Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Still with me? Good! As usual you can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

The attentive amongst the congregation will be aware that three of the four idiots retreated to softer climes down south, leaving just the one idiot in the Yorkshire Dales to continue the adventure.


After hauling Rick’s wine lake from his car boot to his cellar and delivering a fridge to a chap in the village (it’s what friends are for) I set off once more for the hills. Today was a totally different kettle of fish. If you wanted a dixie full of silver-shiny mackerel with glass-bright eyes, today was the day to be outside. I set off in virtual shirt-sleeves. Visibility was pin sharp and the wind keen. Very keen, in fact so I put my jacket back on.

I had enjoyed Crummack Dale so much on Friday that I was once more strolling up into its secret charms.


You notice the little things that would otherwise pass you by as you walk on your own up Crummack Dale. Today, it was the little splashes busily cascading through the emerald enclosures; their springs bubbling from beneath glistening limestone steps at the backs of the fields. This spring water bubbles and flashes brilliantly in the sharp sunlight, tugging at the grasses on either side.


I scampered past two chaps in bobble hats, britches & boots, intent on having the views at the head of the dale for myself. I had a rucksack full of food and was looking for a grand spot for lunch, which I found as I clambered my way through Moughton Scar and into the limestone pavement.

I was working my way back over to Clapham Bottoms, as it sounded like a place that really should be investigated, over wonderful limestone moorland. It’s barely 1300 feet up but the enormous views over to Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Fountains Fell make it a fabulous spot to be, in the wild, sharp wind.



This poor quality video does give a flavour of the place and the wind:

Then it was a delightful push into the wind down into the Bottoms and the track below Thwaite, into the tunnels and down into sleepy Clapham.



The pub in Clapham serves much better beer than the one we visited in Horton and so some Black Sheep were dealt with in a confident style in front of the fire. I had then to drag my carcase out of there to climb back through the tunnels to regain the Pennine Bridleway above Austwick as the sun was slipping sideways into the secrets of the Forest of Bowland.




It was just an amble down the sleepy lanes into the village as the dampness seeped into the stone roofs and the sunset silvered the window panes.


Back at base, Rick & Lindsey again looked after me handsomely, knocking the top off a lovely Vacqueyras and polishing off one of Lindsey’s stash of single malts. A perfect end to a great weekend.


  1. Thanks, Alan.
    I was a bit down and that fairly perked me up.
    What goes around, comes around, eh ?

  2. Sometimes it's good to get rid of the lads and stroll solo!

  3. What a super day out!
    I was really envious having spent a wet weekend in the lakes.
    Then the video sound track gave a hit of just how cold and blustery it must have been.
    Mind you a pint of Black Sheep and a log fire wil cure most things!

  4. Ooooh lovely! That's more like it. You've got me fancying a slice of Hovis and a bit of soup.
    Nice photies Mr Sloman.
    (Word verification: 'supper' - is Blogger taking the p***?)

  5. Ah so that is what Crummack Dale looks like, I did wonder. Good to see that you still had to battle at least one element, it would have been no good if the weather had been perfect.

  6. OM: Good to see you up & about. I hope all went well?
    Indeed. A bit of effort to stay put with a few glasses of Vino Collapso is usually enough to have me glued to the settee to await the next day's weather.

  7. Wonderful....I really liked your photos....Thanks.


  8. Andy: "get rid of the lads".... they abandoned me to the stormy North Yorkshire weather!

  9. Geoff: You are absolutely right. A pint of Black Sheep and a log fire does cure most things. TWO pints of Black Sheep, on the other hand, sorts just about everything out.

  10. Mark: There is definitely some lead-swinging going on around here. If you are at home you should be in that kitchen sorting out the supper instead of whiling away the day on the internetwebbything.

  11. James: Yes, the element was challenged and defeated. It almost pinched victory though as I was dropping down into Clapdale, as a mountain-bikisterchappy was almost blown on top of me.

  12. Trevor: Thank you. It's hard to take a wrong'un up in the Dales with the weather as it was.

  13. Glad you got a good walk on the Sunday Alan, I was indeed very close to your route. You're video certainly captures the "Breezy" day, I'm surprised you could hold the camera steady at all. Crummackdale is a real gem. I am always in awe of you folks who make the long trek north, your enthusiasm is infectious, could of course be an overdose of Black Sheep tho'!

  14. So.
    You kept all the really good weather for yourself on Sunday eh.......
    Love the sunset photo's
    Amazing the wind effect you can get being across the microphone :)
    I did think of recording the find noise in the tent on the Friday night.

  15. Enjoyed hearing the roaring of the wind...and remembering why I don't go out on days like that (lol).

    Some great atmospheric pictures Alan!

    As for the 4 Idiots of the previous looked an "interesting" expedition although I was concerned that the conversations looked to be centred around the merits of various tents. I suppose you discussed stoves as well! Please tell me you didn't?! It would out!

  16. Al: I now live even further than before from the "hills of the north" and a trip takes careful planning. It would be lovely to live next to them but I really don't know if I could do the cold wet winters that you all seem to get up there.
    I am used to cold dry winters with a bit more sunshine...
    Maybe France? But then again, they don't have Black Sheep.

  17. Mad'n'Bad: That wind noise... It was the beer and pickled onion combo.

  18. Ken: Straighten yourself up, man!

    There was no discussion about stoves, sleeping bags (sorry, sleeping "systems"), socks, plimmies, or any other backpacking paraphernalia.

    The tent thing sort of slipped out because Andy's broke quite catastrophically. I promise it won't happen again.

    I'll just go and pour myself a large one and check myself over for any damage caused by that little accident.

    No selling out here, No Sir!

    (But come to think of it, there will shortly be a small gear review... but I'll skip that one in quietly before anyone notices...)

  19. Some stunning photos there Alan - been a while since I've been up there - I must correct that, big fan of limestone scenery.

    I'm up that way on Friday but I'll be going under the fells not over them - a spot of caving - another one of my mad wet outdoor activities

  20. Andy: I suggest, if going down into the Stygian gloom of the limestone underworld, that you sport Mrs S'n'S's romper suit for a bit of extra warmth...

  21. beautiful images Alan, especially the light in that first one. Sounds like a good day out

  22. David: Thank you. I have to say on that on that day it was tricky to take a duff picture.


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