Arctic Conditions in the hills above Settle.

Start. Langcliffe.

Route. Langcliffe - Pennine Bridleway - Dales High Way - Warrendale Knotts - Stockdale - Attermire Scar - Brent Scar - Victoria Cave - Malham Road - Catrigg Force - Upper Winskill - Lower Winskill - Dicks Ground - Langcliffe.

Notes. A friend of mine once said “there's no such thing as bad weather just poorly dressed walkers”, with his words ringing in my ears I attacked the hills above Settle, donned in so many layers I could hardly bend. Two Marino Wool tops, duvet jacket, light two layer gortex jacket and woolly hat, one pair of heavy winter trousers and a thumping great pair of four season boots, and boy did I need them. In my bag a fleece, a couple of spare hats, spare gloves and lots of hot liquid. You just sit there, watch me suffer on this battle with the elements, on what's usually a pleasant wander through the limestone scars above Settle.

I parked in the small car park at Langcliffe, the wind was howling, heavy snow and spin drift quickly covering the car, an old chap walking his dog suggested I was out of my mind climbing the hill in that tempest, he was possibly right but I was going anyway.

Across the road from the car park a field gate allows access to a small pasture, I passed through said gate then immediately ascended the field, the snow covered trod guided me into the next field before swinging right. Towards Settle I battled my way through heavy snow and equally heavy spindrift. On reaching a finger post I turned up hill, I was now ascending to the east, the direction the weather was coming from, and did I know it. With a steep climb to slow me, plus a howling gale blowing snow into every breach in my defences the ascent was time consuming, I wrongly presumed once I reached the high valley the cliffs of Warrendale and Attermire may provide some shelter. On I battled until the path swung north ascending between the limestone cliffs and scree of Warrendale Knotts and Attermire Scar, in the lea of the hill I stopped for a coffee.

Coffee over I ascended the hill. Under the cliffs of Attermire Scar I walked, once I crested the summit the battering continued, after wading through deep snow below the cliffs of Brent Scar, I fought my way passed Victoria Cave then into a large pasture, the next field allowed me to descend to the fell road. I could have easily turned west then followed the road back to Langcliffe, no not me I turned east and immediately regretted it.

Hardly making any headway against a wind funneling between the limestone scars on either side of the road, this stretch of tarmac walking was hard, out of breath and thoroughly knackered I reached a cattle grid, a farm lane emerged from the left, rest bite at last. I turned into said lane which guided me between limestone scars to the confines of Catrigg Force. With a stunning waterfall plunging into a snow veneered ravine for company I sat and drank more coffee.

Feeling fresher with my energy reserves a little higher I re-traced my steps to a junction on the farm lane that guided me in. The lane then ushered me passed Upper Winskill then onto the lane servicing Lower Winskill, just before reaching the farm a finger-post invited me to Langcliffe, I obliged traversing a field before the start of a short but dangerously slippery descent, at the foot of the hill I stepped between dry stone walls. This was one of Yorkshires many green lanes it guided me through wind blown snow, spindrift and now sunshine, the lane safely deposited me back in Langcliffe, now all I had to do was extract the car from a large snow drift.

view route map.


On a bitterly cold day views to Langcliffe Quarry.

Maybe a promise of better weather to come.

Spindrift rips across the hill side above Langcliffe.

An icy wonderland on the path to Settle.

Ascending into an icy blast, resting (again), with a snowy view to Settle for company.

Warrendale Knotts taken from the shelter of a dry stone wall.

There's something special about snow on limestone, here we have the limestone and scree of Attermire Scar.

Viewing the rock architecture of Warrendale from Stockdale.

Looking to Brent Scar from below Victoria Cave, just a few residents of these parts, the highland cow, gentle giants.

It's a dry stone wall and a frozen water trough, and not much of anything else.

Winter conditions on the descent to the Malham Road, looking to Winskill Pasture, to be crossed later.

Winter across Warrendale.

Across the Ribble valley, Smearsett and Pot Scars.

Limestone scenery passed on the descent to the Malham Road.

A path less walked, who needs summer when winter brings exquisite scenes like this one.

I've passed this kiln many times and never got a decent photo, dressed in it's winters best it looks far more interesting.

Looming like a ghost ship out of the winters haze, Pen-y-ghent.

Alluvion Catrigg Force.

From the shelter of Catrigg Force I get another battering traversing the pastures above Upper Winskill.

Across the skyline Langcliffe Moor, seen from near Upper Winskill.

Snow drifts in the lane across Winskill Pasture.

Just soaking up the view across Winskill Stones.

Above Ribblesdale at the start of a dangerously slippery descent.

Wind blown snow like phantoms sweeping across the skyline, it was amazing to stand and watch.

En route to Langcliffe at the end of a freezing cold walk, "I wouldn't have missed it for the world".

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