Two out of three in the Dales

There are three fells in the Dales that share the name Whernside, only one of which is one of the so called Three Peaks. On a hot afternoon recently I ran over the other two, both of which I prefer in character to the higher, better known and more popular of the trio.
The walkers I passed on the way up, climbing steeply on the walled track towards Cam Head from Kettlewell (centre left above) seemed more bemused than confused but clearly struggled to fathom why anyone would choose to run up the path they were descending, on such an afternoon.
I did pause once or twice on the way up just to take in the view... 
And I have to admit, that once on the high plateau I sat for some time, soaking in the sun, listening to the skylarks and curlews, warm air rising from the long grasses as I contemplated the descent to come. In fact I had run much the same route less than a week previously - and on an equally hot day had decided on a more lightweight approach, leaving the camera behind. I had been glad of it on the ascent, but dropping through one of the most beautiful valleys in the Dales, I'd wished I could have captured the idyllic scene - the intense colours and heat reminding me of days in the Alps, dropping through lush meadows, crickets whirring as small trout darted for cover in the clear stream below. This time I took the camera. 
And took very few pictures on the way up. It was enough just to keep plodding steadily away but after cooling off at the top of the steep climb to Nidd Head, I continued up to and through the boulder field and bog cottons that characterise the summit of Great Whernside.
The summit cairn at 704m, the bulk of which is climbed in two steep sections of roughly 2km each. A further 12km of more level ground as well as some descent and re-ascent had taken me out towards Scar House reservoir, returning over Little Whernside to cross my outward route and climb Nidd Head before running the beautiful broad ridge to my high point of the day.
Looking across the valley into which I descended, beneath Hag Dyke...
...the colours and smells of summer no less intense than the week before and I stopped once again, sitting with my feet in the stream - simple pleasures...
...before following the valley floor on a twisting narrow path above the stream.
Just short of Kettlewell I stopped briefly once again for a last look into this wonderful, secretive valley, unsure how it has managed to elude me for so long.

Comments

really beautiful. It has been years since I spent any time in the Dales. Pics make me want to go back :-)
Will Herman said…
It'll never happen - I mean it's practically Scotland...
Will Herman said…
...mind you if you're heading north and fancy a detour into the the Dales, maybe give me a shout.
Cheers
Will