Yorkshire Dales Walks
Fountains Fell & Darnbrook Fell
Date: 10th July 2004
Distance: 13.4 miles
Ascent: 1762 feet
Time: Too long ago to remember!
Start Grid Ref: SD894658
A long, and sometimes rough walk starting from Malham Tarn and visiting Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell.
Route Summary: Malham Tarn - Pennine Way - Darnbrook Fell - Fountains Fell - Fountains Fell South - Knowe Fell - Henside - Malham Tarn
1. A dramatic sky over Malham Tarn
2. Darnbrook Fell from the Pennine Way
3. Pen-y-Ghent as seen from Darnbrook Fell
4. Matt by the trig point on Darnbrook Fell
5. Matt on the top of Fountains Fell
6. The trig point on Knowe Fell
Walk Detail: Having failed to complete our walk the previous week we decided to try once again for Fountains Fell and Darnbrook Fell but this time starting from Malham Tarn.
When we set off Fountain’s Fell was covered in cloud but as we ascended the weather began to clear and by the time we started to divert towards Darnbrook I was quite optimistic. The climb up Fountains Fell was quite easy - actually getting to the summit of Darnbrook Fell proved harder than we expected though as there were no easy way to get over walls and fences.
The trig point on Darnbrook Fell is quite bizarre, as the peat mound it sits on has eroded away leaving the OS column standing on a pillar of earth. We sat and had lunch at this point but did not hang around long as we could see some heavy clouds coming in over Pen-Y-Ghent.
What followed was one of the more miserable two hours we’ve had walking. It rained non-stop and the ground was getting very wet. Twice on my way back to Fountains Fell I went knee deep in bog.
Barely stopping at the summit of Fountains Fell we got only the briefest of glimpses of Fountains Fell Tarn while there was nothing at all to mark the top of Fountain’s Fell South. We trudged along to what we called for a long time the 593 trig point but I woudld now call Knowe Fell.
On the way we came across some classic blancmange ground but the weather finally began to clear. When we arrived at Knowe Fell we got some excellent views of Ribblesdale and each of the Three Peaks. It was probably this unexpected boon that rescued this walk from being a total soggy washout.
The last couple of miles were via the road back to the Tarn and were a bit heavy going after all the energy we’d expended getting through the rain.