Where is it? Chapel le Dale, North Yorkshire
In which area of outstanding natural beauty? The Yorkshire Dales
How tall is it? 2,373 feet (approx)
Often to referred to as “The best mountain in England” for its ability to sustain interest in, on and under, Ingleborough is nothing short of a national treasure!
Ingleborough is most often ascended as the third leg of the “Three Peaks” marathon walk which may mean that a good deal of those whom ascend this majestic mountain miss out on the truly fantastic scenary because of their tiredness after climbing Pen-y-ghent and Whernside. This is not at all unjustified. For those of us with more time on their hands for climbing this particular mountain and who are not fell-weary (a condition where one is temporarily sick of bloody hills!), we can admire the ancient limestone pavements (taking great care not to break an ankle whilst stepping in-between them!) gaze in wonder at the sink holes (and admit it to yourself that you are thinking back to “Karate Kid 2” – the scene where they find that rare dwarfed Juniper), be dumbstruck by the waterfall (and by the fact that the most readily available route up to the pass at the top is pretty much through this said waterfall!).
There are also caves on various scales – I just missed a splendid photo opportunity of a rabbit bolting down of the smallest caves imaginable and I did get a photograph of the smallest waterfall – with the smallest drop that I have ever seen. To get the most out of any fell / hill / mountain you have to spend a long time there, we were at the Ingleborough walk for six hours (although I suspect that we wasted too much of this time getting off Simon Fell) and I think that if time were not an issue then I could have spent double this amount of time there before it all got less interesting. It is the duty of every sighted man or woman of every county to stop and admire the simply stunning views of both Twisleton and Raven Scars. I held the belief before the walk that Chapel le Dale would be the ideal place from which to start the ascent of Ingleborough, I now hold fast to this belief. Alternatives come in the form of Ingleton, Clapham and there even exists a route from Ribblehead along Park Fell, Simon Fell and onto Ingleborough but this wouldn’t be for me – the path across Simon Fell loses clarity intermittently and wet, boggy, grass is just not this author’s idea of fun.
One final note, if you are goung to tackle Ingleborough then do it on a fine spring or summer day. we did it in mid July and were astounded to be engulfed by mist at the summit which proved to be highly disorienting for us. To ascend Ingleborough in late autumn or winter would be setting up yourself for extreme conditions (it was bitingly cold at the summit) that could prove very dangerous. Not only is this a dangerous activity but it can prove to be very debilitating when one has spent a good deal of time climbing this monolith full to the brim of anticipation of the wonderful views to behold from atop the summit to find oneselves literally robbed of these afore-mentioned views by an hungry cloud!