Walk Report: Great Whernside

Date: 7th Jun 2008
Stats: 15.0 miles, 2600 feet
Weather: Drizzle and cloud to begin, windy on top, becoming warm and sunny
Trig Points: 3: TP0703 – Great Whernside, TP0149 – Hem Gill Shaw, TP1744 – Buckden Pike
Yorks Top 30: 2: Great Whernside, Buckden Pike
Other Info: Parking in Kettlewell at £3.20 for the day and early opening toilets
Summary: Kettlewell, Dowber Gill Beck, Providence Pot, Hag Dyke, Great Whernside, Black Dike, Tor Mere Top, Buckden Pike, Buckden Rake, Buckden village, Dales Way footpath, Kettlewell


Key to symbols:
= Trig Point     = Yorkshire Top 30

Today, I decided to follow a route I did two years ago with Journeyman; mainly because I wanted to bag a trig point that I missed on that walk, but also because I wanted a nice long walk to stretch the legs for next week, when I am planning to have a crack at the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. I figure that at the moment, I’m probably as fit as I’ve ever been and I want to take advantage of that and complete some of those big walks I’ve been promising myself for ages. Those include the Yorkshire 3 Peaks, which I attempted and failed 2 years ago, the Snowdon Horseshoe, the Scafells and possibly the Lyke Wake Walk.

I left Kettlewell at 08:00, along with several people all wearing high-viz jackets under their rucksacks. I’ve never considered hill walking to be that dangerous! It turned out they were the first of several hundred people I saw during the day, all walking some sort of charity event from Kettlewell.

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Following the path by Dowber Gill Beck

There are two routes up to Hag Dyke from Kettlewell. The path that runs alongside the Beck is by far the prettier, while the other one runs across open fields and pasture. The path by the Beck also leads to Providence Pot, the start of a very popular pot-holing and caving route.

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Following the path by Dowber Gill Beck

It may look a little murkey this morning, but the path by the Beck is charming; it twists and turns with the stream and climbs up and down the bank.

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Approaching Providence Pot

It’s not easy to spot from this picture, but the entrance to providence Pot is a concrete man-hole cover in the middle of the Beck, almost exactly centre of this shot. This leads to Dowbergill Passage and comes out at Dow Cave about a mile away. The picture below is taken with the flash, through an access hole in the steel plate covering the entrance to the Pot. People choose to go down there! Mad sods!

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The view down Providence Pot

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The cut-back path to Hag Dyke

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Hag Dyke

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Great Whernside

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The trig point on Great Whernside

It was windy on top and I had to don my fleece to prevent cooling down too much. It had been drizzling very slightly for a while now and had obviously been raining overnight as there was a lot of standing water. So much for the summer.

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Bird life a-plenty today

There were so many birds around today, so much more than you see in the Lakes. This was the only picture I managed to take of the birds that went “peep”. There were hundreds of these things, always just out of sight, but going “peep” all the time. There were also a load of birds that went “peep peep”. These were different birds, not just the “peep” birds calling twice. There were also big brown birds with long curved beaks that called an intricate whistle. It was all very baffling as you can tell and quite noisy 🙂

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The wall at Black Dike

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Looking down on Great Hunters Sleets

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Lazy grouse, running away – this bird refused to fly, maybe it was too young?

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
On approach to Buckden Pike

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
It got rather muddy in places

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
“Fox” Memorial on Buckden Pike

The story goes that a Polish RAF aircrew crashed on the hillside in a fierce snowstorm in late January 1942. Four of the crew died on impact, the radio operator was in really bad condition and the rear gunner suffered a broken ankle. In order to save his colleague, the gunner realised he had to go for help, so he wrapped the radio operator in a parachute, grabbed a piece of wreckage as a crutch and stumbled off into the blizzard. Not knowing which direction to take he took the path of least resistance and put the wind at his back. After a short while he saw the footprints of a fox, heading across his path. He knew that the fox would be heading for a farm; for possible food
and shelter, so he followed the tracks as best he could down the hillside. He eventually found rescue at the White Lion Inn in Cray. Sergeant Joseph Fusniak was awarded the British Empire Medal, but could not be considered the luckiest man in the RAF as he was shot down 5 months later over Germany and spent the rest of the war in POW camp.

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The trig point on Buckden Pike

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The path down to Buckden

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Limestone country

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Entering Buckden village

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
The bridge over the Wharfe just outside Buckden

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Just two of the souls walking the Dales Way today

Great Whernside and Buckden Pike
Field barn and summer flowers – where else could it be but the Dales?

lonewalker

Fell-walker, trig-pointer, peak-bagger, Wainwright-er & Pennine Way author, with a passion for long paths, malt whisky, fast cars & Man City

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