Whernside 15-08-2018 – Leaders Arnold, John & Derek

Whernside 15-08-2018 – Leaders Arnold, John & Derek

We had a good turnout of 21 today, despite a miserable – but not terrible – weather forecast.  With us today were John & Jennifer for their second walk with us, and Susan G, for her second long walk with us.  After the events of the day, I sincerely hope that we will see them again!

All started well as we set off in warm but drizzly conditions towards the mighty Ribblehead Viaduct, the building of which was the subject of the 2016 ITV drama Jericho.  The viaduct carries the Settle to Carlisle railway, which was saved from closure by Michael Portillo, Conservative Transport Minister, in 1989.  We walked north along the viaduct, before turning west under it on the Dales High Way – but without the usual view of Ingleborough through the arches.  This soon took us to our first break in a bit of  limestone pavement with some useful stones to sit on (thanks to John for spotting these).  Soon after, coats were being discarded as we started climbing along ‘A Pennine Journey’ trail.

At this point we were thinking ‘OK, no views, but not much rain, either’ – but not so.  As we were about to start the long and (at times) very steep ascent towards the summit, heavy rain began to fall, accompanied by a battering wind!!  At this point, the decision to do the ascent in a clockwise direction was amply justified, because the wind and rain were on our backs, and we were going up – not down – the slippery limestone steps.  We met many a walker who was not so lucky, with some of them being in very inappropriate gear for the afternoon.  At the top, we lunched in the lee of a wall, through which I slipped to get the picture that I desired – me at the top of Whernside, at 2400 feet!  There were others for whom this was also a first – Linda, Yvonne, Susan G (I think), John B & Jennifer – and Joan, who was really chuffed to have climbed all three of the Yorkshire Peaks this year; I hope she is OK after her fall.  By this time, of course, Steve’s camera task was just about impossible, but he did manage to get some interesting visual effects, and definitely recorded the awful conditions very well.

After lunch, my fellow leaders shot off into the mist, and I led from the rear like all the best generals!  A little way along the summit path, gentleman Tom was advising Susan G not to use the wrist straps in such conditions in case of a fall.  Being a very good teacher, he promptly slipped and fell, right at the edge of a pretty sheer 400 foot drop, demonstrating that without the wrist straps on there was little chance of breaking a wrist!!  Again, I hope his hand is OK.

Excitement over, we followed the mostly paved path down to the railway, and were amused by a couple of mountain bikers trying to cross something of a raging torrent; turns out that there are people who are dafter than us, after all.  Then it was along the railway line and back to the cars, before convening at our favourite Delicious Deli & Café in Gisburn.  Thanks to all who came today and pretended to enjoy it, thanks to Steve for the pics, and Roy for back marking in difficult conditions.

As this is probably my last full length walk leading duty for Rossie Ramblers, it seemed fitting that the final Yorkshire Peak should be a real challenge, rather than a stroll – a bit like life, really.  I will still be coming on most of the longer walks, and hope to lead some of the shorter ones, so you won’t see the back of me just yet!

Write up Arnold, pics Steve L.  Appended here are the route stats and profile.

If you wish to see a static view of the pics all in one go, then click here.

There is a link to the slideshow here.  You will need to click within the black page that opens up to see the show.


  1. Looks like I missed yet another “interesting” day. As ever Arnold, your write-ups make me chuckle. See you soon hopefully.

  2. The only way I want to see the back of Arnold is if I’m walking behind him! Well done.

  3. Rosemary

    Well sounds as if I missed a right good wetting. Sorry to hear that Arnold has led his last long walk, but grateful to him for all the leading he has done in the past.

  4. Congratulations on a wonderful day Arnold; however, I must say I would have preferred it if you had not bowed out from leading “big” walks, with such a bang!! Are you really sure? Would you not like to have another go at Whernside next year, on a fine weather day?

  5. Graeme Adlum

    Wow. What a day. An exhilarating walk in conditions that tested the waterproofs!! and despite this I enjoyed it. As our leader (Arnold) said at the top….what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

    Thanks for leading Arnold and a great way to bow out from leading “big” walks.

    Whilst Steve had a very difficult job I think his photos perfectly capture the walk and the weather. Well done Steve.

  6. Well, the weather didn’t put me off, as I am hoping to join you on many more of your walks. Thanks to all for organising the walk, at least we all made it, hopefully the two who had falls are ok today, especially Tom who I was with when he fell. Looking at the great photos (thanks to Steve) I hadn’t realised just how horrible the weather was, although I was like a drowned rat when I got back to the car. Did’nt know it was Arnolds last walk as leader, wishing him well and hope to see him on others.

  7. Well done to everyone who battled the elements to do the walk. The weather looked awful. Hope everyone has dried out. Excellent photos Steve under awful conditions. Congratulations Arnold on the walk and the write up. Glad we haven’t seen the back of you just yet!

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