Ingleborough

Ingleborough & Grey Scars

Walk Summary

A super walk from Ingleton on to Ingleborough via Crina Bottom before taking a less trodden route back via Little Ingleborough, Newby Moss and Grey Scars.

Distance: 9.4 miles
Total ascent: 2300ft
Walk Rating: *****
Parking: Ingleton, car park
Route: Download Route [GPX]

Photo Gallery

Walk Report

Prior to this walk I’d been to the top of Ingleborough no less than eight times. However, I had somehow never managed to take the most popular route, that from Ingleton via Crina Bottom. With a thin layer of snow forecast above 700m, followed by a sunny day, I decided that it was high time I did this route and that it would be a great option for my first walk of the New Year.

What the forecast had failed to make clear was the bitterly cold north wind which was immediately apparent as I got out of the car at Ingleton. This being New Year’s Day I was the first person in the car park despite it being 9.30am when I arrived.

“Historically I’ve not had the best of luck with Ingleborough in terms of views so to reach the summit on such a spectacular morning just as the sun appeared was really quite special.”

Leaving Ingleton I took a loop on to Storrs Lane before dropping back down the road to reach the start of Fell Lane. With hints of the sunshine to come via blue sky to the west it was initially a cloudy start to the day as I began the climb up Fell Lane.

It was a pleasant enough start though it was not until the lane wound around the southern edge of White Scars and Ingleborough came back into view that the walk began to get really interesting. Here too the famous view of the house at Crina Bottom, sheltered by the limestone cliffs of White Scars and backed by Ingleborough, appeared.

From this point on the summit of Ingleborough stayed in view for virtually the rest of the climb to the top. The path, which has clearly been maintained, was clear until the final clamber over the rocks surrounding the summit plateau. Just prior to reaching these I made a small detour to view some of the dark cliffs of Black Shiver. ‘Shiver’ was certainly apt as the biting wind made anything more than a cursory visit to the cliffs uncomfortable.

Just as I’d begun to worry the large bank to cloud wouldn’t shift it suddenly did with perfect timing as I made my way up the final steps to the summit. Historically I’ve not had the best of luck with Ingleborough in terms of views so to reach the summit on such a spectacular morning just as the sun appeared was really quite special.

Perhaps even more unusual than actually having a view from Ingleborough was how quiet it was. When I arrived there was a family of four making use of the shelter to stay out of the wind. When they moved on I briefly had the entire summit plateau to myself. Unfortunately the bitterly cold wind meant that I couldn’t take as much advantage of this as I’d have liked and so having taken a few photos I went to look for my route of descent.

Whilst most people who climb Ingleborough via Crina Bottom return the same way I wanted to take a more roundabout route so that I could visit Grey Scars, an area of limestone halfway down Ingleborough’s south-western flank. To reach this I first took the path for Little Ingleborough and then the thin path heading down Newby Moss.

At about the 450m contour line I left the path to head for what looked like a lopsided cairn. It proved to be a solitary limestone boulder which, from one angle, looked like a sitting dog wearing a mossy green hat. From the ‘Sitting Dog’ it was then a simple walk on grass towards Grey Scars.

After the rather featureless grass moor of Newby Moss the sudden appearance of the modest limestone scars of High Trough and the limestone pavements of Grey Scars was something of a relief. It was a fascinating little area with good views back up to the summit and south to the Bowland fells. Also of note were a couple of large pointy cairns and a nearby boundary stone.

While I was pottering around I also wanted to go in search of the numerous named pot holes in the area including Long Kin West Pot, the brilliantly named Boggarts Roaring Holes and Gritstone Pot. In this I was perhaps less successful, I came across plenty of shake holes, possibly a few pot holes but none of them seemed to stand out enough to justify any of the names given above.

Having failed to locate Gritstone Pot I continued my way north to gradually descend on grass to return to the main Ingleton – Ingleborough path just above Crina Bottom. By now the arctic wind had dropped and in the sunshine it had actually begin to feel quite pleasant.

Turning left on the path I then retraced my earlier steps along Fell Lane all the way back to Ingleton. In the morning I’d been the only one on Fell Lane but now it was full of people returning from their own visit to the summit. Slightly more worrying, at 2pm in the afternoon, there were still people heading up to the summit. I just hoped they had torches for the their return!

This really was a grand day out and a great start to the New Year. My impression from other people was that the Crina Bottom route is a dull route to the top. I didn’t find it dull at all and loved having the summit in view for much of the way up. Indeed I hope later in the year to use the Fell Lane track as a route up to a lengthy exploration of the limestone plateau of White Scars.

2 thoughts on “Ingleborough & Grey Scars

  1. Looks like a cracking day you had there. Don’t think I’ve done the route from Ingleton, despite numerous ascents of Ingleborough! Looks like it’s much better than most people give it credit for.

    1. Yes, I was pleasantly surprised Neil. Mind you I think it helped that I was the only one on the path on the way up! Like I mention in the report I think a leisurely exploration of White Scars would also be a good outing.

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