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As we were approaching, Pen-y-ghent was peeking at us through the mist in a tempting manner! In my opinion, it was the perfect kind of weather for a good walk. Cold, and sunny at the same time. It invites you to march so as not to get chilly.
I could tell that the ground around here gets heavy footfall and is normally a quagmire, but today, it was frozen solid. Excellent, no wet feet!
You can't really tell from the picture above, but when walking towards Pen-y-ghent across the fell from Plover Hill I got the impression that it probably wouldn't be very pleasant if it was unfrozen.
We ended up joining forces with a lone hiker on the ascent of Plover Hill, he seemed like a really nice guy. He was a teacher from the Merseyside area. I've seen this happen a few times on hikes, and I think it's pretty cool how people who don't know each other at all, but who have a common interest (in this case the outdoors) can just be all like "hey how you doing?", and then hike together, for hours in this case. Awesome.
It was the young chap closest to the cameras first time on a hike. The guy in the red is his uncle and is showing him the ropes concerning safety in the hills, navigation, making sure your footwear is appropriate, and so on.
The boy did really well! I think we notched up around 7 miles, nothing too long, but long enough to give him aching legs. He did start to hang at the back towards the end, but no moaning or anything like it. He kept up with the pace at all times. Congratulations Adam.
The snow only seemed to be on one side of the fell, mainly on Plover Hill, and to top it off it was frozen as well (pretty treacherous). A couple of other hikers warned me of it when descending my ascent route, and to be truthful, I ended up on my hands and knees a couple of times uttering expletives. It's all part of the fun!
Considering it was a midweek hike there seemed to be a lot of people around. I suppose it was halt-term-holidays, and I do accept the outdoors doesn't solely belong to me, so I'll let them off.
I am guilty of overlooking the Yorkshire moors as a hiking destination. I did this as when I joined the hiking club, I had the privilege of touring to many destinations around the U.K. In comparison to places like the Lake District and Scotland, Yorkshire doesn't greet you with the same amount of 'wow factor'.
I'm beginning to learn there is a minor downside to the more visually impressive areas of the U.K. These days they are packed out. If you have ever tried to drive around the Lake District on a Sunday, you will know exactly what I mean!
As we dropped off the summit back towards Settle there was absolutely no snow on the ground at all. This side of the hill was getting all the mid-day sun and it seemed like a totally different walk entirely, it was rather a pleasant descent.
I'm pretty sure Yorkshire will be visited again in the near future, you never know I may even attempt the 'Yorkshire three peaks challenge' someday (not for a while though).
It just so happened that the lone hiker was parked in the same car-park as us, so he ended up walking all the way back to the finish point. He had a nose for a beer so disappeared pretty quickly when we got back. We enjoyed a pint of tea in the local cafe.
It turns out the cafe was a stop off point when Andy did the Pennine way some thirty years ago. He was checking his entry in the log the cafe keeps of 'Pennine way walkers'. He did take a photo of the entry, so I'll see if I can get a copy of it and add it to this post at a later date.
I can't wait for my next outing, I think I'll keep it local. The Tolkein path near Preston sounds good too me!