Sunday, October 25, 2015

Penyghent, the hill of winds

click photo to enlarge
On a day such as the one on which I took this photograph Penyghent looks like a benign, undemanding mountain, somewhere that offers a moderately energetic stroll with the reward of a quite good view at the end of it. And, truth be told, that isn't too far from the truth. On a warm, still, early autumn day such as is shown above (or even one a little later), a few rocky scrambles excepted, it is all those things.

However, the Celtic translation of Penyghent's name - "hill of winds" - is a more accurate summation of this Yorkshire peak. I've climbed Penyghent many times and on few occasions was the weather entirely kind. More typically it is windy, often the mountain is in cloud (sometimes of its own making), frequently it is lashed by rain showers and all to commonly it is drenched by steady rain. The latter appeared in bucket-fulls after a sunny, August walk from Settle to the peak with my wife many years ago. Such was the downpour and the strength of the wind that we were forced to pitch our tent near the summit. A small stream was running under our groundsheet by midnight. The next day compensated for our discomfort by being bright, sunny and warm. I've climbed Penyghent in snow and ice and it is far from benign. Low cloud can make it a disorienting place to be.

The photograph above was taken after a walk that took in Attermire and Victoria Cave. The area looks rugged and remote, but if you look carefully below the trees you'll glimpse the tarmac surface of the road that leads to Malham.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Olympus E-M10
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 49mm (98mm - 35mm equiv.)
F No: f7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/1250 sec
Exposure Compensation: 0EV
Image Stabilisation: On