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Ramblers: Ingleborough and the First Curlews of Spring.
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2015, 03:24:21 PM »
Manchester Coach Rambles Group trip to Ingleton 15th March 2015


Ingleborough and the First Curlews of Spring.


Spring was very much in the air as the Manchester Coach Rambles Group Coach excursion to Ingleton drove from Junction 36 of the M6 through Hornby. The undulating lowland fields were full of ewes with their recently born lambs but our walking party had to wait until well into the afternoon before we tasted Spring. Our walk was truly a walk of contrast between the harshness of climbing Ingleborough and the low-lying drumlin area between Chipping and Ingleton at the end of the day.


The climb from Ingleton to Ingleborough, one of the Three Peaks was into a cold north-easterly wind. The limestone and gritstones of the Yorkshire Dales may be of the same geological age as in the Peak District but the landscapes of the two areas look very different. The gritstone moorlands lie adjacent to and independent from the limestone dome of the Peak District. In the Dales the younger gritstones lie more or less horizontally on top of the limestone offering more resistance to the weathering forces of nature than the limestone and the consequence is a ‘table mountain’ formation: the grits and shales scream their defiance at the weathering forces of nature and remain as isolated outcrops. The Dales limestones boast pavements, clints, grikes and weird shapes and columns unseen in the White Peak.


The climb from Ingleton was gradual and steady at first but the transition from gradually ascending well drained limestone to a brutal steep ascent when reaching the soggy shales and grits coincided with a stronger headwind which became more biting as we ascended. Lunch was taken in a hollow as we ascended and we didn’t hang around the summit for too long.


Gaping Ghyll is one of the largest natural caves in Britain (and according to my old geography teacher is larger than St Paul’s Cathedral) and we were to descend past the hollow where the stream flowing down from the moors drops through the pot hole to fall more than 300 feet to the floor of Gaping Ghyll cave.


Next came the steep descent down the spectacular gorge at Trow Gill, now dry because the stream which once flowed down it now falls into Gaping Ghyll Cave but the stream re- emerges spectacularly from a pothole at the  base of the cliff adjacent to popular Ingleborough Cave.


From here down to Clapham and back to Ingleton we could have been in a different world and the temperature was much milder. As we passed the small lake just above Clapham village, swifts were wheeling and turning: they were back from their winter holiday in Africa though I am sure that there were not many flies to be there for the taking yesterday. I heard my first curlews of the year inspired by the afternoon warm to practice their singing (and no doubt dancing too) as the mating season approaches. Lambs, daffodils and budding trees were to be seen as we passed Newby to return to Ingleton. Spring was very much in the air.


If you fancy one of our three walks at Ambleside on Sunday 29th March 2015 with Manchester Coach Rambles Group go to www.manchester-ramblers.org.uk and click ‘Coach Rambles Group’ for details.


Next Ramblers Public Transport walk Sunday22nd March 2015 Chinley to Edale. Catch 0922 train from Piccadilly, 0943 from Marple book Edale return.

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