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Bowland & Pendle Walks

Mallowdale Pike & Hawkshead

Date: 21st September 2013
Distance: 7.9 miles
Ascent: 1470 feet
Time: 4 hours 40 mins
With: Tim and Jack
Start Grid Ref: SD608626

Walk Summary:
A trip from High Salter into upper Roeburndale to the seldom visited Mallowdale Pike before heading for Hawkshead on the opposite side of the River Roeburn.

Route Summary: High Salter - Mallowdale Bridge - Mallowdale Tarn - Mallowdale Pike - Marking Fold Hill - Shooting Cabin - River Roeburn - Hawkshead - Hornby Road - Salter Clough - High Salter

Photos: Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Mallowdale Pike from just below High Salter
The River Roeburn from Mallowdale Bridge
Mallowdale Tarn
Mallowdale Tarn
Jack on the upper slopes of Mallowdale Pike
By the memorial cairn on Mallowdale Pike
The memorial cairn on Mallowdale Pike
The cairn on Marking Fold Hill
Jack on the rocks of Marking Fold Hill
Tim and Jack at the shooting cabin
The River Roeburn
Tim with the tiny cairn we built on Hawkshead
A particularly large rock on Alderstone Bank
The Salter Way leading back ove the moor to High Salter


Walk Detail: Another walk with Tim and Jack from Bowland Walks, this was to a part of north Bowland that none of us had been to before.

We'd not been sure that there would be a parking space at the end of the road in Roeburndale though fortunately there was a spot just alongside the farm at High Salter. This saved us a couple of miles of road walking and almost straight away we had a good view of our main destination - Mallowdale Pike.

Leaving High Salter we first crossed a field to join the access road to Mallowdale Farm, crossing along the way the River Roeburn for the first time on the walk. Heading south-east from Mallowdale, initially on a track, we made our way for a small but attractive tarn which is simply named 'Tarn' on the Ordnance Survey map. We decided that 'Mallowdale Tarn' was a much better name for it.

From the tarn we followed a line of grouse butts before making a direct and pathless climb to the top of Mallowdale Pike. It was far harder work than we expected and with muggy low cloud overhead and little breeze to help cool us we were all blowing before we reached the top.

Up until this point it had been overcast and quite murky with the cloud base just above the top of Mallowdale Pike. On our way to the top the sun briefly broke through the cloud promising an improvement but in fact this presaged a deterioration in the conditions and by the time we reached the memorial cairn on Mallowdale Pike visibility had dropped markedly.

From Mallowdale Pike it was a largely pathless walk through the mist until we reached the shooter's track and shortly afterward the shooting cabin where we had our lunch. Due to the increasingly poor visibility the only features of note we saw were the cairn and a small rash of rocks on Marking Fold Hill, and numerous spider webs in the moor grass and heather.

Between the cabin and the bridge crossing the Roeburn we were stopped by a country gentleman in his landrover who was looking for a young lad who had been out beating for them. We'd not seen anyone and it certainly wasn't a good place to get lost in poor conditions. Fortunately the man drove back past us 20 minutes later and said that they had found the missing boy.

Across the river, and having made the steep pull up Alderstone Bank, we made a short detour to Hawkshead, the highest point of a large swathe of moorland that includes Goodber Common and Summersgill Fell. Back on the Salter Way (marked on the map as Hornby Road) we also visited a particularly large stone that had been prominent from the valley below. In better conditions the view down to the river below would have been excellent. Leaving the rock behind it was then a gentle walk back to High Salter.

I'd been planning this walk for a long time so it was slightly disappointing the weather wasn't particularly good. Despite this it was still an enjoyable trip out and I wouldn't hesitate to go back and explore this area further.

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