If you have been following my previous two posts you will know that they have been about The Howgill Fells – a small(ish) iced gem type of hill nestled between the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.
For some unexplicable reason they are rarely visited (although easy to get to) – most people haven’t even heard of them. In fact I am guilty too preferring the comfortable Dales (which I know well) or the Lakes where I like to scramble and puff & pant climbing ‘proper’ mountains.
But I had recently spied them from the summit of Wernside mountain and thought I would have to see what they were all about.
So early one beautiful frosty morning I met Mark and we headed out to climb ‘The Calf’.
The previous post was about the feral ponies which can be found on the hills – this part of my journey takes us to the summit – ‘The Calf’ and then home. Not very high at 2217 ft. but I was blowing a little when I got to the top – although the weather was cold. The views were superb and the Howgills really lived up to it’s reputation – Alfred Wainwright says of them – ‘like velvet curtains in sunlight, like silken drapes at sunset’. Best to be seen early morning when the sun is just starting to climb and the light is low and illuminates the drapes perfectly – casting long dark shadows over the deep velvet valleys.
This morning there was frost on the tops and in the valley bottoms and the air was as clear and cold as meltwater – and apart from one lonely soul a mile or so in front of us we saw no one else for the 10 miles or so of our hike.