A Yorkshire two peaks slackpack

View from Pen y Ghent
Andrew takes in a fine view from Pen y Ghent.

I have to admit, it’s been a while since I’ve been out backpacking without all the video gear I tend to lug about with me. And so it was an absolute pleasure to have spent a couple of days recently in the Yorkshire Dales National Park free and easy, light on foot and without a viewfinder in sight taking in all the delights this most wonderful and distinctive corners of England has to offer.

And with good company too in the shape of Martin from Summit and Valley and Andrew from The Journeyman Traveller.

Martin had essentially planned a route for us to walk the famous Yorkshire Three Peaks and camp out for a couple of nights on the hills. I’ve spent many happy hours in this area but peculiarly never set a single foot on Pen y Ghent. I’ve always preferred to look at this distinctive hill from afar and imagined it’s summit views to be underwhelming and the ground underfoot to be bog and swamp. After all, it’s gritstone flat top and sheer crumbling cliffs normally indicates a place more akin to a playground for pigs.

All said and done I was proved wrong. Never judge a book by it’s cover, eh?

We did arrive quite late in Horton in Ribblesdale – a popular base for “Three Peaks Challengers” of which there were several hundred about over the coming weekend – and made our way to The Crown Inn Hotel for a couple of pints before heading onwards to camp on Moughton Fell which wasn’t too far away.

The following day involved a hike of around 17miles, taking in the vast limestone paving of Sulber Nick followed by the summit of Ingleborough, Simon Fell before descending to The Station Inn and onwards along the Ribble Way to the flanks of Pen y Ghent. We chose to ignore Whernside in the end to avoid walking into the hordes of Three Peaks Challengers that would be struggling down it’s steep slopes to the valley bottom before dragging their hot and sweaty bodies up Ingleborough. So, you could argue our trip turned into a Yorkshire two peaks slackpack. The nice long days we’re enjoying now meant we could often sit and take a break – lying on soft turf taking in the sublime views of the landscape.

It really made for a pleasant ramble and we were lucky with the weather too. Predominantly sunny with some cloud, calm winds and not a single drop of rain. Admittedly, it was bitterly cold but we were comfortably kitted out having anticipated the likely conditions.

Anyway, I’m gonna cut my waffle short as I’ve got a lot of work to do in the coming days ahead. I’m heading off to Buxton for a tourism conference on Wednesday before heading northwards to the Lake District where I’ll be filming a video for Vango featuring one of their new flagship products. So, do check out Martin and Andrew’s blogs as I’ve no doubt they’ll be much more interesting to read concerning this trip out than my attempt here.

I’m really quite tired but pleased I made the effort to meet two lovely fellow backpackers. I really needed this short sharp break from my usual outdoor trips.

View from Rab Ridge Master bivi
View from the Rab Ridge Master bivvy I have on test, looking to Ingleborough on Saturday morning.

Rab Ridge Master bivi, Yorkshire Dales National Park
I’m really enjoying trying out this new bivvy from Rab. Quick to pitch, roomy and pretty bomber too.
Moughton Fell and limestone paving, Yorkshire Dales National Park
Moughton Fell is a cracking place to explore. The limestone paving is stunning to look at. Almost alien in fact and it
looks great at dawn or sunset.

Wild camping, Yorkshire Dales National Park
Andrew observes a broken zip on his tent. A little worst for wear from the previous evening
in the pub had led him to be a little heavy handed with his shelter I think.
MLD Solomid, Yorkshire Dales National Park
Despite the sunny appearance in this scene, Martin stayed put in his MLD Solomid making breakfast sheltering out of
the bitterly cold breeze which was blowing around. It certainly didn’t feel like the month of May!
Wild camping in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
Martin and Andrew enjoy a brew in the sun. I was sat in a nearby grouse butt sheltering from the cold winds trying
to make my own brew of coffee.
Hiking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.
Come 9am we’d all packed up and made our way through the limestone paving on Sulber Nick with Pen y Ghent rising
above this alien looking landscape on the horizon.
Ribblehead viaduct from Ingleborough
Andrew makes the final climb up onto the summit of Ingleborough. You can just see the Ribblehead viaduct in the
bottom of the valley in the background.
Martin takes some pictures from the summit of Ingleborough. The visibility was quite good though a little hazy beyond
a distance of 25miles.
Rab Vapour Rise Lite Alpine, Scimitar pants. Karrimor X-Lite 45
Here’s me taking in a view of Ingleborough from Simon Fell. Kitted out in the new Rab Vapour Rise Lite Alpine jacket
and Scimitar pants. The pack I was using was a Karrimor X-Lite 45ltr .
Walking in the Yorkshire Dales
Having left the hulk of Ingleborough behind, we made our way to The Station Inn at Ribblehead for some refreshments.
Pen y Ghent
After leaving the pub, we made our way along the Ribble Way before cutting across the open moors for Pen y Ghent.
wild camping in the Yorkshire Dales
Martin takes a look around for a suitable place to pitch his MLD Solomid.
Pen y Ghent slopes, Yorkshire Dales National Park
We all woke the following morning at 5am to pack up and head straight up Pen y Ghent. The previous night was another
cold one. My full 2ltr Platypus had half frozen solid during the night, for example. Is it really May???
Pen y Ghent summit
Eventually we reached the summit of Pen y Ghent just after sunrise. It offered some fantastic views before the masses of
“Three Peaks Challengers” ascended in their droves.
Summit of Pen y Ghent
Andrew gets trigger happy with the views at dawn from Pen y Ghent.
Backpacking in the Yorkshire Dales National Park
You can’t beat it eh? Backpacking in the great outdoors.
Three Peaks Challenge, Pen y Ghent
As we descended back to Horton in Ribblesdale, more and more challengers appeared.
Pen y Ghent cafe
I’m a bit blinded by the early morning sun here! Even so, we popped into the Pen y Ghent cafe for morning tea and some
bacon sandwiches. A nice end to a fab trip out in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

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