Horton in Ribblesdale to Fountains Fell

Wednesday 11th April, 2012 – 12.7 miles

Our last day of the Easter trip to Malham.

We drove over the hills to Horton in Ribblesdale and parked at the roadside. We followed the Pennine Way southwards, making the gentler ascent of Pen y Ghent. The way was up a walled farm track with views of Pen y ghent across a small limestone valley, Horton Scar, a bit like a miniature Malham.

I was rather glad we had decided to stay for the extra day, as we had warm sunshine, blue skies and white fluffy clouds … until we began the main ascent, when a sudden shower meant we dug in the rucksacks for waterproof jackets!

It was very quiet on the way up. We passed a family with toddlers, and a slow couple of about our age, and we were passed by two speedy fell runners. However it was quite busy at the top, and on the way down, as most people choose to go up the steep route, and come down the gentler side. There are a couple of very steep, but fairly short, descents – I took it slowly and cautiously, but it wasn’t as bad as some descents!

Wind and hail showers meant that we layered up again, and had lunch in the shelter of a drystone wall at the bottom of the main peak.

We continued to the road, then up Fountains Fell. It was a bit muddy underfoot, and felt like quite a long slog uphill. It dried out and got a bit rockier near the top. We crossed a drystone wall, entering a National Trust area, with warnings of open mine shafts – there was a very impressive one fenced off near the wall. We walked a few hundred yards further to get to the point where we had stopped on Sunday – we could see much more this time round! We might have continued to the wall, had we been able to see it, but it would have been a bit too far to go to the road.

We returned over the lower foothills of Pen y Ghent, reaching the road to the south of Horton in Ribblesdale.

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