Wednesday Wanderings

My friend and I have challenged ourselves to walk the Dales 30, I bought the book by Jonathan Smith of the same name where he suggests routes to climb all thirty mountains in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

One mountain which we weren’t looking forward to is Yockenthwaite Moor. It isn’t particularly high, but it’s like one big bog, in fact the author reckons there isn’t a worse approach to a summit in Scotland or Wales!! He lost his boot in one of the bogs and had to dig down a foot to retrieve it!!…he really doesn’t sell it as a walk to look forward to. He suggests walking it either when it’s dry or frozen…

We’re just coming to the end of a long dry spell, so when we were trying to decided where to walk on Monday we decided it’s now or never (well maybe next year sometime!!) We were’t going to get it any drier.

The wonderfully named Yockenthwaite is a tiny hamlet in Langstrothdale, basically you go to the top of Wharfedale and turn left. I think it only consists of three farms and a post box! If anyone has been watching the recent All Creatures Great and Small on the TV, they filmed some of it here. It’s a beautiful spot. I was playing with the panorama button on my new camera so it’s somewhat distorted but you get the idea…

We walked over the old stone bridge, through the farm, then up the steep stony track towards the moor. Once that petered out we were following our noses with the odd compass bearing across the peat haggs to the trig point on the summit.

The peat bogs were completely dry, which was great, but it was still really hard to walk on as it was like walking on beds of sphagnum moss, totally spongy and unpredictable, my walking poles frequently disappeared a foot into the tussocks. Not a great place for someone like me with no balance! The only good thing was that when the inevitable happened and I lost my balance and fell, it was a very soft, dry landing, only it was so soft I ended up stranded like a turtle on my back, unable to get up!! This is when you find out what a true friend you have…when they take a photo before they help you up πŸ˜€

Once we were on the plateau the stream beds of the bog which would usually be deep in water proved much easier walking. The peat haggs were several feet high in places, we were peering over the tops to make sure we were following a stream bed in the right direction. This is one of the tarns on the top, all bone dry…

I did have a bit of a wobble, a Kendal Mint Cake moment, as we neared the trig point. We could see it in the distance but it was still quite a way off and it was such hard going I was really starting to struggle energy wise. I could have quite easily have called it a day. I told my walking buddy I needed a stop, I drank some water and remembered my emergency rations of Kendal Mint Cake at the bottom of my rucksack. I ate nearly half a bar of Kendal Mint Cake.

Kendal Mint Cake is basically mint flavoured sugar in a bar , I’ve always said the only place I can eat it is half way up a mountain as it is so sweet…but sometimes that sugar boost is just what you need. Another friend who I used to go walking with in my twenties had kindly sent me a parcel of Kendal Mint Cake last year and since then I’ve always had a bar in the bottom of my rucksack, emergency rations…so thank you Jane, it saved the day!

It was just what I needed and perked me up enough to get to the summit…

The views from the top were hazy and distant due to the size of the plateau, but behind me you can just make out the shapes of Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, known as the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The way down wasn’t any easier, just because of the terrain, though the views down Wharfedale and across Langstrothdale were lovely. This is the hillside across the dale from Yockenthwaite taken from the track just above the hamlet…

…and a hazy view of Wharfedale.

We’d actually only walked less than five miles, so not far distance wise, but it was probably one of the toughest ones we’ve done just because it was such hard terrain to walk on. We’re glad we’ve done it and can tick it off the list…but we’re not repeating the experience!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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11 Responses to Wednesday Wanderings

  1. tialys says:

    Well done you – not least for managing to eat some Kendal Mint Cake 🀒

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    You ladies should feel accomplished. Those beautiful views were worth the effort.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carolyn says:

    I do love seeing the views that you post. When I was young I had a penpal in Yorkshire (we’re now Facebook friends!) and I love seeing the area she lives in. Kudos to you for making that difficult trek, I know I wouldn’t have made the summit!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Laura says:

    You are an Olympic champ, Margaret! The views are fantastic! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  5. CurlsnSkirls says:

    Well done you! Sounds like the best (?) time to have done this walk, and to have foresight enough to bring proper sustenance!! Yes, I did watch that latest version of All Things etc., and enjoyed seeing the gorgeous country. Chuffed to bits to share this with Sis2 who also watched the latest version!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Jane M says:

    Well done, what a great challenge and it sounds like you choose the perfect weather to do it. So glad the emergency rations helped as those views must have made it worthwhile

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Your walks always look amazing and sorry to read you lost your balance but sounds like you recovered! You earned your Kendal Mint Cake πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Amanda says:

    Fabulous tick! πŸ˜ƒ βœ…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. kathyreeves says:

    Those views are really something! Congrats on finishing one of the more difficult Dales!

    Liked by 1 person

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