Sunday, January 31st 2010

   

            

 

Walk: Grassington, Bycliffe Road, Mossdale Scar, Benfoot Brow, Crookacre Wood and Dales Way taking in  Swineber Scar and Conistone Pie
Start Point: Grassington National Parks car park Grid Reference: SE 002 637
Distance: 12.5 miles Ascent: 1,400 feet
Time: 6.5 hours    
Weather: Intermittent cloud and sun with a light but cold breeze
Comments: The official walk had to be cancelled so a small group headed over to the Yorkshire Dales to explore the area north of Grassington. Four members headed out of Grassington, meeting a group of men preparing to take some hawks for exercise on the hills. After a brief lesson on falconry we continued to make our way onto the hills where the ground was hard with frost but the remaining snow caused little difficulty - for a time! The Dales looked resplendent with walls being highlighted by banks of snow and the sun causing patches of pristine snow to sparkle. The enclosed lane was completely filled with snow to at least 2 feet in depth but solid enough to hold our weight and crisp enough to make walking relatively easy. Shortly after passing Mossdale Scar we headed higher onto the moorland - which looked rather like a lunar landscape where it wasn't covered in snow. This area of disused mines wasn't the most exciting part of the walk though crossing an icy Swath Gill in a ravine needed some car. After heading down to join the Dales Way we followed a level terrace high above the valley floor where the grassy ground made for easy walking as we headed back to Grassington. With good weather, great scenery and a relatively easy route the walk was enjoyed by all, particularly Karen who classed it as 'the best walk ever'!

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

The Methodist Church has a message for all passing walkers - check the windows

 

Getting ready to  . . .

 

take a Harris Hawk for some exercise

 

The snow is still banked quite high against the walls . . .

 

and there are numerous snow drifts

 

Aptly named Bare House is now derelict . . .

 

but provides a good spot for a morning break

 

A lone tree leads the eye to the valley of the River Skirfare in the distance . . .

 

but across Wharfedale we can just see the top of Kilnsey Crag with Hawkswick Clowder rising in the distance

 

Is that the same lone tree - from a different angle?

 

I don't think we'll manage to open this gate . . .

 

but we can just . . .

 

stride across it . . .

 

to enter an enclosed lane . . .

 

with about two feet of snow beneath our feet - fortunately the snow is solid and quite easy to walk on

 

Who needs to go the Mont Blanc??!!

 

A sunny spot for lunch

 

Reaching Mossdale Scar . . .

 

Ian takes a closer look . . .

 

and gets a great shot over Mossdale Beck . . .

 

to a derelict house . . .

 

situated at the junction of three valleys

 

Ian tries out a 'snow seat' . . .

 

good job it's not avalanche conditions

 

Swarth Gill was much more difficult to cross than it looks!

 

Heading down towards Kettlewell (thankfully we are not going that far)

 

Walking back along the Dales Way, Swineber Scar is a good viewpoint as we stop for an afternoon break

 

Passing Conistone Pie . . .

 

Ian decides to take a closer look - along with two other walkers

 

Then he detours to get some great shots . . .

 

of limestone outcrops . . .

 

snow . . .

 

and limestone pavement . . .

 

with the mandatory lone tree

 

Then it's on along the Dales Way back to Grassington

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