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Saturday, 5 April 2014

The "Five" Caves of Settle Hills

Following on in my series of visiting 5 particular things while out on a run (see Five Waterfalls from Settle and The Five Trigs of Ingleborough) this morning me and the Hazmeister decided to run a loop around the 5 Caves of Settle Hills. Our original target of five caves turned out to be a complete joke to be honest as we actually ended up visiting about 10 caves all told (well 10 for sure if you count a couple of pokey holes in the mix) but, given that it would ruin my '5 series' if we formally visited anymore than 5 caves, the extra caves have been given 'junk' cave status for the purposes of this blog post. 

While on the subject of junk status, in a discussion with a running friend recently, talking about training for long distance challenges like the Bob Graham Round, he effectively called my running (well my mid-week running specifically where I tend to mainly do 3 or 4 mile outings each evening with Harry) as 'junk miles' and 'dog walking' and felt that 'training' should more organised, harder, longer and tougher and, without saying it explicitly, effectively inferred that, if it wasn't done in a repetitive, structured and almost boringly masochistic way, it just didn't count. He was all for hill reps in his training (i.e. going up and down the same hillside loads of times) to maximise ascent and to keep the training efficient which I'm sure works, don't get me wrong, but, jesus, I'm damned if I'm going to miss out mine and Harry's fabulous little (and big) outings in the hills to turn my running into some sort of hamster wheel equivalent. 

In any event I'm not sure I particularly think of my running as 'training' anyway - whats most important to me and Harry is to just enjoy being out in the wilderness, running, exploring, yes occasionally really pushing my limits but also with a good mix of taking in the views, the wildlife, taking pictures and generally twitting about. Its just great fun and, if at the same time, our  junk fun running allows me to become fit enough to have a crack at the occasional long distance event or challenge, all the better but fun comes first! 

Aaaand.... rant over and back to the Five Caves of Settle Hills report. I've only named 5 caves on my route map  below (shown as yellow pin markers) with the other junk caves just shown as unnamed white markers. Our main caves of choice were Attermire (or Lookout) Cave, Horseshoe (or Keyhole) Cave, Dot Dot Dot Cave*, Jubilee Cave and Victoria Cave. Me and Harry had originally intended Ben Scar Cave to be our third cave but I came across Dot Dot Dot Cave whilst looking for Harry, who'd decided to go another Harry way, rather than my cliff edge path to Horseshoe Cave, and as quality caves go I preferred Dot Dot Dot to Ben Scar, and thus Ben Scar got relegated to junk status. (Have I said junk enough yet?).

*Because me and Harry are very laddy lads, when we saw Dot Dot Dot Cave, largely based on its shape, we thought of an entirely inappropriate name (to snigger to ourselves) which I have abbreviated to Dot Dot Dot for blogging purposes.

The 5 Caves (and 5 other caves) of Settle Hills 

Our climb up High Hill - which I ran up all the way of course

Cavey hills ahoy!

Lookout Cave at the top of the cliffs in the centre of the picture and Keyhole Cave to the right

Synchronised Sheeping

Harry the intrepid cave explorer

Lookout Cave

Keyhole Cave - this cave can be explored quite a way in apparently 

Dot Dot Dot Cave which looks a bit like a (dot dot dot)

Dot Dot Dot further in

Ben Scar Cave, relegated to junk status unfortunately

Rough tussock running ahead then... and me and Haz have the best runnable line through this field too!

Jubilee Cave (yes there are two caves) where its said a cannibal in days of yore
would lurk and jump out on unsuspecting, and ideally plump, passers by

Another random cave

This cave is brilliant but, as its right by Victoria Cave, it doesn't count as a proper cave

Inside the brilliant not counting cave

Victoria Cave, which is pretty damn big

Harry exploring Victoria Cave

A random Cave near Warrendale Knotts

Beautiful boy

The final not a cave - its more of a grotto really

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