Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 5th January 2007
Distance: 9.7 miles
Ascent: 1442 feet
Time: 4 hour 25 minutes
Start Grid Ref: SD950912
A walk from Askrigg up to two tops on the Wensleydale / Swaledale watershed including a visit to the lovely Summer Lodge Tarn.
Route Summary: Askrigg - Harrock Rigg - Whitfield Fell - Oxnop Common - Nigh Black Hole - Summer Lodge Tarn - The Fleak - Long Band - Askrigg
1. Rogan's Seat
2. Oxnop Scar from Oxnop Common
3. The beacon on Oxnop Common
4. Standing by the summit cairn on Oxnop Common
5. Looking back at the summit bump on Oxnop Common
6. Summer Lodge Tarn
7. Looking east along Swaledale from Tarn Currack
8. Looking back down to Summer Lodge Tarn
9. The trig point on The Fleak
10. The road back to Askrigg
Walk Detail: This walk was one of my first conscious efforts to go out and tackle some of the more remote 500m+ tops in the Dales based on the list of Deweys.
The weather forecast was for rain in the morning before clearing about lunchtime. For once the forecast was almost exactly spot on. After fighting our way into the wind and rain along the bridleway above Whitfield Scar we reached the top of Oxnop Common just as the cloud began to break up and the rain stopped. Within minutes the sky had almost completely cleared - a remarkable transformation.
On Oxnop Common we decided to head out to the prominent beacon on the northern edge of the summit ridge and there we were treated to what is possibly one of the best viewpoints I’ve been to in the Dales particularly for the northern half which we tend to see less of. The moorland colours were absolutely fantastic in the winter sun.
From Oxnop Common we made our way across the moor to the Askrigg/Muker road via Nigh Black Hole. After a quick look at Oxnop Scar we began to head towards The Fleak. About halfway between Satron Tarn and Summer Lodge Tarn we made the wise decision not to try and include the enticing top of Blea Barf into the walk. Instead we headed for Summer Lodge Tarn, a sizeable sheet of water which looked lovely on a day like this.
We sat by the tarn and ate a belated lunch before heading for Tarn Currack where we were treated to a fine view of eastern Swaledale. From there it was quick walk to the top of The Fleak and its rather stubby looking trig point. With less depth of view it was perhaps not quite as good as Oxnop Common as a viewpoint.
From The Fleak we headed across a stretch of hags to the Askrigg/Reeth road which we then followed all the way back to Askrigg enjoying the late afternoon sunshine over Wensleydale.
The sudden views brought on by the weather while standing on Oxnop Common remains one of my favourite moments while walking in the Dales.