February 2023, Lowstern Hut, North Yorkshire

This is one of our favourite huts and as always we had a brilliant time here. Seven of us were able to take a day off work and travel up early. Gill, Loz and AlanW only arrived 5 minutes after Dave, Andy, Dan and Kent but they had already started the fire and the heating was on to welcome us.

Friday 9th February

The early arrivals split into two groups. Gill, Loz and AlanW did the Gordale Scar walk: Malham Village, Janet’s Foss, Gordale Scar, Malham Tarn and back to Malham Village via the Pennine Way. We extended it to take in a small dome-shaped peak up to the west of Malham Tarn, Great Close Hill, 465m. It was a short but steep detour from our route but satisfying despite the lack of any view due to clouds. On the way down towards the tarn the weather really came in and we sheltered behind a tree to grab a quick damp bite for lunch. The limestone pavement on top of Malham Cove was wet and slippery. We didn’t have much of a view from the top but it was still impressive. Back in the village, we wanted cake (obviously) and we found a lovely-looking tea shop whose door was locked! But we persisted and knocked, hoping that the ladies would take pity on the sight of our tired hungry faces. It worked and the best slice of carrot cake along with a warm cup of coffee was Gill’s reward. Alan had fruit cake and Laurence had coffee and walnut cake in case you were wondering.
Dave, Andy, Dan and Kent hiked up to the summit of Whernside from Ribblehead, walk 38 in the Yorkshire walks book, then went into the Station Pub for refreshments. Back to the hut and three of us cooked chicken fajitas, the other four had fish and chips for dinner. We enjoyed sitting by the fire as we anticipated everyone else’s arrival during the evening.

Saturday 10th February
We had a full house and lots of different ideas and plans. Jason, Stacey and Meredith hiked the Yorkshire Three Peaks anti-clockwise, starting at Ribblehead and were done in 9hrs 20 mins. Bob and Sophie also did the Three Peaks but running. They added a bit more on because it wasn’t long enough. They started in Horton, also anti-clockwise, and were hoping to
overtake the walkers. They finished in 5hrs 25 mins. Andy, Dan and Kent hiked up Pen-Y-Ghent from Helwith Bridge. Nigel, Neal and Ivona hiked up Ingleborough via Gaping Gill. Alan, Dave, Gill and Laurence also hiked up Pen-Y-Ghent from Helwith Bridge with a later start. We were surprised by fleets of land rovers all passing us on the green lanes up into the hills.

Saturday evening Nigel (assisted by sous-chef Kent) cooked chicken tikka masala for us all, it was excellent, thanks Nigel!

Sunday 11th February
AlanW, Gill and Laurence did the Ingleton Waterfalls Walk. Bob and Sophie did some bouldering at Crook Rise. Andy, Dan, Kent and Dave walked to the Norber erratics and back before leaving for home. Neal, Ivona and Nigel visited Ingleborough Cave and returned to the hut. Stacey, Jason and Meredith went to Hathersage on their way home to spend some money.

Everyone had a great weekend, lots of successes, lots of peak summits and a decent amount of cake was eaten throughout the three days we were there.

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