Twas the weekend before Christmas. Well, strictly ’twas the weekend before the weekend before Christmas, but lets not get bogged down with detail. Once again, a gaggle of old friends had gathered at The Old School House in Chapel-le-Dale and, whisper it, it wasn’t raining. This came as something of a shock as usually it chucks it down when we are there. (The following day normal service was resumed).
There was some talk, on the Friday night, of an Alpine start, some of the adults escaping early to bag Whernside, but in the event, almost all of the children wanted to come too. Here we all are…
Well, most of us. Uncle Fester and TJF took the languishing in the house option and others were yet to arrive.
The path was extremely icy, which bothered the kids not one jot, but which made me nervous on their behalf. Probably I was over-concerned, we crested the steep part of the ascent without incident and were then into deeper snow.
Looking towards Pen-y-ghent.
Little S with a lump of snow. He was eating it. Of course. Ingleborough behind.
The boys were in their element. They loved the snow, the icicles, and particularly the snowdrifts.
Fortunately, the rest of the party were very patient with us.
B enjoying nature’s ice-lolly.
Ribblehead Viaduct and Pen-y-ghent.
On the summit, some people had a bit of a natter, whilst others – well TBH – enjoyed a hot drink from their flask…
…and the DBs had serious snow to deal with…
I don’t have any photos of the snowball fight which followed, since I was heavily involved. Mainly as a target, or at least that’s how it felt. The DBs are surprisingly accurate it transpires.
Waterfall in Force Gill.
The day had still more delights for the boys: frozen puddles. In places the ice was quite thin and creaked unnervingly, not that the DBs were very bothered. And when they did eventually go through, the water wasn’t very deep, although I suspect that Little S got wet feet.
There were further delights for the rest of us too: the cloud veiling and unveiling Ingleborough…
…and then great company and the usual combination of stories old and new (mostly old), daft conversations and obscure trivia (we plumbed new depths this year with area dialling codes, which are, according to TBF, absolutely compelling).
On the Sunday, in driving rain, a select (or daft) few of us took a wander up to Ivescar and then along to Ellerbeck before returning past the tiny chapel which presumably gives the hamlet its name. Although it was throwing it down and there were huge puddles everywhere, much of the ice had yet to melt, which made the going particularly treacherous. Even after just a short walk, I was drenched by the time we were back at the School House. That didn’t put a damper on the day though, or on a very relaxing weekend.
My life in dialling codes…01522, 0116, 0161, 01524. Hmmm…Manchester is a anagram of Leicester and Lancaster is Lincoln + 2. There’s more to this than I thought!