All roads lead to Rome

Classic Yorkshire wall that: Chris - nodding at the limestone walls between which we climbed. Classic Yorkshire weather I thought, pushing on through the clag. But my optimism based upon a forecast which called for pockets of bright sunshine would soon be rewarded.
Indeed things had cleared briefly earlier - glimpses of sunlit moorland snatched as we drove towards Settle - above Horton it had thickened again, warm moist air clinging to solitary oaks in the sodden pastures above a slippery limestone track.
Gates are a feature of biking in the dales, appearing with unerring accuracy in just the right place to interrupt a fast descent. Not always a bad thing - steps in the wall adjacent to this gate seemed to lead nowhere in particular, except to a gaping hole in the hillside...
...into which falls Cam Beck. Bolts adorning the entrance prompted thoughts of a different sort of descent - one for a dry day perhaps.
Climbing on the Pennine Way - first just the hint of blue sky above - then parting walls of mist, the sun burning through beyond...
...abruptly giving way to crystal clear air, the dales submerged beneath rivers of mist, Pen-y-rising above in the distance. We would pass beneath the broad slopes of Plover Hill and Pen-y-ghent later - much later, but for now the gentle climb to reach Dodd Fell continued...
...punctuated a little too regularly by breathers - to take in the view.
Ingleborough looms above Ribblesdale and the climb from Cam End, which forms part of the old Roman Road from Bainbridge in the north to Ingleton, around 50km south-west. Not quite Rome, but a start perhaps for those wearying of life at VIROSIDVM.
A glimpse of Langstrothdale from directly beneath the summit of Drumaldrace (614m), where the highlight of the route starts. 
Dropping 300m over 8km, the descent of Cam Road (bridleway) is surprisingly fast and with just one kink that the Romans never ironed out, unsurprisingly straight.
A short stretch of tarmac towards Semer Water - a glacial lake awash with legends of giants battling devils and sunken settlements. The road itself is also frequently awash and we crossed deep flood debris to reach the climb visible above on the opposite side of the valley.
A good honest bit of downhill first though.
And then a slog up onto Stake Moss and a return to the mist. We broke out of it again on the fast drop into Langstrothdale, a beautiful valley and one of my favourite areas in The Dales. With the light now failing and the clag dropping once more, we saw very little of it.
Here it is in summer.
Amongst the pines we lost the last of the light and on the track that leads on across Birkwith Moor - geared up to finish in the dark with an interesting descent.
58km all told - not bad for a short winter's day.

Comments

Ian said…
There's no such thinbg as bad weather Will! Love the second and third images here

Kind regards
robpealing said…
I enjoy seeing your pictures of the areas I cut my hillwalking and rock climbing teeth, these are particularly good ones.
Thanks for posting them, they bring back many happy memories.
Will Herman said…
Thanks Ian and Rob - some more of a two wheeled flavour from the Dales, on their way.
Cheers
Will