Wharfedale Three Peaks (April 2024)

Saturday the 27th of April Brian Y and Charley drove up to Kettlewell to meet up with Kate, Andrew and Elise at 8am to start the Wharfedale Three Peaks, which include Great Wernside, Buckden Pike, and Birks Fell. With 1200 meters of ascent and a distance of 21 miles it sounds less challenging  than the Yorkshire Three Peaks, but with less tracks, more fields and more bog, it was expected to be just as testing.

Indeed, as we approached the summit of Great Bogside, we found ourselves immersed in hip-deep bog, with more to be expected at Bogden Pike. This pessimism or optimism (depending on preference) faded like snow in the sun when we were greeted by a red carpet welcome in the form of fresh limestone pavement. This made our descent down to Cray very pleasant, where we were warmly welcomed by a set lunch table adorned with flowers.

We then followed the river up to Yockenthwaite, where we crossed the bridge over the Wharfe and started our final ascent on Birks Fell. The climb involved a pleasant walk over a grassy slope, and it appeared we would bag this peak with ease. However, with the trig point in sight we encountered the crux of the journey. An impressive wall kept away any unwanted visitors from the summit. This obstacle can be navigated through various routes, with the most optimal being through the gate on the left. Eventually, we all made it and we enjoyed a fantastic view on all of the more famous Yorkshire Three Peaks.

The ~5 mile descent back towards Kettlewell was long and boggy, but not unpleasant. On the way down and in the pub we agreed the 10-hour walk had offered a great variety in areas and views, and had been a brilliant alternative to the more crowded parts of the Dales. Recommended.

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  1. Nice one Charley! Thanks for organising the trip and for letting us know how much you enjoyed it. Hope your boots, socks and trousers have dried out!

  2. Beautiful scenery! Beautiful people!

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