Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Warrendale Knots - Dolomites of the Dales (part 2)

Once you've had a coffee in the Royal Box, it's time to take a closer look around. Impurities in the Great Scar Limestone give it a pinkish effect here - and corals that lived in a warm tropical sea some 300 million years ago are easy to pick out.  Seems strange looking at icicles when you consider that all this once lay near the equator .... dream on!


All castles have wine cellar and granary - so where's the granary in this natural fortress - you may ask?  The answer lies a few feet along the ledge from the Royal Box: another little cavern which has never been fully excavated and has promise of archaeological delights no doubt - if you're smaller than me you can crawl inside but watch out for Reynard's discarded dinners! 

Leaving this delightful shelf behind is difficult.  Retrace your steps to the top of the 'Gateway' and head up onto the first of the Knots .......

The first of the two pictures above shows a fine limestone pavement on top of what I call 'Tower One' (Tolkein influence here).  This pavement has been left when the Ribblesdale glaciers scraped away all the shales and gritstone that lay above during the last ice age.  The cliff you can see beyond is the awesome Attermire Scar containing a cave that has revealed burials and Romano-British remains, but we'll go there another day ...

Tower Two is the next objective.  Here it is, crowned by a small cairn - with the 'Dome' just to the left of centre.  From now on it's a wonderful scramble up and down the Knots, with something different to see round every corner.  You've not much chance of seeing a human ...

Spot the Cavern in Tower Two!  Nobody has bothered to dig it at this altitude, but it looks promising to me - and what a view the cavemen would have had.

The summit cairn on Tower Two is exciting - have a look in the cliffs of Langcliffe Scars beyond and you can see the world famous Victoria Cave with husband Albert Cave just above and to the left.  These caves have produced elephant and rhino skeletons from when we once lived in the tropics - as well as human burials.  

Possible Chieftain's Burial???  Tot Lord was always finding possible sites up here.  Look at the band of limestone in the centre of the photograph and a seemingly man made 'hump' crowns it.  This is one of the wildest places in Britain - a knoll just to the north of Tower Two with Attermire Scars beyond.

The Power of ice is best seen when you meet a big fella like this one!  This Silurian erratic is much older than the limestone he sits on.  He has been scraped from the lower valley sides by the glacier and ceremoniously dumped here by melting ice some 12 000 years ago.  Through all the great events of history - he's not budged an inch!  By the way, that's Victoria Cave trying to compete for importance behind.

Here's a couple more of the big fellas as we head towards the dome!

Just to remind you - we are now heading from right to left along the photograph onto the rather imposing and symmetrical dome at the centre.  

Approaching the dome is always exciting, and it's odd to see water up here, caught on pockets of shale that have survived the glaciers - lucky things!  Like all the other Knots, the Dome has its customary cavern ...

Looking back at the Dome (foreground) and Tower 2.  Just the summit or 'Great Knott' to go!

Tied Up in Knots!  Domes and towers are everywhere now.

How about this for a view??  Looking from the summit of the Great Knott to the Citadel (with Skull Gully).  Exactly in the centre can be seen the gateway or Main Entrance we came up  through.  The line of the Mid Craven Fault is plain to see.  This feels like the Grand Canyon .

(part three to follow soon - I need a brew ..)!! so let's pause on the summit awhile ..

But let's remind ourselves where we are - the highest point on the left of the photograph below ... enjoy this amazing vantage point before the mist arrives ...

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