Pen-y-ghent and Plover Hill – 11 mile circular – April 2013

Pen-y-ghentIt was quite an early start – we got to our parking spot at about 08:30am. And when we got to the foot of Pen-y-ghent it was quite busy, a stark comparison to last week’s walk where we only saw two people during the entire 6 hrs.

Ascending Pen-y-ghent was pretty tough I suppose, but perhaps not as hard as I expected — although we did apparently cheat a bit by parking at around 400 metres, leaving only 300 metres to ascend. I’d compare it to Pendle Hill.

After a short break at the top we followed the wall towards Plover Hill. There was still a decent amount of snow clinging to the walls, although this was thawing, making progress difficult in places – almost reminiscent of last week’s bog dodging on Bleasdale Moors.

After a short stop at the top of Plover Hill we headed down towards Foxup. Although there was still plenty of snow the path was good, for a short while. We were soon presented with an extremely difficult descent off Plover Hill. It is very difficult to describe in words but we had to navigate our way across a ridge of 3 ft deep snow, with around a 40 metre shear drop below us. Basically, if the snow gave way, we were going down with it!

When we had finished this section we could see a chap at the top considering his options. I shouted up that it was ‘doable’, we hung around to watch him do the most of it, basically being on standby to help him if he slipped. It really was that bad.

When we knew this chap was safe we set off again, brimming with confidence. This was when I fell on my bum, again, and again, and again, hurting my knee quite badly. (My boots are definitely being changed).

We then met a group of kids who were on their Duke of Edinburgh award. They asked us a few questions and told us they were heading up to Pen-y-ghent along the same route we took. I told them not to!

A little while along and the chap we watched come down the ridge caught up with us. He told us the kids we advised not to ascend Plover Hill didn’t take my advice!

We walked and chatted for a couple of miles and we managed to miss our planned route. No major problem though, as we rejoined our route and left him to his 25 mile walk to Malham.

Due to my knee and back being pretty sore we kept to the road from Halton Gill. It was a good 4 miles and we could have taken a more scenic route but I knew I needed to get back to the sanctuary of the car.

Overall a smashing walk, but with a very worrying section off Plover Hill, and I have realised I definitely need better footwear whilst the ground is so wet. I fell on my behind a few times today and did the same last week!

Walk Details

Grade Medium / Tough
Distance 11 miles
Time 6 hrs
Low Point 281 metres
High Point 694 metres
Terrain Road / Fells / Farms
Bogs Boggy in parts due to the melting snow
Dogs No dogs with us today but others did. I wouldn’t have wanted our dog doing this walk.




Planned route
Actual GPS
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Pen-y-ghent Wiki
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Along this route

Rainscar, Dale Head, Churn Milk Hole, Gravel Rigg, Fawcett Moor, Pen-y-ghent, Plover Hill, Foxup Moor, Foxup Road, Far Bergh, Low Bergh, Foxup, Halton Gill Bridge, Hesleden Bergh, Swan Dike, Upper Heselden, Blishmire Close, Rainscar, Cow Hill
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