Overview and logistics

We left Darlington by car at 8.30am on Friday 9th March heading over the A66 to Kirkby Stephen. We were aiming to start at around 10am.

Evidence of the previous weeks snowfall was obvious on the A66 over the Pennines with the ploughs having carved a path through the towering drifts. As we approached Kirkby Stephen, we passed an abandon car still buried in deep snow, with extensive damage from a crash. A reminder of how different the weather had been only a few days before.

Our journey was uneventful and we arrived on schedule.

The plan was to cover the route in three days. This was comprised of:

Friday – 13 miles - Day 1 would take us from Kirkby Stephen station through Smardale along an old drovers trails and then a climb up from Bowderdale up towards the summit of The Calf for a wild camp.

Saturday – 11 miles - Day 2 we would head to Sedbergh and into Dentdale for an overnight camp.

Sunday – 9 miles - Day 3 took us into Deepdale and over the ancient drovers route The Craven Way and through the Great Wold to Ribblehead. The train back to the car at Kirkby Stephen was at 3.15pm.