10 March 2023

Spring swamp hike 2023: day 3 &4

When I woke up on the third day of our swamp hike I noticed there was snow lying on the tent. Snow! I had noticed it has been cold the previous night, but this was a bit more than I expected. Dave was dead to the world next to me, so after a while I got dressed and got up. I figured I could take some snowy pictures of our undisturbed camp! And I did. I also noticed very cute tracks in the snow of the grouse we had heard around the tents.

A cold morning!


Soon, Henco was up as well. As usual. So we started making coffee. It was cold but also very beautiful! And one by one the others appeared too. The last one to come out of the tent was Dave. He could now meet everybody else! And although he is an experienced outdoorsman, he hadn't brought anything to sit on, so he joined Roelof on his generous mat. And we had a nice snowy breakfast. We also decided to walk into the valley and then decide on whether to climb Ingleborough or not. We weren’t all that prepared for snow. 

We packed up and left, in the direction of the Whernside summit. We got there in no time. And did some frosty summit selfies. Then we descended, which was less straightforward than it should have been. That path is slippery! And it wasn’t even icy. 


Whernside summit selfie!


Henco contemplating the way down

In the valley we sat down for coffee. We also finished the spekkoek, of which we had only managed to eat half the day before. It was a new concept to Dave! And by then, Ingleborough was already snow free, so we decided to just go for it. So we crossed the valley, having a look at the little chapel on the way, and started the way up on the other side. We saw some amazing limestone pavements! And we chose one on which to have lunch. Dave had brought some extra supplies.

Coffee. Pic by Henco

Busstop? Lime kiln? Both?

Limestone pavement! Pic by Henco

The way up was steep but not actually very high! It didn't feel like much of an effort. And at the top we did a few more summit selfies. Two of the three local famous peaks conquered within not much time!

The way up

Ingleborough selfie

Our plan was to just descend until we found a good place to camp for the night. Inevitably, we would be quite close to Ingleton, but so be it. We approached a beautiful farm from which it was unclear from a distance if it was inhabited. If it wouldn't be, that would be a great spot! But on closer inspection it was a B&B. So we decided to camp on a field a bit higher up on the hill. There was no water there, so we made sure to fill all our containers in the stream close to the path before we went there. And I had a good wash before I joined the others.

Last camping spot

I also thought it was time to bring out my whisky. So far it had remained untouched! The first night we had had beer, and the second night everyone went to bed at seven. But now there was nothing getting in the way!

That night it was my turn to cook. I made pasta. Normally I would have sausage in that; I have had the habit of many years to drop my vegetarianism if I am hiking, because it is just so easy to make any food taste good with meat. Just carry a chorizo and you're sorted. We were now so far up the path of being Guardian-reading Wokerati that I had decided against that. Luckily, it was still good! Although I feared it wasn't enough. Beginner's mistake. But I have dropped a hint to Dave that he could make himself popular by bringing things the rest of us wouldn't be crazy enough to have with us on day 3. And he had! He actually carried a bottle of wine, and what was needed to turn it into mulled wine. And he served that with chocolate.

As usual, we went to bed quite soon after dinner. And I slept well! And in the morning we had the usual routine of Henco and I making coffee. It was a rather relaxed breakfast. We knew we were close to the village. There was no hurry, we could be generous with fuel, and didn't have to bring much water with us. And we enjoyed the much milder weather than we had had the previous night. 

After breakfast it was a very straightforward walk back into town. We first headed for the cars. I enjoyed putting on some civilian shoes there! And then we went back to the café where we had started. And altogether we enjoyed their breakfast menu, their lunch menu, their cake menu, and there we are offering. I think we were good customers! But all good things come to an end, and the Dutch contingent had to catch their boat. So we said our goodbyes. Soon again, I hope!

When the Dutch were gone I first brought Dave back to his vehicle. And then we decided to give the hike one little appendix; we drove to Dent for a half pint. Such a gorgeous village, and it also is the birthplace of Adam Sedgwick! But then it was time to drive home. The first spring swamp hike ever was now truly over! But I think it was a good one!

No comments: