Yorkshire Dales Walks
Crookrise & Embsay Crags
Date: 13th February 2005
Distance: 6.3 miles
Ascent: 1310 feet
Time: 2 hours 45 mins
Start Grid Ref: SD998544
A short walk with my daughter in the lovely Skipton Woods followed by a boat trip on the canal.
Route Summary: Embsay Reservoir - Crookrise Crag - Hellifield Crag - North Earls - Embsay Crag - Embsay Reservoir
1. Embsay Crag and Embsay Reservoir
2. Looking south west to Weets Hill, Pendle Hill and Longridge Fell
3. By the trig point on Crookrise Crag
4. The trig point on Crookrise Crag Top
5. A wintry scene on North Earls as the cloud approaches
6. Approaching Embsay Crag
7. Looking east from Embsay Crag towards Simon's Seat
8. Lisa on Embsay Crag
9. Looking down to Embsay Reservoir from Embsay Crag
Walk Detail: Despite the exertions of the previous day on Nidd Head & Little Whernside I was keen to get out again especially as bright clear weather was forecast.
I drove out to Embsay early with Lisa and we were the first to park up in the reservoir car park. From the car park it is a nice easy climb up on to Crookrise Crag and just as we approached the trig point we were treated to a great panorama which took in Pendle Hill, Longridge Fell, the northern Bowland Fells as well as Kirkby Fell and then Knowe, Fountains and Darnbrook Fells as well. The latter were all covered in snow.
From the trig on Crookrise we descended northwards to the impressive Hellifield Crags where we had to cross the swiftly flowing Waterfall Gill. Our initial confidence for jumping over the gill was dampened somewhat by the sight of a drowned sheep. We got over safely though and after a short sharp ascent reached the Rylstone – Bolton Abbey bridleway.
At this point I tried persuading Lisa to do a 30-minute detour to see the Rylstone Cross. However the wind was getting stronger and colder by the minute and Lisa declined. In the end this proved to be a good thing because, just as on the previous day, the weather began to fluctuate wildly.
For the time being though we headed towards North Earls the highest point on Embsay Moor. While Lisa took shelter in a grouse butt I struck off the path to the rocky top of North Earls. The sight of low cloud moving in over Simon’s Seat sent me scurrying back to the path and shortly afterwards as we took the path south across the moor to Embsay Crag it began to snow.
Poor Lisa struggled in the cold wind despite the fact she was wearing my gloves over hers as well as my hat over her earmuffs(!). As we reached the top of Embsay Crag the sun came out again but the wind was still very strong. This was a shame as it is another good vantage part as well as having some substantial rocks, which it would have been nice to explore.
To make up for having subjected Lisa to these wintry conditions we detoured on the way home to the Craven Arms in Appletreewick where I treated her to a well earned lunch.