Yorkshire Dales Walks
Date: 26th November 2005
Distance: 10.5 miles
Ascent: 2071 feet
Time: 4 hours 35 mins
Start Grid Ref: SD967722
A wintry walk from Kettlewell to the top of Buckden Pike returning via Buckden Lead Mine and Starbotton.
Route Summary: Kettlewell - Top Mere Road - Cam Head - Tor Mere Top - Buckden Pike - Buckden Lead Mine - East Side - Starbotton - Cross Wood - Kettlewell
1. At times we were skating on thin ice
2. The snowy route between Tor Mere Top and Buckden Pike
3. By the air crash memorial
4. The sun begins to break through the cloud
5. Matt and I by the summit cairn on Buckden Pike
6. The cloud begins to lift
7. Matt descending towards Buckden Beck Gill
8. A kiln in Buckden Lead Mine
9. Looking down into Buckden Beck Gill
10. Upper Wharfedale
Walk Detail: The forecast was generally quite good but when we arrived in Kettlewell the cloud was low and not long after we began the steep pull up Cam Pasture it began to rain and then, as we got to Cam Head, the rain turned to snow.
While this was more comfortable to walk in it did mean the ground was slippery and it was at about this point I slipped over landing heavily on my backpack causing my flask to break.
By the time we had crossed Tor Mere Top it had stopped snowing but at the same time there was still plenty of snow on the ground. The fact that the ground was frozen was in itself a blessing and made the walk so much easier than my previous boggy experience on Buckden Pike. Disappointingly though the cloud hadn't lifted so there were no views from the summit.
After sheltering behind a wall and having our lunch we began our descent towards Buckden Lead Mine. It was about this point the sky began to clear and quite quickly we had a fantastic view towards Yockenthwaite Moor and Langstrothdale
The environs of Buckden Lead Mine were impressive in its snowy mantle but shortly after this point we were back under the snow level for a long stretch on a gently descending path that contours round the slopes of Buckden Pike and Tor Mere Top to Starbotton.
As we got to the latter village the weather began to deteriorate again and it was raining once again as we approached Kettlewell along some fairly muddy field paths. This was not a wholly enjoyable walk though the views towards the head of Wharfedale from Buckden Lead Mine were definitely worth the effort.