Feb 14 23
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I can hardly believe that yesterday was dry, sunny even! But it was cold and windy so instead of a trip to the indoor climbing wall on such a nice day we decided our fitness levels were in need of some attention. It’s a long time since we’ve been on our mountain bikes and in order to motivate ourselves we picked out a super classic, and new to us, route from Clapham through Feizor. The views across the limestone country were brilliant!

Pete catching his breath after the climb up out of Clapham

Pete catching his breath after the climb up out of Clapham

Laetitia enjoying the sunshine with Pen-y-ghent far behind

Laetitia enjoying the sunshine with Pen-y-ghent far behind

Laetitia checks the route directions near Austwick

Laetitia checks the route directions near Austwick

The views from the Allotment on the east side of Ingleborough were awesome, across to Pen-y-ghent and across endless areas of limestone pavement.

Clive Westlake on one of the many traverses in Juniper Gulf

One of the Juniper Gulf traverses

It was odd though being on the Allotment. We thought that perhaps the last time we’d been here was in 1999 in a ‘different life’.

Back in 1999 we were dedicated to our caving and potholing and we had walked this way with our friend Dave (“Inspector Gadget”, all cavers have nicknames) on the way to and from Juniper Gulf, an amazing pothole system whose entrance is near here. (Here’s a link to another descent of Juniper Gulf by another of our potholer friends also called Dave, “Sloth”.)

Later, on the brilliant, rocky, and fast track descending back in to Clapham, we could see the entrance to the Ingleborough show caves across the valley. Again, in that earlier life, we had stopped at the shop at that entrance dozens of times to buy an ice cream, cool down, and celebrate another amazing day underground. One of these days was also in 1999 when we, this time with Colin (“Colon”), had been in to Disappointment Pot, a tricky part of the Gaping Ghyll system that due to a particularly devious duck requires an extended period of dry weather. So there we were in perfect rock climbing weather on a hot July day sat eating ice creams fully clad in yellow PVC boiler suits grinning from ear to ear. :-D

Hard to believe that after such a tough day we drove all the way back to Oxford for Dave’s birthday party! :shock:

Pete on the "Allotment" with Pen-y-ghent behind

Pete on the Allotment with Pen-y-ghent behind

Laetitia on the "Allotment" with Ingleborough behind

Laetitia on the Allotment with Ingleborough behind

Laetitia on the final climb back up to the tunnels in and out of Clapham

Laetitia on the final climb back up to the tunnels in and out of Clapham

Tea and cakes... yum yum.

Tea and cakes… :yum:

This route is essentially composed of inter-locked circular tracks with many options to extend and create figure-of-eights etc., thus making it in to just about as long or short, easy or hard, day as the fancy takes. We will be back for more, it’s such a brilliant area for us! :razz:

Plus, there’s one feature of the route that we didn’t take advantage of, the legendary cafe at Feizor! :yum:

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