'These steps are made for six foot men,' he said as we climbed up the stone staircase to the summit of Ingleborough. Following a waterfall, I found a distraction in listening to a geologist talk of bedding planes and the ripple-effect in slabs of sandstone. From the summit plateau, we looked down on limestone pavement, grey-blue like the sea it once was.
We walked briskly through heather, deer grass and cotton grass- all subtle colours of autumn. After weeks of rain the ground was sodden. There was standing water in puddles even on the limestone pavement. The cloudscapes were spectacular but there was only a short shower. In hummocks of mosses I noticed the burrows of small mammals and we had glimpses of them scurrying for cover. An eruption of voles? Too quick to be sure what they were. I remember another year when they were abundant.
Jan Wiltshire is a nature writer living in Cumbria. She also explores islands and coast and the wildlife experience. (See Home and My Books.)