Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
It seems as though winter has come slightly late this year, leaving us without a nice white Christmas but instead the snow is falling over these first few months of 2016. I always think a small sprinkling of snow on the hills looks so pretty, but I wasn't expecting to encounter any blizzards any time soon!
Last weekend I stayed in Clapham in North Yorkshire for 2 nights (what a beautiful little village!) and on our first full day there we decided to take a hike up Ingleborough - the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales and one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks. As we ate our delicious full English breakfast courtesy of Brookhouse B&B (highly recommend a stay there!) we were delighted to see the sun shining in a bright blue sky - a nice change from the dull and rainy weather we've had so much of lately! So we headed out with a quick stop at the village store for some picnic bits and pieces, and began to make our way up past the caves and towards the mountains...
The first part of the walk was fairly easy, with good paths winding through woodland and rocky valleys. We had a bit of a scramble up between two cliff edges which brought us out onto another clear path but once we got up there we realised how exposed to the weather we were - and all of a sudden it started to snow! The further up we got, the more the snow started to lay on the ground and before you knew it the wind had picked up as well. We climbed up to the top of Little Ingleborough which was fairly steep and once we reached the cairn we realised how much snow there really was! And it only got worse from there...
After struggling on through thick clouds, mist and gale force winds we eventually found ourselves on the summit of Ingleborough! We quickly headed to the trigpoint then retreated to the small stone shelter to get a break from the wind and have a bite to eat. When we were ready to set off again we had no idea which way to go - the sun had been out while having our picnic but typically it turned cloudy again when we set off walking! We knew we wanted to take a different route back to make it a circular walk but there was so much snow on the ground we couldn't tell where the path was! After getting slightly lost wandering around the summit for a while we eventually spotted some people coming up some rocks so we decided to head down that way. Eventually we located the path again and the lower down the mountain we got, the less snow there was making it easier to see the route.
We continued following the path until we reached the limestone pavements, which we clambered over and followed down until we came to a crossroads. We followed the path to the right which lead us back to Clapham over beautiful grassy hillside, with a welcome appearance from the sun and some blue sky!
Overall, the walk was great fun despite being freezing cold on the top! Now that I've climbed Ingleborough I am eager to do the other mountains that make up the Three Peaks which are Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside. It also reminded me how much I love and miss hiking - I haven't done much at all over the last few months and I can't wait to get my uni work out the way and bag some more Wainwrights over the Easter break! Look out for more mountain adventures hopefully coming soon...