Settle Scamble

‘Settle Scramble’
John, Val, Glenn, Helen, Norman, Dave, Vera, Julie, Geoff, Peter, Patricia, Eileen and Hazel
Nice to see the Ladies have outnumbered the fellas on a ‘Challenge Walk’.
Windy, occasional showers, Low cloud.....Brightening up to a sunny, warm afternoon.
We set off bang on 08:30 after John had gathered his flock from various carparks in Town.
The weather was looking grim but the forecast had promised it clearing throughout the day.
We headed out on various ‘Green Lanes’ until we eventually came across the grand vista of Warren Dale Knott’s and the Scars of the North Craven Fault. From here we crossed the valley and started climbing the path that takes us past Victoria caves and Attermire scar.
The weather still didn’t know what to do so coats were on and off as the skies brightened and darkened. As we approached the Gorbeck track one is usually afforded a super view of Pen y Ghent and Fountains fell…Not this morning .A great swathe of cloud enveloped all intrinsic features of this part of the Dales. Swift progress was made along the well surfaced track and soon we took a left turn onto the Bridleway that leads to ‘Streets’ near Malham Tarn. Soft going was to be had here and those with ‘non waterproof ‘ footwear soon got soggy feet. On reaching the road we had a mile or so of tarmac stomping up into the murk and onto the foot of Fountains Fell. During our break the cloud started to lift slowly but surely. Soon the hills of Bowland became visible and watery sunshine was beginning to peek through.
We descended down to Tennant Gill where we picked up the Pennine Way and our climb over the shoulder of Fountains fell began in earnest. As I have a walk in this area in a month’s time I took the opportunity to carry out a bit of ‘impromptu’ reccy’ing where I need to cut cross country to pick up the Pennine Way…See future events for a Heather Bashing extravaganza led by yours truly(Blatant plug there John).
Fast progress was made up past the long abandoned mines(That I couldn’t resist peering into) and we were now heading into the teeth of the wind. Lunch was on the horizon but we did need to find some shelter. This was to be found in the form a small scar that had us all huddled in front of...with a magnificent view of the hunkered form of Pen Y Ghent slowly revealing itself from an apron of cloud. Usual lunchtime banter was had as food was scoffed and soon we were refreshed and ready for the final 10 or 12 miles.
Dale Head farm and Churn milk holes were passed with barely a second glance. Long Lane was descended and we were soon found ourselves at the pub in Helwith Bridge. Several of us dropped hints regarding partaking in a swift pint from the subtle ’they do nice beer in there’…to the not so subtle ‘ are we having a pint or what?’…Task master John was having none of this and pressed on with promises of Coffee at Feizor.
By now the cloud was lifting, the wind had dropped, the Sun was out and we were soon stripping off various layers…It suddenly turned into a fantastic Spring Day….complete with Lambs bleating and Birds Singing. The little climb up to Feizor gap loomed ahead but was quickly passed. Looking back the natural Amphitheatre in the foreground of Ingleborough was awash in late afternoon sunlight. You could even pick out all the dark boulders on the Norber erratic field.
We dropped into Feizor where coffee was ordered at the tea room. A couple of the group wanted to press on so we bid our farewells to the group and we enjoyed the coffee and sunshine before taking on our final few miles. The path below Smearsett Scar is a bit of a slog but we made good progress…glancing back now and again at the far reaching views over to the Lake District Fells.
After what seemed a short while we were on the ridge above the Ribble and were making our way down to the hamlet of Stackhouses. All that was left was a quick romp along the banks of the Ribble and back into town….I even resisted the urge to indulge in a Battered sausage from the chippy in town.
We completed the 25 mile loop in a leisurely 8 ½ hrs…Conversation flowed among the great company which included many people from outside the South Pennine group.

Comment of the day came from a youngster in group of D of E kids who when realised we were overtaking them on a narrow path turned to her mate and shouted “URRGH!!!, WE’RE BEING INFILTRATED BY OLD PEOPLE!!” . I couldn’t help but wonder if even at their ripe young ages they would have 25 miles+ in their legs…not to mention when they get into their 40’s, 50’s 60’s 70’s or even 80’s!!!!... oh the folly of youth.
Thanks to John for suggesting a superb ‘Anytime Challenge’ route.

Approaching Attermire Scar Cloud over Malham Tarn En route to Malham Tarn Lunch on Fountains Fell Moving out after lunch Pen y Ghent Ribblesdale