Foundering on Horse Head

After the hard névé of the lakeland fells a week ago, the deep, soft and wet snow in the Dales a week later provided an altogether different challenge.
Breaking trail in fresh snow is always hard work. Doing so while trying to run a steep ascent is debilitating. But fun if you like that sort of thing. Or perhaps, as one passing walker commented, simply indicative of being not right, in the head. 
Conditions were no more right on it. Horse Head that is. Leaving Arncliffe and following the river towards Halton Gill, we'd climbed through a mix of mud and slush before meeting the deeper drifts on higher ground. Most were thigh deep at worst and only occasionally more than a few yards in width, although I broke through one a little later that left me standing in a hidden beck, my eyes level with the route ahead.
Foundering on the ridge, following it as I'd intended back towards Arncliffe was clearly going to be cold and time-consuming business, and so we turned, retracing our steps a short distance to take in Horse Head, crossing the wall immediately beneath the trip point - a simple matter with more solid snow drifts five feet deep on either side...
...before dropping back to the valley floor, a last view of Pen-y-ghent before the weather closed in.

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