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Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 11:08
by The Moth
Have never done it clockwise before - am thinking about this for next time. For those who have done it both ways - which did you prefer / find easier and where did you start from.

Am thinking of starting at The Hill Inn and climbing Whernside first and descending by the old route whilst I'm still fresh before the long drag to Penyghent. The steep drop down from Ingleborough could be the only issue but once at the bottom it's downhill easily all the way back.

Re: Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 19:54
by Farcelt
Have mostly stuck to the anti clockwise route over the years starting from either Horton or Ribblehead. Have been round clockwise a couple of times, setting out from Horton with Ingleborough coming first so the steep descent presented no real problems. The ascent of Whernside from Chapel-le-Dale is my least favourite route up any of the three, always seems to a rough, rocky slog compared to what can be a rapid descent in the reverse direction. Setting off from The Hill Inn means that you walk a long way, attaining only the top of one peak which may put some off as they tire and still have two to ascend.
I have to say my personal preference is the traditional direction and intend giving it a go from the Hill Inn this year with maybe an overnight stay there as well. In the end it is down to the individual but I have been asked many times which is the hardest of the Peaks to climb or indeed descend when tired and always say it is whichever of the three you tackle last!

Re: Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 27 Jun 2014, 20:54
by mac.hawk
I've done the clockwise route 3 times. Twice from Ribblehead taking PyG first and once the reverse of the 'traditional' route. In all cases I crossed 'The Bog'.

I took the clockwise route from Ribblehead on my first attempt at the challenge in 2002 (having walked the route extensively before hand) and have to say that the ascent from Bruntscar to Whernside summit was one of the hardest physical things I'd ever attempted at the time.

Ten years on in 2012 I thought it appropriate to celebrate my first completion by re-walking the same route to see if it was still really as hard as I remembered it.

I'd completed the Challenged every year since (and sometimes twice in the year), and except for the single reverse of the traditional route from Horton as noted above, always anti-clockwise - so my thinking was 'was it really that hard' or was it just because it was my first attempt and now, after so many further completions, would it be quite so daunting?

Well the answer was yes. The thing about ascending Whernside from Bruntscar last, compared to ascending Ingleborough from Chapel le Dale or PyG from Horton is that it's a constant up where the other two tend to have up, flat, up, flat sections until you get to the 'staircase'. Of course 10 years on the body clock takes it's toll (well it has done with me, 48 to 58 (at the time) so you'd have to offset that against the experience I'd gained over the years. Timewise I think it was much the same.

I recall no real issues with the reverse of the 'traditional' route, other than the weather was awful on the day and descending the PyG 'nose' needed extra care in the rain and on tired legs.

One bizarre thing I've found is that crossing 'The Bog' (should you choose that route) from Long Mires to Hull Pot Beck always seems far less of a challenge clockwise. I'm no psychologist but I think it's because as you approach the bogs you're descending the mini-hills to cross the Moss's rather that approaching them with a view to ascending them.

I haven't been up/down the old ascent/descent of Whernside for over 5 years now but at my last visit all the old stepboards on the steep descent/ascent were in poor condition and I'd imagine they've had no repair since then so I'd be very careful on the descent.

One thing the old descent will do is make you get a move on, as once you get past the initial steep descent the rest of the route is quite steep in places you end up almost running.

In the back of my mind I've had this niggle for a long while that I'd like to give the route as described by Alfred Wainwright in his book 'Walks in Limestone Country' a go - from wherever. The route up PyG is as near to his route as the present route is, cross 'The Bog', up Whernside by the route near Winterscales Farm and up Inglebrough by Souther Scales Fell then down the usual route into Horton - simply based on the 12 hour timescale - no rush - simply enjoying the day and the challenges of the old routes.

I'm no 'spring chicken' so if it happens it will have to be sooner rather than later.

Re: Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 30 Jun 2014, 08:41
by The Moth
Thanks Mac - it's always good to get someone else's take on it. Feel I should do it the 'other way' at least once!

Re: Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 10 Jun 2015, 13:38
by The Moth
All being well I will be back for a 15th round on Sunday 14/6/15. Despite my earlier posts it will be another anti-clockwise round! Although the weather doesn't appear to be that good so I may have to hold back.

Re: Clockwise or Anticlockwise?

Posted: 15 Jun 2015, 13:38
by The Moth
Did indeed do the full circuit again on Sunday 14th June. Weather was pretty poor throughout but still a good day. Went anti-clockwise from Ribblehead and it wasn't that busy really. Even on weekends it seems Sundays are quieter.