Settle Wolftracks

Settle Wolftracks

Walks, Navigation Training and Outdoor Adventure for all ages

I hope there's something here that inspires you, whether you're looking for ideas for a family outing, first hand experience of a competitive event, or simply just fancy a virtual tour of some place new! Comments & questions welcome!

Ingleborough: It's not about the Summit

WalksPosted by Jo Wulf Fri, March 14, 2014 13:41:12

How many times have we been up Ingleborough, usually on a training run whilst chatting with fellow fell-runners or struggling up, head down, breathing hard and descending full pelt on Ingleton Gala fell race day? Today is different. Yes, we’re donning running gear and fell shoes, but call it a rest day – Jan is saving his legs for the Howarth Hobble in two days’ time, but intends to enjoy his day off exploring this mountain of secrets… and what a day it turns out to be!

Firstly, I must thank a fellow explorer whose blog “A Three Peaks Up and Under” at is absolutely riveting stuff. Stephen Oldfield’s blogs take you on a wondrous tour of places you THOUGHT you knew well, with his wonderfully informative writing complemented by loads of fabulous photos (and videos!) from every angle so that you feel you were there yourself! Totally inspired, Jan and I start out from Ingleton up past Crina Bottoms Farm in 3˚C fog, fairly confident that we will soon have our feet in the clouds. We are not disappointed as from about 400m, we catch our first glimpse of Ingleborough’s chiselled silhouette and blue sky through the thinning cloud. By this time, we have already ticked off a few features, so close to the path, yet walked past by most. Some (ancient?) shelters on the limestone scar to the north of the path, and then a little further along, Quaking Pot, which was impressive up close with its fern fronds dripping with water into the cave below and a rock bridge splitting the hole in half. A mystical hiding place that we spent a while wondering at. Now that we have full visibility, we can hatch a plan – an ascent of Falls Foot – will that chossy-looking grit stone gully go? Since we aren’t quite sure, we trot across the tussocky ground to take a closer look. Yes, it looks do-able, so without any hurrying at all, we enjoy picking our way up the layers of grit, lime and then grit stone again and then traversing north along the top edge, always keeping beneath the summit plateau.

How happy we are in the sunshine, the inversion – a sea of cloud filling the valley below, giving Ingleborough the time it deserves for once. We take in its every feature, the patterns on the fractured grit stone cliffs, the curves of the plateau’s edge leading over to the ‘Swine’s Tail’, the curiously uniform lines of shake holes far beneath us, the perilous drop off Black Shiver… it’s not about the summit today, so when we do venture up to the very top, we ignore the trig point, and instead take a jog around the entire plateau, stopping to talk about the routes up from Clapham, Horton, the Hill Inn… reminiscing of previous ascents. Many a walker, even locals have been confused more than once in poor visibility up here… add snow to the equation, and finding the path you want requires time and careful navigation.

We are reluctant to descend as the cloud is not burning off, even though it’s nearly noon. But we still have a good view of our next objectives, Tatham Wife Hole, Green Edge and an ancient wall running east to west from this limestone feature, then Lead Mine Moss, several lovely cairns and the lone Hawthorn tree surrounded by a vast and gleaming limestone pavement, today showing off its spring buds. We find a baby Hawthorn tree just nearby, doing well in its protective mesh cage, and a sheep’s skeleton in a deep gryke – obviously limestone pavement is not a clever place for sheep to roam.

Soon after this we are back in the mist, and the drop in temperature is noticeable. On with an extra layer and we jog down to the car, chatting excitedly about all our finds! To top off our perfect day, we head to Inglesport Café for a coffee and a slice of cake (buying two slabs of rocky road for the children as we feel guilty that they have been at school whilst we have had so much fun!) As our order is taken, Fran is just serving a full English breakfast to another customer, and suddenly I am very hungry! “ Mini English for you?” asks Fran. So we treat ourselves to a mini (still substantial) version of the Full English, where the coffee is included! Fully refuelled (and yes, we had the cake too!) we head back to Settle in time for school pick up, the only deadline of the day! What a privilege to have this special day off with my lovely husband!

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Catrigg Force

WalksPosted by Jo Wulf Wed, February 12, 2014 22:25:34
The Ribble River is huge today. Yet another day's rain is flowing off the peaks and pouring out of every orifice in the limestone cliffs in Ribblesdale, where you wouln't normally see a waterfall. An example of this is above Foredale Cottages at Helwith Bridge. Look up to the old quarry and you will see a tall chute of water, only flowing in the wettest weather. My friends and I decided to take a look at Catrigg Force or 'Foss'(Old Norse word, like many local place names in the Yorkshire Dales).

Off we set along the Ribble Way out of Settle, along the muddy riverside path, past the old mills, Langcliffe Weir to admire the recent hard work put in by volunteers planting trees at Knight Stainforth Caravan Park for the Ribble River Trust.

The next treat is Stainforth Foss -one to make kayakers think twice about today! This is a popular beauty spot in the summer, where on hot days, youngsters on exam leave can be found swinging out over the deep pools on ropes before plunging in to delight their friends. In October walkers pause for as long as it takes to see the salmon hurling themselves up this waterfall on their way upstream to their breeding ground. Today it is a spectacular sight compared to the last time I was here, paddling with my four-year old with a bucket and fishing net. Then we head through Stainforth village and carefully over the stepping stones by the village green and start the climb up to our goal.

Catrigg Force (Grid Ref: SD 832671) is a fabulous sight, requiring a slight detour from the bridleway leading out of the back of Stainforth. Care must be taken if you want to take a look from the top - it is a sheer drop where the water free falls into a smooth bowl shape, before it pours down the next tier to the bottom and continues down Stainforth Beck into the Ribble below. Estelle is suitably impressed when we descend to the bottom of the wall, where we all enjoy a hot drink and a flapjack before continuing our walk upwards, through Winskills Farm and descending to Langliffe via one of my favourite paths, where you get a really good view of the ancient field systems - 'lynchets' and 'lazybeds'. So where to next? It's still raining... Scaleber Force girls? Janet's Foss? Gordale Scar - now that would be good, woudn't it?

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