The drive up the M6 and then over to Ingleton was largely in fog but it had mostly cleared by the time I had reached the layby just past the Hill Inn. A look up to Ingleborough revealed only sparse snow cover so I decided to leave behind my ice-axe and crampons.
The start of the walk is a gentle stroll through fields until a path of flagstones and duckboards crossed the open moorland. Although well-made, the flagged path was iced over because water had seeped over the edges and frozen. To avoid the ice and inevitable injury I had to walk on the frozen vegetation on either side, somewhat negating the value of the work done to prevent erosion !
As I gained height, the lower slopes started to disappear under cloud with only the highest tops being seen clearly in the bright sunshine. I reached the start of the steep final slope and started to regret leaving behind the crampons as the path was completely iced.
I had to take a lot of care to reach the top and passed a couple descending with some trepidation, the young lady deciding that the easiest way to get down was on her bottom. I didn’t feel that an ice-axe was needed as my poles helped my stability but if I had brought my crampons I would have put them on; the path was treacherous.
At the plateau I turned toward the summit of Ingleborough which was just an easy stroll away. The hills to the east could be clearly seen with Pen-y-ghent prominent. Whernside poked out above the clouds and both the Scafell and Helvellyn ranges in the Lake District were easily identifiable. But to the south, Lancashire was completely covered in cloud making it the most extensive inversion I’ve ever seen.
|the Lake District|
I was pleasantly surprised to find a topograph mounted on the pillar at the centre of the cruciform shelter. I had not seen this on my previous visit and speaking to a friend about it later revealed that he didn’t know about it either, despite more than one visit to the summit. Such is the advantage of always visiting the highest point !
The walk to the top of Simon Fell was a simple jaunt and I was soon needing to make a decision about where to descend of the plateau to avoid the ascent path. I picked a point a few hundred yards east of the icy path and easily made my way down to Humphrey Bottom and onto the flags and duckboards once again.
|Simon Fell from Ingleborough|
|Ingleborough from Simon Fell|