I began in Kingsdale, that splendid, glaciated valley. Here, the flat alluvial floor can be seen to perfection: the hazy skies allowing the Kingsdale beck to have a sinister, if beautiful, appearance. It is believed that this valley was once floored by a lake - the waters being trapped by a layer of terminal moraine - a huge barrier of debris left by the glacier. Meltwater eventually cut through the barrier and drained the lake, leaving the flat valley floor.
Kingsdale Beck becomes the well known River Doe, cutting, as can be seen here, through the Raven Ray moraine barrier and forming Thornton Force waterfall. The glen forming the fall can be seen in the centre of the picture.
A track winds up Twisleton Scar End and is known as the Kirkby Gate - the name originating from Viking settlers. It is believed to have been an old road for transporting peat from the moor.
From this viewpoint the massive Raven Ray terminal moraine barrier can be seen as a huge hump-like feature in the landscape. It is clear from this position how the River Doe has cut a deep groove through the moraine barrier on its way to tumble down the Ingleton waterfalls.
The much photographed, weather beaten trees on Twisleton Scar End make any day seem like a hurricane is blowing. They receive the full force of the westerly winds from the Irish Sea and yet still remain defiant, as they have for centuries.
Looking across a fine stretch of weathered pavement to Gragareth and Kingsdale.
The Kirkby Gate continues its journey onto the moor. Stone once used to be taken from here for garden rockeries. The best rockeries are made by glaciers, not gardeners, and thank goodness that practice has come to an end.
The three cairns are useful in dull conditions for locating the path back down into Kingsdale. They will remain with you for the entire adventure, eventually becoming mere dots on the horizon.
Sink holes and small pot holes then begin to appear, their sides worn into attractive decorative shapes by water action. Scales Moor is undoubtedly hiding, somewhere beneath, a huge cave system that has yet to be discovered, and it is not through want of trying. It is only 90 years since White Scar, on the opposite side of the valley, was uncovered by Christopher Long. Hopefully determined cavers can unlock the secrets of this fascinating landscape in the not too distant future.
Another small pot caused by water seeping through a joint in the limestone - probably originally begun by glacial meltwater. Only rainwater, rather than streams or rivers, can find its way in today - so enlargement is now clearly very slow indeed.
Fantastic shapes, like a clutching hand (centre) and giant's foot with huge big toe (bottom left) have been carved out of the Great Scar limestone. You can spend hours finding shapes and formations here, and children will love it.
Best of all is the Sleeping Hound - head on one side, drooping ear and outstretched front legs. He's been snoring away for centuries, bless him.
Extensive Pavements dominate the proceedings from this point, to the right of the path.
The Fluted Pothole has to be seen to be believed and lies by the pathway as it continues onto the moor. A combination of meltwater and surface run-off has formed these beautiful 'petals' of limestone, like the structure of a huge rocky sunflower.
A film of the area shows the startling sudden appearance of this gem in the landscape.
A thin layer of glacial drift just manages to cover the limestone pavements on this part of the moor, though their shape can be imagined in this picture. It is as though the limestone has been covered by a thin green velvet blanket. Some limestone, however, is there for all to see, and the glacier has dumped scores of boulders in this area.
This weathered and rounded limestone boulder is a conspicuous object on the dazzling green turf beneath it, the mossy coating giving it an attractive and rustic appearance.
Some of the boulders are just downright strange, like this old fella - again resting on a thin layer of glacial debris, covering the main limestone bench. The ridges of High Pike and Whernside can be seen rising behind.
A view of the same boulder, looking east to the magnificent sight of Ingleborough, looming in shadow. The clean white benches of limestone can be seen in the background.
A view west to Gragareth, with the fields in the foreground littered with limestone boulders and gritstone erratics, dropped by the glacier.
Walking west onto the exposed pavements reveals the tremendous perched limestone boulder known as the Obelisk. Its stark white features contrast superbly with the clouds over Ingleborough.
Note how the sheer size of the Obelisk has protected the plinth, on which it stands, from the worst effects of the weather. Great civilisations have come and gone - and still he has remained. The sheep, grazing to the right, hadn't seen me at this point and so didn't have a care in the world.
The Obelisk is one of the supreme features of the Three Peaks landscape - a textbook example of the power of the great glaciers - and thankfully only known by those who love the lonely places ...
In fact, he's so wonderful, that a different perspective of him opens up every two minutes. Here Ingleborough is just catching the sun behind, and a cairn (soon to be visited) reveals itself on the horizon.
Take a view around the scene of this limestone wonder.
At last, Ingleborough has revealed its upper slopes - the thin bands of limestone of the Yoredale series just visible below the grit-stone summit cap, and the massive landslip of Falls Foot visible as a 'bite' out of the mountain on the right.
The true 'erratics' are those rocks that have been plucked from upper or lower layers in relation to the limestone and ceremoniously 'dumped' on the pavements, such as this gritstone boulder - showing a fine colour contrast with the white surroundings. Notice how mosses and lichens grow much more easily on this rock than on the limestone itself.
These ladies are posing - as if not to be outdone by a few old rocks. Blue and yellow markings at least suggest she's a Leeds fan - like the author. True Yorkshire colours, those.
This cairn is the only man-made feature on Scales Moor that can challenge the natural for beauty - as can be seen here. It marks the edges of Twisleton Scars as they plunge down into Chapel-le-Dale below.
The overall picture is one of splendour. To stand here is a privilege.
The 800 feet thick band of Great Scar Limestone was once continuous from here to the benches under Ingleborough, but the great 'u' shaped trench of Chapel-le-Dale, separating both sides of the valley, has been carved out by successive glaciations. At its peak, the ice covered the whole of the land mass that can be seen here! Across the valley can be seen the terraced limestone plinth of the Raven Scars - on which Ingleborough is effectively 'perched'.
A rare exposure: from this position the basement 'slates' show up where they have been exploited for quarrying. The terraces of Twisleton Scars lie directly below, plunging to the farmstead of Twisleton Dale House. This lies on Oddie's Lane - an old Roman Road through the dale. In the background, Raven Scars are separated from White Scars on the right by an obvious fault, marked by a canyon-like valley, clearly visible on the photograph.
Springcote Farm, in Chapel-le-Dale, is a very special place for me. It was here, in 1976, that I camped with my dad, who still knows the farmer very well. The 40 mile trip from Lancashire was like going abroad ... and my first view of Ingleborough captured my imagination like no other I have had since. This was my 'Mount Everest' .... and this view of the farm ... the same as from the doorway of our little tent, takes me back to being seven years old in that boiling summer - before life offered any obstacles and upsets .... I get a twinge of sadness when I see this view. You'll know what I mean, won't you?
Springcote Farm is one of my enchanted little places. We used to play in a tree house in that little wood at the bottom left - and we walked four miles into Ingleton for groceries .... those were the days!
Here, the great glacier has scoured the surface rocks and soils way to leave the bare limestone in all its glory. These pavements deserve to be ranked amongst Britain's greatest natural wonders. The clints are the large blocks of rock, with deep grykes in between - and they can reach 30 feet in depth. Watch your footsteps!
A fault can be seen here, running through the pavement and at right angles to the flow of ice, which was left to right across the picture. This can only indicate the potential for great caverns below.
All white as far as Ingleborough.
A last look at the lord of the limestone ... and goodbye till next time.