DALES 30 — Drumaldrace

I do not know who Drumald was, or how he got involved in a race. I got involved with Drumaldrace through the reflection that – in normal years – I spend a lot more hill days in the Highlands than the Dales, and so perhaps I ought to fill in a few Dales corners to level things out. Quiet days during the Plague Year.

Drumaldrace and nearby Dodd Fell Hill are hills just south of Hawes, and from Hawes we walked them in a circular round of about 5.5 hours. These are the eighteenth and twenty-ninth highest points in the National Park.

Somehow, I'd never heard of them in the several decades I've been walking on Pennine hills. But last week I heard about the “Dales 30” List, which is all the 30 summits of 2000 feet in the NP.

These are, of course, rounded moorland without the charisma of the “usual suspects” of Penyghent etc. Almost deserted of walkers too. The going is generally fairly easy, and the views are very extensive. (except in mist). It must be admitted, that there is an ancient highway running athwart the ridge, plus the Gayle-Yockenthwaite road which crosses it. So for an hour of our walk we encountered some off-road bikes and 4X4s. But at least the clanking was not the armour of an occupying army (such as the Romans). I urged toleration.

For the last 12 yeas, since Compleating the Munros, I have fought shy of any other lists. Numerous sensational mountains have been enjoyed in their own right, and not as stepping stones to “doing the Corbetts”. But the Dales 30 is only a small list, close to home, and reveals aspects previously neglected.

“To every thing there is a Season

And a time for every purpose under Heaven”.


(with help from Joan Baez)

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