To the north of Dent lies the long whale back hill of Aye Gill Pike. It is not high enough to be one of the Dales 30 but still has outstanding views across the Dales and on a clear day to the southern lakes.
I have grown up with the view that any hill with the name Pike included should be rocky and possibly pointy (Langdales, Scafell, Dufton etc) but this seemed unlikely in the case of Aye Gill Pike. A glance at the map confirmed this, Aye Gill Pike was a broad whaleback mountain, separating the deep valleys of Garsdale and Dentdale.
Still, it had not been climbed so we headed off on a warm October day to right this wrong. Dentdale is always a good base, a quiet base admittedly, but pretty with a pleasant village. The climb itself was straightforward. I headed west along the Dales Way before hitting the ridge above Barth Bridge. A wall leads all the way to a summit (a new fence complicating the issue a little near the trig point) and sadly there was no sign of a Pike!
However the views were excellent, Aye Gill Pike lies bang in the centre of some excellent Dales mountains, with the Howgills particularly impressive from here. I descended steeply and directly towards Dent (3rd field to the west from the summit).
The descent is steep, with bad knees it may be worth reversing the climb, the views partly compensate for the time taken.
There are no public rights of way on Aye Gill Pike. It is therefore important to find gaps in the many dry stone walls on the direct descent. There is a faint track in the 2nd field to the west from the summit which picks up a farm track lower down.
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