BOG OFF- Pen-y-Ghent & Whernside
5th September 2007
original objective was Great Gable but as various people
made their apologies for not being able to join us,
they added that they really would like to tackle
Gable so could we hold it back?
to our surprise, even Bryan dropped out having found
himself committed to dogsitting, that just left me and
Jamie. Fresh from our conquest of Ingleborough
after the Hell in a Bucket episode (BB0725)
we decided to add the other two Yorkshire big ones.
weather forecast was for quite low cloud and mist and
it dawned on me that this was the first time in at least
two years that I had been out on the fells without at
least one of our experts who have safely navigated us
through some fairly thick clag at times. The responsibility
started to weigh heavy so, after consulting the map
and AW, I spoke to Bryan for advice on the route. His
comforting words included the advice to make sure we
missed the bog off Pen-y-Ghent else we would
be in it up to our necks. Hence the title, BOG
not the conventional “buy one, get one for free”, though
I suppose that is what we were also doing. Nor
the rather impolite comment that I might have made at one
time had it been suggested we did two serious peaks
in one day.
needed to park at Horton in Ribblesdale. I have
not been there in years and was a little unsure of the
best way to go so I invited Snockers to guide us (see
for Jane Snocker’s CV). All was fine till we got
to Austwick. She wanted us to go via Settle but
I was certain there was a short cut across the moors.
I was confident that she would not take umbridge
and would quickly recalculate the route. Not so,
she was persistently trying to get us to turn round
and head off in the other direction, even as we entered
the village. Clearly something was very wrong.
On closer inspection it turned out that there
is another Horton near Skipton and poor girl had been
trying to take us there.
we had arrived at the proper Horton for our purpose
so we paid our £3.20 for the car park (although
it’s only £2 at the pub).
of Horton-in-Ribblesdale must have access
to every satellite channel known to man,
judging by the size of the dish next to
the car park.
that or they are attempting to communicate
in Ribblesdale calling!
set off back towards
the church. As we did, we were passed by a man
striding very purposefully with the pace and air of
someone who knows his way around the three peaks and
what should we do for afters? Remind you of anyone?
Church masking Pen-y-Ghent
Strideyman did indeed seem as if he was heading up Pen-y-Ghent
so we followed him at an increasing distance as we emerged
from the village and set off up the hill, which fortunately
was clag free. We were starting to get into our
own stride by now and managed to keep the gap roughly
constant, as the climb got steeper. And then,
as it got steeper still, without a word, Jamie suddenly
accelerated. What was going on, I wondered? Is
he trying to break me? Or has he inherited his
father’s gene to seek to reel in those ahead of us? I didn’t know whether to weep or cheer.
All I knew was that I was at the limit of what
I was capable of today. Maybe I was sickening for
something or just showing my age but I was feeling physically
sick- the sort of sick I used to get in cross-country
Jamie did reel in Mr Strideyman and various other folk
on the way, who kindly also gave way to me perhaps thinking
that I was his personal trainer monitoring his progress
from some way behind but more likely taking pity on
me or not wanting to be too close by if I expired.
back to the quarry and Ingleborough
last part of the climb up the nose of Pen-y-Ghent is
quite steep and scrambling is essential at times. Relief
was at hand however at the summit shelter where we were
immediately joined by Mr Strideyman. We got chatting
and it turned out he was actually Richard from York
who was hoping to go on to do Whernside after Pen-y-Ghent
but it depended on whether he was able to catch a suitable
train from Horton to Ribblehead to give him time to
do the hill and get back that night. We offered
him a Plan B. We explained that we had a car at
Horton and were planning on driving from there to Ribblehead
and he was welcome to join us if he wished……..
for sigh of disappointment from certain readers who
thought we were going to walk all the way between the
two peaks- don’t be daft!!!!]
accepted our offer and joined us on our descent which
was via the Pennine Way. This is so well marked that
there is absolutely no likelihood off falling in the
BOG OFF even though we did two detours, as recommended
by AW- the first to view a needle of rock (sometimes
I think he was rather too easily excited) and next to
gaze down into Hull Pot which is a rather remarkable
hole in the ground.
back to Pen-y-Ghent
took Richard to Ribblehead where he offered to buy us
a drink in the Station Inn. Normally after a walk
like the one we had just done I would have gladly accepted
but my mind was on what was ahead and I was too fearful
of the effect it might have on me so, to his surprise,
we declined the kind offer. Richard went into
the pub and we had our butties in the car, not really
expecting to see him again. The risk now was of
nodding-off so we forced ourselves back out and onto
the track alongside the Ribblehead Viaduct.
view back past the viaduct to Pen-y-Ghent and Ingleborough
by this time clouds were starting to gather on the summit
of Whernside. After a mile or so I was getting hot so
I stopped to shed a layer and whom should we see in
the near distance striding purposefully with renewed
vigour but our new friend Richard who re-joined us.
forming on Whernside
passed the attractively engineered section of the stream
with its pleasantly curved walls and stepped drops.
the railway and encounted some noble folk reparing the
Railway Tunnel mouth
we started the serious business up the
hill when, blow me down, Jamie set off once again like
Billy-Whizz. It took all the know how gleaned
from JPL to keep him reasonably under control - drink
stops, photo stops, map consultations, getting the buff out etc. Eventually
he got the message that an expired father might not
be an easy thing to explain to his mother and completed
the climb at a more leisurely pace.
excuse for a breather
the summit we met an ex-Army officer who showed his army
training by happily advising other ranks to go over
the edge and take the Wainwright route down but
for his own descent preferred to return the way he (and
we) had come up. Sensible man. AW makes it
sound easy- go to the fence and head down making a bee
line for the viaduct. If you can see it that is.
Actually we could, the clag wasn’t too bad. But
the descent was as steep as I am comfortable with- not
exactly certain death but definitely a good scraping
and mauling if you put a foot wrong. This did
seem to deter either Richard or Jamie but on this stage
of the expedition I was losing ground badly.
the edge and straight to the viaduct
as a newt?
the slope became easier I was able to put a spurt on
and catch them up whereupon we found a reptile, presumably
some kind of newt, hiding under a rock.
Thereafter it was an uneventful but
pleasant stroll back to the viaduct where there was
a memorial that would have got Tony very
excited- a monument linking the work of
the original bridge builders and the repairers
over a century later.
it took longer for modern day man to repair
the viaduct thant it had taken to build
I suspect the 20th century foreman was not
able to call upon 7,000 labourers living
in a shanty town on the fell.
the viaduct it was a brief walk to the Station Inn.
This time, when Richard offered, we did not refuse the re-proffered
return to Ribblehead Viaduct
and if anyone invites me to do the three peaks in one
day without car transport- you know my answer.
because of the distance involved, you understand.
because it would take me even longer to write up the
report than this did!
5th September 2007
6.7 miles Whernside 7.1 miles (Harveys
Total 13.8 miles
climbed: Pen-y-Ghent 1,673 feet, Whernside
1,627 feet (Harveys / Anquet)
Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside (Walks in Limestone
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fell Book Waiwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
E-mail addresses on this web site are protected
Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated
help fight spam e-mail!
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which Bootboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on