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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 – β€˜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.

Perfect!

A patch of sun picks out a lonely walker on his way towards 'The Calf'

A patch of sun picks out a lonely walker on his way towards ‘The Calf’

The path to the summit

The path to the summit

The fells are characterised by big soaring ridges

The fells are characterised by big soaring ridges

The Howgills

Early morning light melts the frost on the fells

Early morning light melts the frost on the fells

Sunrise on The Howgill fells

Sunrise on The Howgill fells

Early morning light on the velvet drapes

Early morning light on the velvet drapes

Another shot of Swarth Greaves Beck, viewed from the col between Arant Haw and Calders

Another shot of Swarth Greaves Beck, viewed from the col between Arant Haw and Calders

howgills

The summit

The summit

The view from the summit

Beautiful secretive valleys

Beautiful secretive valleys

Early morning light brings out the textures of the fells

Early morning light brings out the textures of the fells

Yours truly

Yours truly

Why I go walking

Why I go walking

Towards the Lake District

Towards the Lake District

howgills

Howgills

Looking back

now for some breakfast...

now for some breakfast…

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