Fountains Fell from Stainforth.

Start. Stainforth.

Route. Stainforth - Ribble Way - Great Moor Head - Overdale - Churn Milk Hole - Dale Head - Pennine Way - Blishmier Close - In Sleets - Fountains Fell - Little Fell - Tennant Gill Farm - New Pasture - Henside - Henside Road - Catrigg - Catrigg Force - Stainforth.

Notes. Today's walk's been sitting in the dusty recesses of my hard drive for longer than I can remember, it was time to dig it out and give it a go, Fountains Fell from Stainforth ascending the Ribble Way to later climb the Pennine Way en route to the summit of Fountains Fell. Unfortunately the weather gods had been out with Yorkshires best emulsion paint, extensive views reached only a few yards, most of the walk was over bogs the rest in deep snow, I record this with aching legs and sore feet. I have a list of to-do walks, this will be the first walk on a new list, the Must Do in Better Weather Walks list.

My day starts in Stainforth (it's name derives from 'stony ford' used to link the two halves of the village) ascending the Ribble Way en route to Moor Head Lane, straight across the lane to reach a dry stone wall, this was my companion until I reached the Pennine Way, across Moss Mear and Overdale before reaching Long Lane. The Pennine Way now under foot I descended to the head of Silverdale passing the massive hole of Churn Milk before reaching the road at Dale Head, north over tarmac until I reach a cattle grid, this marked the start of the steep ascent over In Sleets to the summit of Fountains Fell. After crossing a wall the path winds its way south west across the fell descending over the slopes of Middle Fell and Little Fell before reaching Tennant Gill Farm, following the farm lane I soon reached the road. Maybe because I was tired, maybe because it was hard work but the gradual ascent that followed was a killer. Walking into a strong cold wind I crossed New Pasture to ascend over the bogs and peat hags on the lower slopes of Knowe Fell, the tarmac of Henside Lane was a sheer delight. The tarmac didn't last very long, a finger post soon directed me to Catrigg Force, ominously there was no footprints to follow, no path on the ground just more bog hopping, after crossing the first field the going got easier, I soon reached the broken cascade of Catrigg Force, all that remained was a three quarter of a mile descent between dry stone walls back to the dales village of Stainforth and journeys end.

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Ascending the Ribble Way on a day of grey skies with limited views, Looking to Stainforth Scar.

Across a grey horizon Ingleborough.

En route through grey emulsion to Churn Milk Hole.

Churn Milk Hole, somewhere in the mist lays Fountains Fell.

Approaching Dale Head Farm with Fountains Fell laying under a blanket of cloud.

On the Pennine Way with zero views and a steep climb ahead of me.

Under a dark cloud Silverdale, hidden by the cloud Pen-y-ghent.

An icy wonderland on top of the 2,192ft high summit of Fountains Fell, as a matter of interest the enclosure top right guards one of many extinct coal pits, last mined between 1790 and 1860.

Snowdrifts near the summit of Fountains Fell.

I guess the views from here are quite extensive, I guess?

Descending the slopes of Middle Fell looking to Cowside above upper Malham Dale.

Making painfully slow progress across the slopes of Knowe Fell with views to Malham Tarn backed by the grey hills above Wharfdale.

Resting on an unnamed hill, deciding which will be the driest route off the moors.

Stunning views to the hills of Bowland and blue sky.

Now visible Pen-y-ghent seen from the tarmac of Henside Road.

Strolling through the fields of Catrigg with views to Smearsett Scar rising from Ribblesdale.

Under leaden skies Pen-y-ghent, the dark ridge to the left I ascended in the mist earlier this morning.

The twenty foot broken cascade of Catrigg Force.

Descending between dry stone walls with views across the Ribble Valley.

Views across the rolling uplands of the Ribble Valley with Moughton taking centre stage.

Finally a view of Fountains Fell the cloud's lifting at last

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