Fri 5th May - Mon 8th May, 2023
Yorkshire Dales meet Lowstern hut
Intrepid adventurers: Laura Bond, Robert Clark, Edward Courtnell, Mark Garrod, Caroline Gay, Michelle Harvie, Tim Howarth, Stuart Hurworth, Greg Nunn, Jess Pealing, Izy Somers, Dave Wylie
With the bonus coronation bank holiday, 12 intrepid adventurers headed off to the wilds of the Yorkshire Dales for an eclectic mix of outdoors activities: we ticked off hiking, climbing, geocaching, running, swimming, motorbiking, cave exploring, yoga and simply lounging around in the sun.
The venue was Lowstern House, courtesy of Yorkshire Ramblers Club. It is a former golf club house turned walking/climbing/caving hut with beautiful views from the lounge and dining room out over the rolling hills to the south of Clapham complete with gambolling lambs. The showers were somewhat “invigorating”: it turns out that the hut wash facilities are being completely refurbed in the coming weeks so we'll have to return to check on progress!
Saturday was a classic will-it-won't-it rain scenario, with the answer turning out to be mostly “it won't” but the mainly cloudy sky gave perfect conditions for Greg & Tim's assault on the Three Peaks (42km), my little jog around Ingleborough & Whernside (40km), Izy and Laura's day of geocaching around Skipton, and the remainder of the group's hike up Ingleborough (apparently quite a long walk, but I only saw them loafing around eating lunch). Michelle even flew the flag (literally) for the coronation weekend. Funnily enough there was less appetite for staying up late drinking whisky after the day's exertions (or even staying awake after 7pm, in Tim's case).
Sunday was a cracking sunny day with light winds and a chorus of birdsong. After much guidebook faffage, made all the more difficult by the enormous choice of crags on offer, half the group headed to Attermire Scar, an extensive limestone crag north east of Settle. Once we'd got our heads round the limestone and its little quirks (the holds are less.. attached..? than I'm used to) we spent a leisurely afternoon ticking off 5s and 6as on Windy Buttress and Gorgon Buttress. Meanwhile Greg, Izy, Tim and Laura headed underground for a tour of White Scar Caves while Mark and Michelle combined walking and swimming.
There was no will-it-won't-it rain on Monday: the unanimous verdict of the forecasts was that the deluge was set to continue all day. I ticked off my final peak to complete the Three Peaks set, helpfully combined with a four-hour power shower which was only marginally colder than the hut washrooms, while Robert retreated to the indoor wall and Dave headed off gear shopping. I think he had the right idea.
Whether you’re celebrating the coronation of Charles III or the bonus three-day weekend, join us in the Yorkshire Dales at Lowstern – The Yorkshire Ramblers' Club (yrc.org.uk) near Clapham.
There’s something for everyone: walkers could take in each of the Yorkshire Three Peaks of Whernside, Ingleborough and Pen-y-Ghent. Climbers are spoilt for choice with sport and trad routes at all grades just round the corner (Chapel-le-Dale, Giggleswick, Attermire) or a little further at Malham Cove (“best sport climbing in the Pennines”) and Gordale (“The gaping mouth of Gordale is a sight to leave most climbers awestruck on first acquaintance.”) – why not take in three crags over the weekend! Swimmers can take a triple-dip in some of the spectacular waterfalls such as Stainforth, Catrigg or Janet’s Foss over in Malham while cyclists could tackle iconic climbs like Buttertubs, Fleet Moss and Malham Cove. And for runners, the full Three Peaks can be tackled in a loop of “only” 50km from Lowstern…
Early sign up would be much appreciated as we have to confirm bed bookings with the hut. We have secured one large dorm for Friday-Sunday nights plus camping is available in the grounds (£14 pppn, £10 for “reciprocal rights” eg CC/F&RCC, payment required two weeks in advance)