We love a good hike, so on Sunday 23rd April me, Sara, our son Ben, and Jane ‘Pingu’ Carrigan decided to head off to the stunning Yorkshire Dales, and its third highest peak: Pen y Ghent.
Pen y Ghent - the 3rd highest peak in the Yorkshire Dales - offers something for everyone: fab views, a couple of scramble sections, and - as Hike.Mountain.Trail's Phil Whyman found out - a pretty decent workout for your thighs!
‘Pen y Ghent is in my ears and in my eyes’…as the Beatles famously never sang.
Pen y Ghent lies in close proximity to its other famous Yorkshire peak siblings of Whernside (the highest), and Ingleborough (second highest). At 694 m (2,277 ft) it is not an overly testing mountain to climb; in fact, it was the second peak I ever climbed, and I found it pretty easy going and not too difficult at all…you do need a good level of stamina though, as with all mountain ascents / descents of this nature.
I actually find the first part of the Pen y Ghent ascent from Horton-in-Ribblesdale – the trek up through the field to the base of the mountain proper – the most zapping; it really gives my quads a workout, and you can certainly feel the burn (as gym aficionados would say). The field trek is interspersed with the odd rocky outcrop to clamber over, which is usually only a few feet high and nothing dangerous; the views are great, as you would expect. Ben (our 14-year-old son) set the pace as usual…and equally as usual us oldies constantly failed in the challenge when it came to keeping up; it was definitely steady away for us. Oh, to be young again.
‘Here comes the sun…’
But, the weather was gorgeous – we struck it lucky, considering the forecast was for a very overcast afternoon – and the sun blessed us virtually every step of the way.
It wasn’t too long before we reached the end of the field walk and, hopping over a stile, we stopped for a bite of lunch; it was at this point that I praised myself on making a flask-full of coffee that was actually quite palatable and a fairly good corned-beef sarnie too. Go me!! Incidentally it was at this point where I filmed the time lapse footage; I love the ‘planes zipping past overhead on that!
Off we go again, as we set off up the mountain ascent proper; from this point, it gets a tad steeper, and there are one or two scramble places; a scramble is basically a section of terrain where you must use your hands: if you take your time, the scramble sections on Pen y Ghent should not present any major problems (in fact, there were children doing these parts!). Oh, to be young again…again! Oh, before I forget, see if you can spot where I smashed my GoPro in to the rocks whilst scrambling (luckily it was in its protective casing)!
The final section of the ascent is paved albeit on an incline, which is probably about 200 metres or so in length. And then you’re there…the top. Views are really good.
That’s a wrap!
The descent down the rear side of Pen y Ghent and back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale is fairly straight forward, with no real challenges along the way; just be mindful of your footing. It is fairly obvious that sections of this descent will be paved in the near future, as there are humongous stone paving slabs ready for laying. There is an honesty donation box along the way down to help towards the paving; please do consider popping in a loose quid or two and help become part of this project.
Anyway…relax, and take a look at the video of our hike.