Ribblehead to Dentdale via Whernside, 13th April 2015

We don’t often get to Dentdale. It’s a little out of the way but really beautiful. I remember it best from when we did the Dales Way some years ago. I knew I could get over there starting from Ribblehead. I like this idea of starting in one valley and walking to another. I started by the famous viaduct and headed straight up to Whernside, and I mean straight up. The path I took was very steep and eroded and I probably wouldn’t recommend it as anything other than a quick way up.

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Looking north-ish from where the straight-up-the-side path meets the main north-south ridge just a little south of the top of whernside.
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Whernside summit trig point. The narrow stile is to prevent fat yorkshire people from getting into Cumbria.

Very few people about, which is unusual for Whernside. At the top I went straight over and down the other side. You can go left towards Kingsdale or, as I did, right towards Dentdale. It wasn’t looking as lush and green as I remember because I remember being there only on sunny summer days and by now it was distinctly grey (or is that a contradiction?)

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Descending west from Whernside summit, looking south down Kingsdale.
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Descending west from Whernside summit looking north into Deepdale (middle distance running south to north) which runs into Dentdale (running west to east).
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The Howgill fells in the distance
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Winding wall on Deepdale side.
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A barn in Deepdale.
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Fairly typical dry-stone wall in Deepdale.

I’d hoped to use the dales way for the way back but measuring my progress and the map I just didn’t have the time so I returned over a higher and bleaker way following the Craven Way along a track that goes over the north end of the whernside ridge and down again to the railway. There was quite a nice surprise as I got there to see this waterfall in Force Gill, then a less nice surprise as it started to rain heavily about ten minutes before I got the car.

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Force Gill waterfall.
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