs.

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Posted in 4. Northern England | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

#18 – A dry day on The Long Pub Crawl

The Ullswater Lakeside Path last week had been a good walk out, and even the drizzle and mist hadn’t put a damper on the day.  That didn’t mean that we were in a hurry to have a repeat performance though, so the weather forecast was watched carefully.  The forecast was for one sunny day on Monday, and then back to grey for the rest of the week.  I also had a first aid training course booked mid-week, a requirement every three years to validate my Mountain Leader qualification.  So, if we wanted a hill-day, it was Monday or nothing.

The start at Street Gate

A couple of years ago I wrote a Yorkshire Dales route for Walking World called, “The Long Pub Crawl”.  The walk goes from Malham via Goredale Scar, then over to Arncliffe via Street Gate and Arncliffe Cote, before returning via the Monks Road to Malham Tarn and back to Malham by Malham Cove.  The ”Pub Crawl” bit came in because of the two great pubs on the walk, The Falcon half way round at Arncliffe and The Buck at the finish in Malham.

Outbound to Arncliffe Cote

The route is a hearty ‘yomp’ at 28 kms (17 ½ miles).  We didn’t really want to commit to that distance, but a shorter variation starting and finishing at Street Gate near Malham Tarn brings the distance down to 16.8 Kms (10 ½ miles) Best of all, the route is mainly on well-drained limestone, reducing the mud problem of previous weeks.

Lime kiln...

...and big skies

The day dawned fair as promised.  Because of the wide-open spaces, a fair day in the Yorkshire Dales usually means long views and big skies.  As the morning progressed we had the first signs of an approaching weather front, indicated by high cirrus clouds, but the day stayed fair.  We passed an old limekiln before dropping down to Littondale where we followed the valley to the village of Arncliffe, with its attractive church, functioning ‘stocks’ on the village green, and The Falcon pub.

Arncliffe Church

The stocks at Arncliffe

The Falcon pub

The Falcon is a pub with character, to the point of being eccentric.  The beer is still served  in a jug direct from the barrel, and the ‘fine-dining’ menu is traditional pie and peas with mint sauce!  Sadly, we had left it a bit late to visit for a drink, so it was going to be a dry day in more ways than one.

Limestone crags on the return route

Having left it a bit late for the pub, there was no point in lingering, so we gained height fairly quickly on The Monks Road, once used by the monks of Fountains Abbey travelling to the fisheries at Malham Tarn.  The approaching weather front suddenly had a change of heart and we finished with more blue skies, passing limestone crags and the lonely Middle House Farm.

Middle House Farm - a typical Dales farm

OK, so not the most adventurous expedition we have done, but a good leg-stretch with interest throughout.  It was also good to have a dry day after the rain and mud we have had lately – shame that the dry day included the pub, though!

p.s. You can see the original “Long Pub Crawl” route on Walking World – Walk ID 5054

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

#17 – The Ullswater Lakeside Path – a walk for all seasons.

A 'dreich' day!

After last weeks walk in the sunshine, the winter weather returned.  I wouldn’t have minded a full-blown snow storm or similar, but on the hills it was ‘dreich’ – for those who have never come across this Old-Scots word, Urbandictionary.com defines dreich as, “a combination of dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and miserable weather. At least 4 of the above adjectives must apply before the weather is truly dreich.” Well, we had the full set of six, and consequently we decided to find a low level walk.

The Ullswater Lakeside Path

Having made that decision, we wanted a low-level walk that had the feeling of being in the hills.  There was one clear contender – the Ullswater Lakeside Path from Howtown to Glenridding.  Linear walks such as this are satisfying in so far as they are like a mini-journey, travelling from one place to another.  Conversely they suffer from the logistic disadvantage that they start and finish in different places.  Having a car at each end is one answer, but at Ullswater there is another option – the Ullswater Steamer.

View from the 'Lady of the Lake'

In summer, this is a great way to start this walk – on the edge of winter it epitomises all that is ‘dreich’.  We boarded the boat at Glenridding at 1110 hrs, and joined the huddled group of passengers on the upper deck – below would have been better but we had ‘Mist’, our Border Collie travel companion, with us.  At least those of us in mountain clothing kept warm(ish) and dry, but I felt sorry for the group in city clothes, who put a brave face on things.  Thirty-five minutes after leaving Glenridding, we were deposited at Howtown Pier, and left to our fates as the “Lady of the Lake” continued to Pooley Bridge.

'... left to our fates ...'

A surprising number of people disembarked at Howtown, considering the state of the weather.  The first mile or so of this walk is often a bit like the Grand Prix, with groups straining for pole position and an early lead.  We started walking behind our fellow travellers, delayed by me getting to grips with a new camera.  When we did start, a brisk pace soon had us warmed up, and before long we were starting to overtake those who had set off before us.  The path starts by traversing the slopes of Hallin Fell, following the edge of Ullswater.  By the time we had reached Sandwick we had taken the lead, though we were still a bit on the slow side as far as ‘Mist’ was concerned!

Going for the overtake!

The path is one of the best low-level walks in the country, and even on a grey day the ever-changing landscape and sense of drama in the scenery are rewarding.  Don’t write it off as a soft option, though – like all lakeside and coastal walks there is a surprising amount of up and down, and there are a few places where a careless step could result in injury.  For this reason, Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team have a boat as part of their equipment – the middle section of the path is isolated and casualty evacuation is much easier by water.

'... a surprising amount of up and down ...'

The switchback section of path below Birk Fell goes through woodland, and even in winter the views are restricted by the trees.  As the path approaches Silver Point, the views start to open up, and the path starts to settle down, eventually becoming a broad track.  Although we weren’t in any great rush we made good progress towards Side Farm, which was quietly biding its time before the start of the ‘season’ from Easter onwards.  From there an easy stroll lead us back to the car park at Glenridding Pier.   On a classic walk, poor weather doesn’t get in the way of enjoyment, and the Ullswater Lakeside Path is a real classic– truly a walk for all seasons!

Nearing journey's end

p.s. For the pedantic amongst you, the Ullswater Steamers aren’t, at least not any more – they are now diesel powered.  If you want a ‘real’ steamer, try the ‘Gondola’ at Coniston Water.

p.p.s. For those of you impatient for something a bit more ‘derring-do’, stick around and watch this space over the coming weeks.

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Posted in 2. Lake District | Tagged , | 5 Comments

#16 – “….I don’t know much about art….”

Nantlle Ridge - early morning mist

I’m sure many of you have had this dilemma – you fancy doing something but your partner wants something different.  On one occasion with Chris in North Wales, I wanted to do the Nantlle Ridge but she fancied an exhibition at the Tate Modern Gallery in Liverpool.  The compromise was fairly simple.  We parked the camper near the start of the ridge, and I set my alarm for 0530.  By 0600 I was out on the hill having a great time, and four hours after that was back at the van to be welcomed with coffee and a hot bacon ‘sarnie’ – wearing a highly visible red top has its advantages!  Four hours later we were at the gallery.

The Nantlle Ridge

I’m in the “Don’t know much about art, but I know what I like” school.  One artist I do admire, though, is the internationally acclaimed Andy Goldsworthy, mainly for the way he works with nature and natural objects. Between 1996 and 2003, Goldsworthy completed a major art project in Cumbria consisting of 46 sheepfolds.   I knew the location of one of these folds, tucked away in a lonely valley in the Howgill Fells, and it seemed a good ‘hook’ to hang a walk on.

Andy Goldsworthy's Washfold at Red Gill Beck (JB)

Mind you, it might not have happened.  The forecast for the previous three days had said that Wednesday was going to be fine and even sunny.  In West Yorkshire, though, we woke up to low cloud and leaden skies.  If we hadn’t arranged to meet up with my mate John Bamber, the project might well have been put on hold, but ‘travelling hopefully’ did the trick.  By Skipton the clouds were higher, and by Kirkby Lonsdale we had clear skies – to think that we could so easily have bailed out.

The Howgills from the southwest (JB)

The Howgills are one of the most viewed groups of hills in the UK – every day literally thousands of people drive by them, between junctions 37 and 38 on the M6 Motorway.   Many would regard this as the most scenic stretch of Motorway in the country, yet the hills are quiet and hardly visited.  Mind you, these hills have a serious identity crisis – although included in the Yorkshire Dales National Park they are actually in the county of Cumbria.

Approaching Cautley Spout

We started out from the Cross Keys, between Sedburgh and Kirkby Stephen.  If you are seeking solace in strong drink, the Cross Keys isn’t for you – it’s a temperance pub!  Where you will find solace, though, is in the scenery.  The Howgills are mostly rolling, grassy hills without drama, but there are one or two surprises.  One of these is the magnificent Cautley Spout, which never fails to impress.

Upper section of Cautley Spout (JB)

The highest waterfall in England is underground in Gaping Gill, but Cautley Spout is the highest above ground, falling for almost 200 metres down a series of rock steps.   The sheepfold we were heading for is next to Red Gill Beck, which is one of the streams feeding the cascades, and the first part of the route picked a way up a steep path on the right of the falls.  Steep is the word – in about 600 metres linear distance the path gains about 200 metres of height, which is an average gradient of 1 in 3.  Some individual sections are steeper.

Approaching the sheepfold

From the top of the falls, an easy meander of 600 metres up the beck brought us to the fold.  It’s a washfold restored by Goldsworthy, with the addition of a pyramid shaped cairn at one corner to commemorate the foot-and-mouth disaster of 2001, and to mark a renewal in sheep farming.  The isolated nature of the fold makes it a quiet, unspoiled spot.  Impressive as Goldsworthy’s work is, it’s also worth remembering the farmers who built the original fold.

Above Cautley Crags - '...not a place to stumble!' (JB)

This was more than just a trip to a gallery, though, and more grandeur was to come.  We retraced our steps to the top of the falls, then followed the narrow path (not shown on the map) that skirts the top of Cautley Crags.  The views were impressive, as was the drop to our left – not a place to stumble!  When the crags faded out we struck off over the flat untracked ridge of Great Dummacks to Calders.

Between Calders and The Calf (JB)

From Calders an easy rolling path took us to The Calf, at 676 metres the highest top in the Howgills.  The panorama here is stunning, though today we found the views obscured somewhat by what appeared to be a temperature inversion.  John and I enjoyed the game of “Spot the mountain”, made more entertaining when you can only see the topmost section of the mountain in question – we both picked out the Scafells fairly quickly, but Helvellyn had us scratching our heads for a minute or so.

The Calf - John, Chris and 'Mist'

An easy walk along good paths took us to another steep and untracked section leading down to Bowderdale Head, where we joined another good path back down to the valley and “the pub with no beer”.  Well you can’t have everything, and the warmest hill-day so far this year, together with great views, made this particular compromise acceptable.

End of the day (JB)

Text and images © Paul Shorrock – Images tagged (JB) © John Bamber

Posted in 4. Northern England, General Interest | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

#15 – “…feeling a bit peaky..”

The peaks in this case being three in number.  Last weeks post on Pen y Ghent brought back memories of the previous year, when I spent four months researching for a guidebook on the Three Peaks Challenge – That’s the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge (Y3P) in this case, not the ‘Johnny-come-lately’ National Three Peaks Challenge, of which more later.

Pen y Ghent - Early morning

The Y3P is about 22 miles in length, with a total height gain of about 1570 metres, starting at Horton in Ribblesdale and going anti-clockwise, taking in Pen y Ghent followed by Whernside then Ingleborough before returning to Horton.  The Challenge is to complete the walk in under 12 hours, and may have its origins in 1887, when two teachers from Giggleswick School went for a walk over Ingleborough.  They had such a good time that they carried on over Whernside and Pen y Ghent.  Ten years later, four members of the Yorkshire Ramblers set a record of 10 ½ hours.  The present record for fell-runners is an incredible 2 ¾ hours!

Whernside from Ribblehead (JB)

I first completed the circuit when I was nineteen with some mates doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition.  We took three days, and rucksacks weighing about 15 kgs (over 30 lbs) but tents were heavier then!  Then, in my mid-thirties, I ran the route with my dog, taking under six hours, never thinking I would be back to repeat it twenty five years later.

Ingleborough (JB)

It was Kim’s idea.  We had been in the Royal Marines together, me leaving after seven years as a lowly Lieutenant, and Kim eventually retiring as a major.  He thought that a short (20+ mile) stroll in Yorkshire could be fun; despite a combined age of 112 we did it in less than nine hours, and without any training.  Shortly afterwards Discovery Walking Guides suggested Y3P as a guidebook project.

Approaching Pen y Ghent

Most of the research was without incident, apart from the occasional soaking, but we had some laughs along the way, usually involving mate and photographer, John Bamber.  Oh, how we laughed the day we walked a linear route to John’s car, to discover halfway through that his car keys were in my car back at the start point!  And how we laughed (well, I did) when John struggled for over an hour in blizzard conditions to get a photo of a steam train on the Settle-Carlisle line, only for the train to zoom past as he was getting his camera ready!

Whernside in typically cloudy conditions

So, is the Y3P worth doing?  For regular walkers it’s a chance to measure fitness and stamina.  For many, however, it is the first (and last) walking challenge that they will ever undertake, and the route is very busy in the summer months when hundreds walk the route for charity.  The use of the hills for charity events is somewhat contentious, but the Y3P stacks up well when compared with its now better-known rival, the National Three Peaks Challenge.

Ingleborough from Whernside (LS)

The National Challenge is about reaching the summits of the three highest national peaks (Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis) in 24 hours.  I’m not a fan for several reasons.  The participants spend more time in a vehicle than on a mountain, and the Challenge is as much about driving as hill-walking (Don’t even consider doing the peaks and driving as well – it needs nominated drivers who don’t walk).

Snowdon (left) and Crib Goch from the Miners Track

Erosion is a problem on both challenges, but on the Y3P one organisation (The Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority) is involved in restoration and conservation, making it easier for charities to make a block donation to offset the damage caused by their events.  On the National Challenge, two National Parks and one independent charity fulfil the same role, making co-ordination almost impossible.

Scafell Pike from Wasdale (AS)

The National also causes a huge amount of disruption, especially in the Lake District. Traffic chaos on single track lanes, inconsiderate parking, fields used as toilets, noise, disruption and extra mountain rescue callouts have become a regular feature of life at Wasdale Head.  What’s more, participants spend their money at the start or finish, leaving no financial benefit for the Lakes.

Ben Nevis from Corpach (JD)

Finally, the carbon footprint of the Y3P is much smaller – once the team has arrived at Yorkshire there is no need for extra driving.  On the National it’s a drive of over 450 miles  from start to finish, before adding on travel to and from the Challenge.  I can see that the challenge of walking the highest national peaks of Britain in one go is appealing, but for me the Y3P is a preferable option – Use the local pubs, cafes and campsites, and pay for the car park and you will reduce your impact on the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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For those who want a longer read, Click here to buy the guide for the Y3P Challenge direct from me.  As well as including the route for the Challenge, there are also useful hints to get you round in under 12 hours.

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£8.00 for a signed copy and post free in the UK. (While stocks last)  If ordering outside of the UK contact me using the email link on the guidebook page, and I will let you know the cost of posting.

Text and images © Paul Shorrock

Images tagged (JB) © John Bamber – image tagged (LS) © Les Staves.

Photos of Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis copied from the Geograph website under a Creative Commons Licence. Images tagged (AS) © Andrew Smith and (JD) © Johnny Durnan.

Posted in 3. Yorkshire Dales | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments