Present: Sarah (organiser), Bruce, Alan, Claire, Paula, Dave W, Maggie, Gary, Pokey, Annie, Ange, Mick, Ayla

On Friday evening we congregated at a packed campsite in Horton-in-Ribblesdale – fortunately, thanks to Ange and Mick arriving early we managed to secure a group of pitches together. As usual, once all the tents were up (even Maggie’s) there were a few drinks before bed.

Saturday morning was an early start for Alan, Claire, Dave and Paula, as they set off to do the Three Peaks. The route, which takes in Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough, is 26 miles long – or 27, if you take into account Alan’s “shortcut” to get up Pen-y-Ghent. Rather than treating it as a time trial, they decided to make the most of the sunshine and the Old Peculier on the way round, and returned to Horton 13 hours later with a few aching muscles.

The rest of the group, citing lack of fitness/ability/inclination to get up for a 7am start, did a 12-mile walk up Ingleborough, over Little Ingleborough and down via Gaping Gill. Mick carried Ayla all the way in her sling, which generated a few comments from people we passed – the most baffling of which was “Is that a real baby?”. The top of Ingleborough was busy, with lots of people taking advantage of the good weather, but the chosen route down was delightfully quiet (up until the path into Horton, where we were overtaken by a small horde trying to hit the 12-hour cutoff time for the Three Peaks Challenge). We had a couple of drinks in the beer garden at the Crown Inn at the end of the walk, and then returned to the site which by now was taking on the appearance of a refugee camp. We still had space for the traditional Saturday night BBQ and campfire, though.

One peak is quite enough

Maggie contemplates the quick route down (Ange)

Sunday morning brought the forecast showers, along with some very un-forecast 30mph gusts of wind. Bruce woke up several people at 7am, hammering in some very heavy-duty tent pegs that would have been more at home in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The majority of the group embarked on a 10-12 mile walk along the Ribble Way to Helwith Bridge (spotting an unfortunate tent in the river en route) and then up to Pen-y-Ghent and Plover Hill. The evening was spent in the Crown, and involved delicious food, Alan keeping himself to a strict quota of 4-and-a-half pints of OP, and a salutory lesson for Maggie: never go to the bar with your boot laces undone, especially when Pokey’s around…

Monday was showery again, and we packed up in a much quieter campsite. Some of the group diverted to Malham for a walk to Malham Tarn and Gordale Scar, before heading back south in (typically) steadily improving weather.

Sarah Davies

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