Ingleborough mountain (2,372 ft) lies in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and is an obvious attraction for many walkers. Although not particularly hard to do for the reasonably fit, it offers magnificent views from the summit and even the Lake District and Morecambe Bay can be seen on a good day.
Besides it is a nice walk, and to the caver like myself it is even more interesting as a lot of the ground below us is hollow – a bit like a big Swiss cheese as there are many miles of cave passages under our feet.
So on a beautiful summers morning our little band of walkers decided to have a walk up this mountain…like most mountains there are several ways up and we chose which is perhaps the easiest, but one of the most scenic routes.
Parking in the tiny village of Clapham we soon found the path up to the moors, past Ingleborough Show Cave and then through the claustrophobic and dark ‘Trow Gill’ and onto the ‘tops’.
Eventually we arrived at a large hole with a stream tumbling down into it’s depths. This is the entrance to ‘Gaping Gill’ pothole. If you fell down this you would fall for 365 ft before you hit the bottom. Should you survive you would find yourself in a chamber (reputedly) big enough to hold St. Pauls cathedral – and it would take you well over 10 miles of walking/scrambling/diving and climbing to get out! I have abseiled the main shaft (& climbed it out again) several times and have explored many miles of ‘GG’ and it is one of the finest caves in Britain. I will post of my exploits later.
From the shaft the ground started to rise steeply and we scrambled up to the summit. The views were superb, we couldn’t have picked a better day for the walk. On the summit are the remains of a hospice which was built in 1830. The opening ceremony was so alcoholic parts of it were torn down, the rest being destroyed later. There is also parts of an Iron Age hill fort nearby.
A bit of lunch and then back down to Clapham and the car. A good days walk – only about 6 or 7 miles but great views nonetheless.