PEN-Y-GHENT – TAKE TWO

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It’s only been a month since we stayed over at Ribblehead viaduct and climbed Pen-y-Ghent.

So, this feels like deja vu…

Last night, we stayed over at Ribblehead Viaduct, and today, we climbed Pen-y-Ghent…again.

The reason we’re here again is because I had camera issues the last time we were here, resulting in all my video footage finishing up horribly over-exposed. To be fair, the problem was not exclusively to do with the camera, but more to do with a new gimbal that I was field-testing for the first time. Through the wonders of modern technology, the camera can connect to the gimbal via bluetooth, and be operated entirely from the controls on the gimbal handle. Which is all very well and good, and I enjoyed doing that throughout the whole of the previous walk. Unfortunately, due to a glitch in the camera (which is a known problem, as I have discovered since), the operation turns the brightness on the camera’s LCD monitor down, for which I compensated by cranking up the exposure… a bad move, as it turns out.

I have no good defence for explaining why I didn’t check the footage sooner. Sadly, all the clips were affected, and despite the vague hope of being able to correct them in post (I couldn’t)… they were unusable. The reason the footage is so important is because this is the final section of a three-parter that I plan to paint up from, and produce a DVD video of, celebrating The Three Peaks of Yorkshire.

And so, today, after another wonderful evening ‘wildcamping’ by Ribblehead Viaduct in our trusty campervan, enabling us to get a reasonably early start in Horton-in-Ribblesdale, we repeated the whole walk.

As it turns out, the weather was much better than on our last visit, and the number of other walkers on the hill was far fewer. There were still a fair few… less than there would have been if we’d have been here yesterday, though, since yesterday was Bank Holiday Monday.

The skies were clear and the sun shone as we left Horton and approached Brackenbottom Scar. Stone wallers were busy stonewalling, and in a moment of surprise drama, our walk became a study in the reality of nature as a stoat chased down and caught a rabbit right in front of us. From Brackenbottom, our ascent up to the top of the hill was via the steep, craggy ‘nose’ of Pen-y-Ghent’s Southern tip. When we finally got there, the views from the summit were extensive, and quite stunning, with clear views over to Fountains Fell and to the other two ‘Three Peaks’, Ingleborough and Whernside.

We ate our lunchtime sandwiches at the summit before heading down its Western flanks, for another look into the gaping hole in the earth that is Hull Pot.

As we came down the hill, we were fascinated by a kestrel (at least we’re pretty sure that’s what it was), hovering and doing hawk-ey things (I’ve adjusted the photo slightly, to bring out its markings – it isn’t brilliant, but its better than the silouette of the original)…

As in our previous visit, when we reached Hull Pot, there wasn’t much in the way of water flowing over its sides, but the weather remained pleasingly clear as we walked the long track back down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale. Pen-y-Ghent never disappoints (which can’t always be said of my photography skills). Crucially, I managed to get the video footage that I needed.

For a map and gpx download of the route, visit my previous post here.

Peter Woolley

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