Countryside, Holiday Courses, Mountain & Cave Rescue, Open Events, Skills for Walking

On Track Days Relaunched – its all about being safe on the hills


We have relaunched our On Track Days for 2017 and they are designed for all walkers about keeping safe in the outdoors and more importantly what to do if your day goes wrong or you come across someone else who needs help.

The day course is designed and run by YDG instructors who have more than 40 years experience in mountain rescue.

My Favorite ViewWe spend as little time as possible indoors before moving outdoors to learn some simple techniques that will help when things go wrong.

Learn some basic map and compass skills, reorienting yourself, giving an accurate grid reference, planning a walk, what kit to take etc.

Dealing with simple emergencies and how to get help without preventable delays if things are a bit more serious.

We don’t do minimum numbers but we don’t do more than 6 to an instructor, more than 6 we bring in an additional instructor.

Bring a packed lunch with you and walking kit appropriate for the weather on the day. Map and compass supplied for the day if needed.

Mid-week or Weekend meeting at The Barn Stainforth just outside of Settle

The day starts at 9.30am and we aim to finish at approximately 4.30 pm

Cost: – £65.00 per person, £120.00 two people booking and discount for groups

Get in touch if you need any additional information, we run our courses even if only one person books so you can be confident with your plans.

You can book a place on an advertised course HERE or ring us to book a date of your choice.

Countryside, Guided Walks, Local Interest, Skills for Walking

Three Peaks Challenge – what happens if you have to drop out and there is no back up.

Penyghent at Dawn

I originally published this blog last September but now that the 2016 Three Peaks season is well on its way I thought it was worth republishing and updating any links

If you are planning to do the Yorkshire Three Peaks then there are lots of things you need to consider. The “What happens if I cannot complete the walk” is well worth thinking about too, even if you are going on an organised event.

Whenever you go for a walk whether short or long you should consider the “what ifs” and have an escape route or plan. On the best Three Peaks walks you will have someone in a vehicle acting as support. They can carry spare water and snacks as well as pick up anyone who has maybe injured themselves or who knows they cannot complete the walk. There are two or three places where the support vehicle can meet you to check everyone is ok. It can be a thankless and boring job but the walkers will get a real boost seeing them between the peaks and knowing they have backup if needed.

Some organised walks tell you to carry a mobile phone and have some money on 20140614_120457you for a taxi or the train in case you are not keeping up or want to drop out. You maybe doing the walk with a few friends and not have anyone to provide a back up for you. A point to remember is that mobiles do not work at the road heads of Birkwith, Ribblehead and Chapel-le-Dale and the only public phone box is at the Station Inn at Ribblehead. There are taxis around here but they can be very busy, at peak times particularly, so you will need some money for a pint or two while you wait for one. The Hill Inn between Whernside and Ingleborough is available for drinks while you wait too.  Make sure you have the taxi numbers with you so you can call where you have a signal though. There are some trains at Ribblehead on the famous Settle Carlisle Railway so you can check the timetable.  There are also some buses but they are not that regular especially out of season but the Dales Bus has information. Dales Bus. Make sure you have this information with you before you set off.

Map and CompassWe are seeing more and more people walking along the roads, especially coming back down to Horton-in-Ribblesdale from Ribblehead. Perhaps they do not have any money or would rather not pay. Walking on the road is very hard on your feet and legs and is just under 5 1/2 miles long.  It has no verge to walk on most of the way, is quite narrow and winding and has numerous blind bends and summits. It is well used by tourist and local cars and cycles but it is also well know for being a popular motorbike route and has more than its fair share of riders who think they will live forever despite riding too fast and overtaking when they cannot see. Unfortunately we have also had more than our share of serious injuries and deaths too which is very sad. All in all this road is potentially very dangerous for walkers and is not the best route back to Horton-in-Ribblesdale either.

The Alternative – The easiest on your tired legs and feet is to follow the Three Peaks walk to High Birkwith and then take the Ribble Way to Sell Gill to join the Pennine Way down to Horton. At just under 6 1/4 miles it is a bit longer but far more pleasant and much, much safer.  Another idea is to follow the much less busy road down to the village from High Birkwith and this route is just over 6 miles but again much safer.

If you plan for the possibility of having to drop out of the walk and the unlikely happens then it does not mean that the day is totally spoilt by you having to work out what to do in a place with no signal and when you have no money or planned options.

Enjoy your walking. If you need a to develop your navigation skills, a guide or safety  cover for any walk, including the Three Peaks, please get in touch Contact Us

Caving Courses, Countryside, Local Interest, Open Events, Skills for Walking, Special Events

Overground Underground – The Festival of the Ingleborough Dales

 Happy Young CaversFor the 5th year we are involved in this brilliant festival which is a “weekend of diverse activities that will bring the unique landscape of the Ingleborough Dales to life in inspiring and unexpected ways”.  The Festival runs over the weekend 19th – 21st June. We will be running two opportunities to try caving for anyone eight and over who is reasonably fit and able to bend a bit.  The trips are designed to introduce people to the wonders of the underground dales.  These will be on the Saturday and Sunday starting at 5.00 pm and finishing by 8.00 pm. For more information and to book visit our Eventbrite page or give us a call.

We will also be running a “Developing Your Compass Skills” day on the Saturday which is for people who know the basics of map work but have either never used a compass or are a bit rusty.  On Sunday we will be running an “On Track – Getting Started with Navigation ” day which is designed for people who are real beginners.  Both these days run from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.  They are suitable for anyone 14 and over.  More details on all our activities can be on our web site .   If you visit the festival site at you might just find a code for some discount and all of our events over this weekend.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There are lots more events over the weekend of the Festival including Art Exhibitions, Free Airbay Jump Day, Indoor Bouldering Competition, Films, Talks, Archaeology, Running, Wildflower walks, Mountain Rescue Search Dogs Demonstration and Water Zorbing.  A real action packed weekend with something for everyone.


Doing our bit to clear litter from a part of the Three Peaks route

Last week I posted a picture of the litter left by some walkers at God’s Bridge on the Yorkshire Three Peaks route.  The section this blog is about is just a very short section of the route. Previously we have picked plastic water bottles discarded along the route from Pen-y-ghent to Birkwith and beyond. The summit of Pen-y-Ghent is always littered with food wrappings, banana skins and bottles, some of which are just stuffed into the dry stone wall by the stile. If it is bad on this section it is unlikely to be any better on the rest of the route. Thousands and thousands of people walk this route every year and it only takes a few to spoil it for everyone.

God’s Bridge Saturday 25th May 2013

I decided that it was important to not only report on the litter at God’s Bridge but to do something about it. Last Saturday I went armed with gloves and bin bags to “do my bit”. When I got there it was obvious that someone had done some cleaning up but it had been added to again over the week. I went around 12.00 noon so most walkers had gone through.

Gods Bridge Litter
God’s Bridge litter Saturday 1st June 2013

As was mentioned on Twitter the only way to try and stop people dropping their litter is to remove it all and especially anything that looks like a container. Someone on Facebook asked why we pay our rates, maybe this was a tongue in cheek comment but obviously some people do think there are people cleaning up after them! I have to point out that this spot is a long way from any vehicle access and the rubbish has to be carried out on foot by volunteers.

After I had finished I had 2 bags of rubbish which included a carrier bag with 2 stainless steel 0.5l flasks inside, with their price tags still on, plastic and glass bottles, food wrappers, socks, foil containers and tissues. The area was completed cleared to try and stop the copycat litter throwers.

God's Bridge cleared 1st June 2013
God’s Bridge cleared 1st June 2013

I decided to carry on clearing the route back towards the next gate and on the way picked up cans, a broken walking pole and sweet wrappers. When I got to the gate/stile/wall corner I found more bottles and wrappers and a pile of human excrement topped with soiled paper serviettes. I removed the paper but drew the line at the rest!

To finish off I thought I would drive up to the track junction at High Birkwith as I had picked up several items of abandoned clothing the previous week. This is an area used by many for their first waterstop and checkpoint.Even I was amazed at the next sight I got. Right in the middle of the track was a box full of fresh empty bottles. Somebody must have found an empty animal feed container and thought it would make a good bin and being on a track that if they left it in the middle then someone would take it away.

High Birkwith "Litter Bin"
High Birkwith “Litter Bin”
High Birkwith "bin" with Whernside in the background
High Birkwith “bin” with Whernside in the background

Before I left I checked over the stile near Birkwith Cave. You often see people popping over there, and sometimes being sent by the check point people, to relieve themselves. Yes, you guessed it, there was another pile of human waste right by the stile. This cave is popular with novice groups and novice groups tend to be young people so that’s a great health hazard and a pretty disgusting sight for us all too.

Please spread the word – Take your litter home with you. There are no bins on the Three Peaks route. Anything dumped can potentially hurt livestock and even other walkers. There are no official toilets on the route either so come prepared to clean up after yourself.  I might be wrong but I feel it is not “true walkers” who are doing this but a few people who have just signed up for the Challenge and do not regularly visit or appreciate the beauty of the countryside. They are not necessarily “townies” as many people from urban areas do appreciate the countryside so lets not label them. This is a problem for the National Three Peaks too and seems to be in places where a few people are so focused on the challenge element and doing it as fast as possible they do not even “see” their surroundings.

All the rubbish has now been disposed of and this included 57 bottles and 8 cans being recycled. I will go back this weekend to see if the area is still clear- fingers crossed. There are obviously other people clearing up the litter as they go along  so thank you for “doing your bit” too. Lets hope we can all see an improvement over the summer months.

Pam    June 2013

Total Rubbish