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Mar 29 2013

Walk 61 – View & Scar Between

View & Scar Between

route: tow scar from ingleton
Date: 29th march 2013
distance: 6.3 miles
ascent: 1112 feet
time: 3 hrs
walkers: darren, dave, helen, jane, marc, sandra & simon


I had been looking forward to this day for a long time. We had started 2013 relatively slowly due to our new arrival, but after a few sections of the Leeds Country Way, we would finally get to experience the Yorkshire Dales once again. Not only that, it would also be the first our Easter triple header as for the third year running we had planned to spend Easter walking. Two years ago we tackled the Herriot Way over four days, while last year we booked a lodge in the Lake District to tackle Blencathra amongst others. This year would be slightly less challenging, but no less enjoyable, or at least I hoped it would pan out that way. First up was Tow Scar which we would tackle from Ingleton, the only question would be what Wu Tang and Snail would do? I felt a little guilty to be leaving them while we went off, but the reason I chose Ingleton for the start point was due to the fact it had more than a few places to relax for an hour or two should Wu want to. There was also the option of walking a slightly longer route purely on the road, which would get us to within a quarter of a mile from the trig, then we could take it in turns to reach it while somebody looked after Snail.
61st Walk 461st Walk 2After we took the team shots Wu Tang told us to get going and that her and the youngest member of the Badgers would be ok. Little did we know they would sign up to do the Ingleton Easter egg hunt, and spend the next couple of hours searching for nearly 250 scattered throughout the village. In fact we found a few as we headed over the river and reached the start of the waterfall walk, before we took the footpath and began in earnest.
61st Walk 361st Walk 4The start of the walk had been very gentle and although we were climbing it was only gradually. It did however seem to be more difficult than all three sections of the Leeds Country Way put together. I don’t know why this was, maybe I just wasn’t on a “going” day or maybe I just needed to warm up, but fortunately I did have an idea of what was ahead and I didn’t feel unduly worried. Over the last three years I have sometimes been pushed physically and mentally on some of our longer walks, and I knew if I could do those, then today wouldn’t pose any problems, although I had put on quite a bit of weight over the last 6 – 8 months due to us not walking as often and doing less challenging ones when we get chance. Today was going to be a little reminder of days gone by and we were watched by a cat that looked a bit like one of my own (Poppy) , as we went through a gate and final got to stride out over the lush green grass I have missed so much.
61st Walk 561st Walk 6It is easy to forget all that goes on in early Spring in the Dales. The lambs were already on the ground and probably had been for a month, but it seemed like an age since we had walked with them. I have no doubt mentioned it before, but being an animal lover, I do struggle to associate the cute little things running round a field with something found on a dinner plate.
61st Walk 11Where possible I try not to dwell on things like this though, as I could quite easily focusing just on that and not looking around us. A classic example of this was to both my left and right. On my left, two lambs were frantically feeding as their mum stood there without a care in the world. On my right, I could now see Yorkshire’s second highest peak, a snow covered Ingleborough, standing above a nearby ridge.
61st Walk 761st Walk 8The conditions were absolutely perfect for walking, with the sun shining without giving off too much heat and for the first time in a long time it felt like Spring. The snow lined wall to our right was a reminder of how bad the weather had been recently, but we were happy to live in the moment and we continued up towards Thornton Hall chatting a laughing as we went.
61st Walk 961st Walk 1061st Walk 12We reached a little road and those up ahead waited for everyone else to catch up. When they had, a quick map check and a couple of minutes rest meant everybody was feeling fresh as we crossed joined our next path a few dozen yards up the road. The next section of our walk was fairly level as we looked to head over towards Tow Scar Road. The underfoot conditions were good considering the amount of rain and snow that had been absorbed and we were cracking on at a good pace, as we nipped through some old farm buildings and fifteen minutes later we had reached another small road.
61st Walk 1361st Walk 14Tow Scar Road, wasn’t a real road, it was a track, but that didn’t matter at all. It was a clear, easy to follow and meant no map reading until we got to the other end. Looking up to our right we could see the trig point perched on top of Tow Scar and Ramblo sent Wu Tang a text message to tell her we were almost there…wrong! We would follow the track parallel to the scar for a while before heading up and coming back along the ridge to the trig.
61st Walk 15I chatted with Marc and Jane about a fundraising bash my brother was putting on to try and raise £20,000 for Cancer Research, and also about our upcoming date with the Eggheads. In a fortnights time we would be on our way to Glasgow to take on the quiz goliaths and in all honesty, it was exciting, but a little daunting too. It was certainly more daunting than the drag up to a gate which would lead us out on to the open fell side and give us access to the trig point.
61st Walk 16On reaching the gate we decided to have a couple minutes of down time, and once again we checked maps, re-fuelled and did all the usual things we do during our numerous rest breaks. Once everybody was ready to set off we opted to continue up the path a fraction longer then turn right, to miss out a short steep climb if we took the more direct route. A minute or two later we were strung out as people decided that the final push for the trig would be done at their own pace. Beaky as usual was leading the way, followed some twenty or thirty yards later by Daz and Helen. There was then a larger gap back to Jane, Marc and Ramblo and I brought up the rear taking pictures. I would catch up the three in front of me, then stop to take a few pictures and the gap would grow. Another burst would see me catch them once again, followed by more pictures and the cycle would be repeated.
61st Walk 1761st Walk 1861st Walk 19The wind at the trig was gusting quite a lot and the difference in temperature between the sheltered track down below and the exposed ridge was clearly noticeable. It was remarked on how cold it would feel at the top of Ingleborough, which could be seen glistening as the sun reflected off the snow. Our time at the top was only five minutes as we chose to take our pictures and head for the relative calm below us. It would have been a nice spot to spend an hour or two on a lovely warm summers day, but do we ever get any of those?!
61st Walk 21The descent was gradual and one that needed no real care. Obviously, when you are out in a wild location, you always need some degree of care, but we didn’t have to contend with snow or ice. There was no tufty grass that can lead to broken or sprained ankles, and all in all it was a nice quick way down. The temperature had increased greatly already after dropping no more than 100ft in height and Ramblo text Wu Tang once again to let her know we were heading back. It was about this point we got a glimpse of Whernside which was also covered in snow, but it didn’t look quite as impressive as Ingleborough, even though it is the only peak in Yorkshire that is higher.
61st Walk 2061st Walk 22The route down brought us out onto the road we had crossed earlier in the day. This time we would follow it back to that very point, then retrace our steps back to Ingleton.
61st Walk 23Although we were nearly back, we ended up stopping for a sandwich break, but I don’t really know how this happened. I think (and this is very vague I know) somebody, was trying to work out what a large peak in the distance was. At that very point, I spotted one of those thingys that tell you what peak is where and I told the others. As we went over to look, someone suggested a sarnie stop and out they came. It turns out that the hill in question was Pendle Hill, which we would be tackling on the third day of this Easter weekend. We could also make out Morcambe Bay (we think), as well as some distant peaks in the Lake District.
61st Walk 2561st Walk 24The ten minutes we were stationary was nice, but at the same time I was looking forward to getting back to Ingleton so we could wrap up this walk and get on with the rest of our weekend. We had the usual post walk pub visit to look forward to, then it was on to Ribblesdale Lodges to settle in for the weekend. I needn’t worry though, because shortly after setting off, we were back on the path to our start point and once again it felt like a lovely day. Myself, Beaky and Ramblo were leading the way and we were chatting about how the Dales compares to other National Parks, which I know is hard to do. We all agreed that the Dales is our favourite and for me personally, I can’t see that ever changing. The Peak District and Lake District are beautiful, of that there is no doubt, but for me the Yorkshire Dales is a special place. It maybe because I am a Yorkshireman, or more likely that we know it better than the other two because of the location. One thing was for certain though, it had been too long since we walked in the Dales I didn’t want to leave it this long again.
61st Walk 2661st Walk 2761st Walk 28It was just under three hours since we left Wu Tang and Snail by the time we re-joined them in almost the same spot we left them. It was with a beaming smile she told us they had entered the Easter egg hunt and had successfully solved the puzzle. That put the icing on the day for me. As much as I had enjoyed the walk, that joy would soon have been forgotten had I returned to a frown or worse. It was the perfect end to a wonderful day and a great way to start our weekend away. We headed for the pub to swap stories of our different adventures and then headed for our lodge. The weekend was now underway and it would hopefully only get better from here. I was really looking forward to tomorrow, as Knowe Fell would be on our radar along with a possible visit to Fountains Fell. For now though, we enjoyed the achievement of today and we would worry about Knowe Fell in the morning.

Sir Edmund

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