At the weekend I made my way up Ingleborough, generally known as one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and Yorkshire's second highest peak. The route I chose was quite conventional with a start at Clapham, a very picturesque Yorkshire village. The majority of photographs of Ingleborough as quite distinct, showing the same features. But the is a side to Ingleborough that is very different to the norm, but still a little familiar.
Parking in Clapham is pretty good, although may fill up quickly in the summer. It is 'pay and display' with a good public convenience.
The route I took initially started near the church passed east under the tunnels and Encombe Bridge, although they may well be one and the same. The tunnels are quite eerie and produced some nice results photographically.
The path continues north up 'Long Lane' and as you work your way up here you start to get glimpses of the scenery that had, up until now, been quite hidden by the terrain.
About a kilometre up the track you can see Ingleborough Cave down in the valley bottom.
On around another kilometre and there is a stile over the wall with a path leading down and across to Trow Gill.
Trow Gill is the first of several features of the area and worth a visit as the path works it's way up through the back of the Gill. The path is very rocky and should be approached with care.
The path passes Clapham Bottoms and Hurnel Moss, heading towards Gaping Gill, where Ingleborough comes into view. I have to say this view of Ingleborough's eastern slopes is very different to the western slopes in character, looking more like Whernside to me.
The path up onto Little Ingleborough starts off nice and steady, but steepens quite a lot as you work up to the rockier areas.
Looking back at this point I was quite surprised to see that although there were blue skies above, the haze was very thick, with visibility only a few miles.
Once up on Little Ingleborough, the main peak of Ingleborough with it's summit plateau is very clear.
At the foot of the summit plateau is a very interesting plaque. It appears that theories have changed regarding Ingleborough's stone circles. They aren't thought to be a fortification anymore, but instead the theory is that they were more ceremonial in nature, and a thousand years older than first thought.
Once up onto the Ingleborough summit plateau it can be worth seeking the shelter near the trig point of to the western end. The wind can be quite strong here with such a wide flat area.
After a 15 minute stop I headed off the summit suing the Simon Fell Breast route that I heard was quite a long way off and back to Clapham. They are not wrong on this fact. But it is worth the effort.
As you work your way down it can be worth taking a look back at Ingleborough, because at the this point, to me anyway, it looks even more like Whernside.
The path, used frequently as part of the three peaks route becomes extremely muddy, winding it's way through the limestone pavements.
After around 4 kilometres from the summit you find a signpost on a crossroads of paths that conveniently points south west for Clapham, passing through Sulber Gate.
As you work your way down this section of path it is a good idea to keep looking to your left. Eventually Moughton Scars come into view, some of the most dramatic limestone pavement and features I have ever seen.
As you pass through Long Scar glimpses of Ingleborough can be seen occasionally before the path starts to fall away towards Trow Gill and back down the path into Clapham.
Clapham itself is worth a walk round as there is a very nice character to the village, including the waterfall fed by 'The Lake'.
As a side note, looking back at the comment on my Whernside post:
To quote Wikipedia 'Ingleborough is the second highest mountain in the Yorkshire Dales, at 723 metres (2,372 ft). It is one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the other two being Whernside, at 736 metres (2,415 ft), and Pen-y-ghent, at 694 metres (2,277 ft). Ingleborough is frequently climbed as part of the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, which is a 24-mile (38-km) circular challenge walk starting and finishing in Horton in Ribblesdale. If done anti-clockwise Ingleborough is the last mountain climbed, and ascent is from Chapel-le-Dale.'
It would seem, according to the comment on my Whernside walk post, that this might not entirely true. If Whernside's summit now resides in Cumbria, then Ingleborough is now Yorkshire's highest peak. But I have been in touch with the BMC, sending an email to make enquiries about what really is Yorkshire's highest peak. According to the email from Rob Dyer, their Access and Conservation Officer 'As far as I’m aware Whernside is in Yorkshire, being within the Yorkshire Dales National Park.'
So if anyone can shed some official light on this I would much appreciate it. I'm not saying either piece of information is wrong, but it would be nice to know for sure. Looking on the Ordnance Survey map, the border between Yorkshire and Cumbria runs parallel along the ridge and through the summit of Whernside.