The trip to Ribblehead on the 9th to the 11th of February was initially planned by Emma W as a club trip to the Lakes, replanned as a private trip to the hut and ultimately became a small group of us taking up the six bunk spaces and more coming along on Saturday to walk the Yorkshire Three Peaks. The weather leading up to the weekend had been appalling. However, the conditions dried out, the wind eased and the snow melted giving us a couple of unusually warm and pleasant days for the time of year.

The hut which belongs to the Gritstone Club was great. A basic 'eco' hut but plenty of space, good facilities and a decent stove which had fuel provided. Five of us met at the hut on Friday evening. It's not easy to find in the dark so were joined later by Emma at the Station Inn at Ribblehead. We had a good meal at the pub and wandered back to the hut to plan for the following morning's walk.

At 0730 we started our walk from Ribblehead road junction where we had met Dave C. Nathan had let us know that he and Amy would be a few minutes late and would catch us up after we set off. Luckily the wifi signal from the Station Inn gave good reception almost as far as the hut because there was no mobile signal in the area.

The condition of the path was great. No ice and occasional soft snow and there were only short sections where it was soaked. Not quite the bog-fest that was widely expected. We reached Whernside summit very quickly and were on top of Ingleborough well before 12 noon.

The paths remained mostly good for the descent to Horton in Ribblesdale and across to Pen y Ghent. Some of the group picked up the pace and managed to get some distance ahead of those following on. There may have been ulterior motives for the burst of speed, however, the Crown was shut. We said goodbye to Amy and Nathan at Horton Station because they were heading back to civilisation for a surprise birthday party.

The summit of Pen y Ghent was the venue for a brief tasting session. Emma had expected to return to Ribblehead after only two summits so felt that an impromptu celebration was due and produced several very special and expensive samples of whisky. Wow! A warm glow within to keep us going for the last leg back to Ribblehead.

The daylight was fading as we neared the end of the 25 mile walk but thankfully, even along the valley, the paths remained mostly in good condition. As we closed in towards the Station Inn the pace again picked up and this time it was Emma leading the way. We had a table booked for 8pm but it wouldn't be good form to eat on an empty stomach.

Our menu choices had mostly been made the day before. Charley's dilemma was whether to order one steak pie or two. Tired legs and windswept faces made for an early finish at the pub. Dave C and Kate drove home towards York and the rest of us headed back to the hut. The night was not yet over. A grand selection of tapas and bottles helped to fuel the debrief of the day and in front of the open stove we all helped to make the world a better place.

On Sunday morning the weather was unexpectedly clear and dry. It had rained overnight and had been forecast to continue all day. After our long lie in until 0815 we spent a good while having breakfast and cleaning the hut. Derek had volunteered to sort out the composting toilet but was not abandoned, alone to his fate. When all was done Emma and Derek headed for home but Charley, Elise and Dave M went for another circular walk to visit the source of the River Ribble.

The source of the River Ribble, legendary birthplace of the ancient Lancastrian God of black pudding, Eckythump who gave his name to the martial art practiced in the northwest region of England, has long been on Charley's bucket list. It was more of a pilgrimage than a walk so the 10 mile round trip was easily worth the effort on such a glorious day. Elise too has ticked off another one from her bucket list that she didn't even know was there.

Another great day out on a great weekend. We really couldn't believe our luck with the weather and had a fun, very local, blast of a weekend in the Ribblehead Hut. Many thanks to Emma for organising the trip and to everyone for coming along, helping out and enjoying the walks and the good company.

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One Comment

  1. Stunning scenery and practical information!! Thanks Dave(^^)

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