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Bowland & Pendle Summits

Wolfhole Crag

Wolfhole Crag is one of the remotest and rockiest summits in the Forest of Bowland and is also quite possibly the best.

Height (m) 527
Height (ft) 1729
Grid Ref: SD634578
Classification: Dewey
Trig Point: Yes
No. of Visits 1

Wolfhole Crag Gallery: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Wolfhole Crag as seen from the peaty path from Ward's Stone
Matt trying to find a route to scramble up on to one of the larger outcrops on Wolfhole Crag
An unfortunate sheep that had died after becoming stuck in the bogs between Ward's Stone and Wolfhole Crag
The gritstone outcrops of Wolfhole Crag
The summit of Wolfhole Crag

More about Wolfhole Crag: Wolfhole Crag is the third highest summit in the Forest of Bowland and is one of only four summits in the area that are over 500m in height. Wolfhole Crag is the only one of the four (the others being Ward's Stone, White Hill and Fair Snape Fell) that does not qualify as a Marilyn. This is due to the relative lack of re-ascent from the direction of Ward's Stone to the west and White Hill to the east, both of which are higher.

Wolfhole Crag is one of the more remote summits in the Bowland fells. There are numerous gritstone outcrops surrounding the summit area and though rarely visited by rock climbers there are a number of recognised climbing routes including a couple of rated as 'hard grit' (E7 and E6) climbs. Wolfhole Crag has the rather unusual distinction of featuring the most remote (in terms of distance from a road) hard grit routes in the UK.

It is not only distance that would deter potential rock climbers. There are no clear paths to the summit and whichever approach one takes it is likely to be rough underfoot. This is particularly the case of the route from the eastern side of Ward's Stone. In places it is very peaty and while I was lucky enough to go this way following an extended dry spell the remains of a recently deceased sheep stuck in a bog was a reminder that care still needed to be taken.

Looking at the map it is quite remarkable how water that flows off Wolfhole Crag eventually finds its way into at least each one of Bowland's main rivers. These include the rivers Brennand, Dunsop, Hindburn, Hodder, Roeburn, Wenning, Whitewell as well as Tarnbrook Wyre. In turn these rivers feed the larger rivers that border Bowland, the rivers Lune, Ribble and Wyre.

Wolfhole Crag also marks the northwestrnmost boundary of the civil parish of Bowland Forest High. Apparently the 2001 census recorded a population of just 163 for the parish which includes the village of Dunsop Bridge as well as the small communities of Brennand, Hareden and Sykes. While we today think of Bowland as Lancashire walking country it is perhaps surprising to find that prior to 1974 the parish of Bowland Forest High was actually part of the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Of the Bowland summits that I have so far visited I would rate Wolfhole Crag the highest. For a start the numerous gritstone outcrops and boulders, though fairly modest by Peak District standards, provide much scope for scrambling and pottering about. The view, particularly of the Bowland fells, is also first rate. Wolfhole Crag's central position means that nearly all of Bowland's summits can be easily seen and identified while away to the north there is a good aspect of Ingleborough and the surrounding area of the Yorkshire Dales.

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