Whernside: Conquered!

Last weekend we conquered Whernside, the only one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks left for us to do. Our next challenge is to complete the three in a day, however that will not be for a while as it is asking a lot of three under-tens. I have also been locked out of my Garmin account so I can only provide a JPEG image of the map rather than my usual GPX file so I have some nice photographs too, including the beautiful Ribblehead viaduct which pretty much points at Whernside itself as one approaches it from the car parking area.

Enjoy the photographs if that’s your bag. We have pretty much covered the Yorkshire Dales and so we are now moving on to our summer plans to start Wainwright’s first  book of Lakeland Maps, The Eastern Fells.

Cautley Spout: Conquered!

After a weekend or so without hiking we got out today, and I think that the season is winding down now as we lost the light awfully quickly towards the end of the walk. We visited a waterfall walk in the Yorkshire Dales called Cautley Spout which is located in Sedbergh. It is beautiful to look at and challenging to hike. Fortunately, after we found ourselves on the wrong path for the descent we turned it into a straightforward up and down climb, however had we been on a circular that had taken us out of sight of where we started then the dark conditions would have left us in serious danger of getting lost in the night, a terrible position to be in. As it is you can tell from the GPS track exactly where we got lost and had to double back on ourselves to make it down. In the process of climbing we reached the summit of Calf Fell before descending more or less the way we came. A good day of hiking.

Map, Data and Photos

  • 5.59 miles
  • 3:37:29
  • 1769 feet climbed
  • 567 calories burned

Ingleborough: Conquered!

Yet another hiking triumph! This time we successfully ascended Ingleborough, one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and returned, all before teatime. This was one hell of an exertion, and at 6.25 miles hiked and 1736 feet climbed it was about as taxing as a hike can get for under-10s to do without at least one of them suffering a complete meltdown. iOS health kindly informed me that it was the equivalent if climbing 112 flights of stairs (where each flight is classed as climbing a floor).

This was every bit as challenging as I remember it when I completed the Three Peaks as a teenager, with Ingleborough being the final climb and therefore gut-wrenchingly difficult, and I will forever associate it with extreme fatigue and throbbing pain in my feet! Of course, that pain is really not pain at all, it’s the glow of achievement. I will stress, however, if you experience real pain during exercise then stop immediately and seek medical attention.

Map and Data

  • 6.24 miles
  • 3:6:9 hours
  • 29.49 minute miles
  • 1265 calories burned
  • 1736 feet climbed

Hawdraw Force: Conquered!

Today we went for a short, flat and relatively easy hike which covered what I believe is the largest overground waterfall in England, possibly the UK, Hawdraw Force. This was a beautiful sight, I must say, although I was disgusted to be asked to pay £10 just for the privilege of looking at it. That is one element of being British/English I loathe the most; we are mean. In my experience the UK is one of the meanest countries on Earth. Everywhere I go there I find some little pipsqueak in the way, sticking his hand out, wanting his cut. That being said, this was a good day and I enjoyed it. My only complaint about this route is that it is very stop-startish. There are no long stretches where the kids and hounds can run, however, it was worth it to see the waterfall.

Map, Data and Photos

  • 4.26 miles
  • 01:19:46 hours
  • 18.43 minute miles
  • 542 calories burned
  • 433 feet climbed

 

A robin that decided to join us during our picnic.

Pub rules.

Hawdraw Force.

Pen-y-Ghent: Conquered!

Today I, my family and my two little hounds conquered the imposing Pen-y-Ghent, a fell and hill climb in the Yorkshire Dales that I climbed several times as a wee nipper, including once as a part of completing the Three Peaks, which is a 26 mile hike consisting of climbs over steep Pen-y-Ghent, horribly unpredictable (in weather terms) Whernside and long, flat-topped Ingleborough.

Today was a hell of a climb that included some pretty tough rock climbing. We ascended the steep flank of Pen-y-Ghent, leaving for last the leisurely descent towards Hunt Pot, a huge pot hole in the Dales and, I believe, the largest of its kind in England. We covered 6.63 miles in total and made a 1578 foot total ascent. The highlight of the walk was the sight of a stunning double rainbow that touched down right on top of Hunt Pot.  It was absolutely breathtaking in the moment and a clear example of why outdoor pursuits are so rewarding. Also it was nice to meet some hiking Baby Boomers who fussed over our dirty dogs and who expressed their enthusiastic approval at us taking young children on such challenging excursions, at which point I noticed that we were the only family doing so. More’s the shame in my opinion, but hey, I am not here to judge the rest of the world. I just want to be the best father I can for my children and to give them a childhood of experiences that will make for great enjoyment at the time and great stories to tell their future friends, spouses and children of their own.

Map, Data and Photos (Including a panorama shot best viewed on as big a screen as possible)

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  • 6.63 miles
  • 03:04:34 hours
  • 27.49 minute miles
  • 1253 calories burned
  • 1578 feet climbed

Malham Cove: Conquered!

Another great hike completed today, beginning in the Yorkshire Dales Centre car park and covering a route that went first to Janet’s Foss (a beautiful waterfall), Gordale Scar (another stunning waterfall) and Malham Cove. The kids loved it and so did I. This is quite a technical hike involving some steep climbing and descending, strenuous work over limestone pavement, and it is genuinely visually stunning. It includes a walk through a forest which in spring is carpeted with bluebells. What a sight that must be. It also includes the cove itself, a sight that made me feel young, given how old the place is.

Map and Photographs

It took about 3 hours in total, of which 1:50 hours were spent actually moving. This hike is in the heart of the Yorkshire and well worth it for the views and the landscapes.

A Run and a Hike

Yesterday I ran and today I hiked. The run was a six miler and whilst it didn’t clock in at sub ten minute miles, I know it was because once again Runtastic failed to pause during stops. This was just a maintenance run so I won’t post maps or data (I may update this post with those later). I am more interested in today’s 4.3 mile hike over a local beauty spot, Pendle Hill. This clocked in at 2:18 hours, not bad for young nippers.

Dragging three children under the age of ten was no mean feat, but it was worth it for its own sake, and doubly so when I watched them devour their meal this evening and then doze off to sleep immediately. Very rewarding.

Map

We loved every second of it, and the view was fantastic. This is the phase of acclimatising the kids to serious hiking. Hopefully by this time next year we will have been all over the Lake District on various hikes.

Finally Hiking!

Today I finally got to hike with the children! We took them to a beautiful location in Lancashire, specifically Hebden Bridge, known as Hardcastle Crags. I hiked a great deal before I had a family of my own. Just off the top of my head I can remember climbing Snowdon, Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Cader Idris, Scafell, and walked the Rawten Pot, Thievley Pike and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, to name but a few. Having children put that on hold. This is the first time I have taken the children on a genuine hiking trail as they are now old enough to do it. We walk all over the place but this is different as it is physically taxing in a way that only hiking is, climbing steep slopes or rocky terrain for example. I would wholeheartedly recommend this place to any outdoors fan as it is beautiful, reasonably easy to walk so appropriate for all ages and abilities, and rewarding to complete. The views are beautiful and the scenery lush. I consider this a starter route for the little critters and I fully intend to have them climbing mountains in the Lake District soon. I would dearly love to have them cover all of Wainwright’s 214 Lakeland fells before they grow up and fly the nest.

Map

This particular hike, the Mill Walk, is one of several routes available at Hardcastle Crags and it is 3 miles in length, with roughly half of it challenging terrain and the other half a flat river hike.

Project Lake District: Derwent Water

This year I have decided on an activity for my family entitled Project Lake District. I intend to take my children to all nineteen of the lakes in the Lake District. Strictly speaking only Bassenthwaite Lake is actually a lake. The rest are waters. That being said, geographical taxonomy is neither my specialty nor my subject for this blog. I love the Lake District and have explored a lot of it, climbing Scafell, Helvellyn and Skiddaw Massif to name but a few and I have spent plenty of time around Windermere, Derwent Water, Grasmere, Coniston Water and others. I want my children to experience the beauty of this place too.

Today we conquered Derwent Water. I had initially intended to walk the kids all of the way around it, however this quickly turned out to be unrealistic. A couple of days ago I walked my children 11.52 miles to wear them out and that was, I found out, their limit, so another few miles on top (Derwent is around 14-15 in circumference) would have been impossible, particularly since my youngest had not slept well since the big walk and she is possibly the angriest, most stubborn and grumpy human being I know.  We kept it to four miles (ish) and that left us with some extremely tired sprogs and dogs.

Map

Photos

Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Derwent Water

Next up: Grasmere.

First Walk of the Year: Worden Park

I have been a hiker and walker for decades. I spent many a day in the Brecon Beacons or the Lake District, with highlights such as climbing Scafell, Snowdon and the lesser know Cader Idris in Wales. As a man with three children under nine years of age my hiking options are restricted so this year I have set myself the target of taking the children on the walks that Lancashire County Council has posted online (PDF maps provided for free there) before 2016 is over. They are all gentle rambles rather than challenging climbs as you might expect. Today we completed the Worden Park walk, although we had to shorten it by a mile to accommodate a grumpy five year old.

Map

This was a surprisingly pretty walk given the location in Leyland, so I took some photographs too.

Worden Park

Worden Park

Worden Park

Worden Park

Worden Park

Thoughts

This is a gentle starter walk which is ideal for young children and plenty of space for dogs to roam free (and children too for that matter). It is not at all taxing and most of the walk is well sheltered as it takes the walker through a forest. It is a very busy area, even in January so in summer expect crowds. It is a park but the walk takes place in the extended woodland surrounding the area so you will be out of the way of those playing football or whatever.

Not a bad start to the year and hopefully the first step to completing all of the leisure walks on the Visit Lancashire website.