Whernside from Ribblehead.

Start. Ribblehead.

Route. Ribblehead - Ribblehead Viaduct - Gunnerfleet Farm - Lockdiddy Hill - Ivescar - Broadrake - Low Pike - High Pike - Whernside - Cable Rake Top - Grain Ings - Slack Hill - Force Gill - Little Dale - Blue Clay Ridge - Ribblehead.

Notes. Rising to the north west of Ribblehead mighty Whernside the highest of Yorkshires famous three peaks, some would say the least interesting and they are probably right. Ease of access, good paths and a splendid summit ridge makes for a very popular hill, and today it's all dressed up in it's winters best.

I left Ribblehead via the track cutting under the viaduct leading to Gunnerfleet Farm, once passed the farm a permissive path beckoned me through limestone pastures before traversing the oddly named Lockdiddy Hill, the field path deposited me at Ivescar. More field walking followed, after passing Broadrack I joined a way marked path heading for the Whernside summit ridge.

Onwards and upwards, easy at first before turning into a real lung burner, steep gets you up quickly, I was soon standing on Low Pike looking north to High Pike where massive snow drifts obscured my route. I carefully picked my way across the summit ridge, on reaching the summit of Whernside I took a break, time to assess my next move. With snow the height of the wall I continued on with caution, eventually descending to Grain Ings where I joined the Craven Way, an ancient route linking Ribblehead to Dentdale. Before reaching the valley floor I made the short diversion to Force Gill, this 20ft cascade draining the mosses of Greensett makes for spectacular viewing, especially on a day like today. Back on track Force Gill Aqueduct carried me over the Settle/Carlisle Railway to start the shot walk back, passed Bleamoor Sidings and Blue Clay Ridge I wandered before finally reaching Ribblehead and the delights of the Station Inn.

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Striding out on a blistering cold morning with views to Pen-y-ghent.

The grand climax for today, under deep snow Whernside.

Gracing the southern skyline Ingleborough.

The many arches of Ribblehead Viaduct under a cold winters sun.

On Lockdiddy Hill scanning the Whernside summit ridge.

Magical views to Pen-y-ghent.

Seen from my ascent route the Ingleborough massif, from left to right, Park Fell, Simon Fell and the unmistakable flat top of Ingleborough.

Plover Hill and the snow covered saddle leading to Pen-y-ghent, seen over the shoulder of Park Fell.

Gragareth across Kingsdale.

From the start of the summit ridge, views to the snow veneered hills of the Bowland Forest.

The same view as above, this time from High Pike.

A winter wonderland across Greensett Moss.

Great Coum under a blanket of snow.

Near the summit of Whernside with stunning views to Gragareth.

The summit of Whernside provides a fine viewpoint.

From the summit remarkable views over Dentdale to the Howgill Fells.

An icy wonderland with Morecambe Bay visible over Gragareth.

Taking a long lingering look to my route ahead.

The summit shelter, Whernside.

Stunning conditions with equally stunning views.

Marvelous views to the many ridges of the Howgill Fells.

Greensett Tarn captures the diffused light of a hazy winters sun.

Blea Moor seen over Little Dale.

Draining the mires of Greensett, Force Gill a spectacular 20ft curtain of water plunging into an icy gorge.

Force Gill Aqueduct with views to Ingleborough.

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