Author Topic: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside  (Read 6685 times)

mike knipe

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I'm just trying to squeeze in a walk before the weather gets  'orrible and before the Easter crowds come out. Sooooo me and the dawg wanted something great to do, and we picked Great Whernside to do it on. As it happens, I wanted a 13 mile walk, and this was the first one I came across in my log that took my fancy - done first in 1975. This was my 20th trip to the top of this hill, so it holds a fair number of memories.
Any road up, our first call was at the village shop for bananas and cake and then we took the route which goes via Dowber Gill. Dowber Gill has one main claim to fame in that it holds the entrance to a cave system which involves an extremely complex vertical maze. It used to have many a rescue although maybe its gone a lot quieter nowadays. The entrance is a rusty lid on a concrete and scaffolding plinth in the middle of the beck. Its not very impressive.

Theres also a pic below of a funny sign I saw in a window in Kettlewell...

The gill gradually gets smaller with height and when it hits the gritstone band it soars up in a wall of grass.  There follows an upwards plod through yellow grass (much easier than the red stuff by the way as its drier and shorter)
On a little shelf at the foot of the final steep clib to the summit ridge, I found a small wooden cross surrounded by a little pile of aircraft wreckage in a patch of black, polluted ground.  I have a mate who knows about aircraft wreck sites and I'll be asking him about it. Its a very atmospheric place and the simplicity of the memorial is quite moving. Ive never seen it before, but it must be WW2 - more than 60 years old, I would guess.
The top of Great Whernside was bitterly cold and there were ice patches and old snowdrifts under the walls - but the main aspect was the view. Today it was as clear as I've ever seen it. You could pick out Mickledoor and Great Gable quite easily, both seemingly snow covered - then across the North Pennine ridge to Teeside and the North Yorkshire Moors, the US listening station at Harrogate and then the South pennines - specially Waystone Edge near Huddersfield and Pendle Hill.
A crackingview, Grommit, as I pointed out to the dawg.
Our route then followed the ridge where bruno enjoyed the snowdrifts, and we were buzzed by two RAF transport planes following the contours.
Little Whernside was fairly easy, although the top is a mess of peat hags and the summit cairn is where it should be according to the map, but it doesnt look like the highest point when you're there.
We retraced steps to a bridleway and followed this  soggily down to Park Rash and then along Tor Dyke - a 1st century British anti-roman defensive line which separates Wharfedale from the Vale of York. Then by lanes back to Kettlewell where the streetlight had been lit.
13 Miles and 2200 feet of uphill.
More signs of spring - loads of lapwings at park rash, a pair of curlews, a golden plover and very young lambs gambling...er gambolling in a field in Bishopdale on the way home.

« Last Edit: 23:05:28, 18/03/08 by mike knipe »
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KIDSTYPIKE

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #1 on: 22:13:29, 18/03/08 »
A good walk and good pictures Mike. It's years since we were up there, about 1996 i think. Liked that sign , hope his missus as a sense of humour.
Dave

mike knipe

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #2 on: 23:00:16, 18/03/08 »
Thanks - its much better now I fixed up the spealing mistooks and the structure out context of sentence and duff grammar like wot this are. O0 pickle nose armpit stew. All very careless, and not a drop of alcohol has passed my lips (I have it specially injected nowadays)

The notice was in a collection which included such gems as "Don't even think of parking here" and something about the penalties for emptying your dog outside his house....
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pete

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #3 on: 22:38:50, 03/05/08 »
Mike,one of my favourite walks having walked in the area more years than I care to think about.There are a few plane wrecks on the hill mainly WW2 including a Mosquito,Halifax,Whitley and I believe a B17 with a Wellington crashing a little to the South above Conistone.
It must be tea time by now

mike knipe

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #4 on: 23:50:38, 04/05/08 »
....seems to have been a bit of a magnet for aircraft. There's also a more well-known crash site on Buckden Pike** - but as you're a Gt Whernside stalwart, Pete, I expect you know that one pretty well too....  Must go up there when I get time.....
These hills always provide good walks.

**For those who don't know about it, the story is that the aircraft hit the summit of Buckden Pike late at night in winter. There was one survivor of the Polish air crew, and he followed some fox tracks in the snow to Cray where he got help.
There's now a memorial cross on the site and it has a little fox in the corner to commemorate the one that made the tracks.
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mike knipe

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #5 on: 10:02:16, 06/05/08 »
It would seem that the most likely candidates for the crash wreckage are a lancaster, one of four out of six that crashed due to bad weather on a training exercise in 1943, or a mosquito which crashed in bad weather on 13 December 1948.
Both crashed very close to each other.
The most likely seems to be the mosquito judging by some pics of the wreckage on http://www.allenby.info/aircraft/planes/dales/tabledales.html
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pete

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #6 on: 22:11:55, 14/05/08 »
Mike,showed your picture to one of the local keepers the other day and he reckons that it is part of the wreckage of the Mossie that went down in '48,reckoned he was one of the first on site after it happened
It must be tea time by now

mike knipe

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Re: Wharfedale - Great Whernside and Little Whernside
« Reply #7 on: 21:50:14, 23/05/08 »
Ive not been ignoring your reply, Pete - I've just been a bit busy up in the heelands.....

Your info from the keeper does it for me - must be the mosquito.... specially if the chap attended the scene.


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