A Pondering over a potential walk.

The TWELVE Peaks of Pendle!

You know how some people run off to do the national three peaks: Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon (listed here in north-south order before anyone complains that I have them in the wrong order according to altitude!) in one day, and others do the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge of Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough (in order of how they are traditionally ascended on the day). Yet others (rather fit others I hasten to state) do the Lancashire Three of Longridge Fell, Easington Fell and our old friend Pendle Hill…the list goes on but tends to stay in its’ triplicate peak format.Of course there are exceptions, none of which I have attempted owing to their distance from Southport – the scenario being that I do not want to have to drive 75+ miles, climb multiple summits then drive the return 75+ miles.

It struck me the other day that my old friend and favourite Pendle has many, many attached foothills, this would be because of it being such an huge bulk of land, some twenty five miles in perimeter. Would it be feasible to devise a walk which took in a number of these foothills in one day-long traverse? For added respect one might start or finish at the big old giant or have it as the central section. Pendle has at least twelve lesser summits, some such as Weets Hill are actually quite a distance away from the parent peak (dodged a bullet or two there by allowing Pendle to remain androgynous). In my list of the peaks of Pendle I have (thus far) these names and heights:

  • Pendle Hill – 1827′
  • Spence Moor – 1509′
  • Weets Hill – 1250′
  • Black Hill – 1430′
  • Stang Top Moor – 1027′
  • Saddlers Height – 1236′
  • Driver Height – 1236′
  • Ogden Hill – 931′
  • Barley Hill -967′
  • Nick of Pendle -994′
  • Badger Wells Hill -1430′ *
  • Apronful Hill -1102′ *

* Indicates that no discernible height has been located by the author as of 27/5/11

Now that would be some walk, and if I were to attempt it in the order implied above then it would be very difficult – more or less impossible. Possibly the best option would be to start from Barley, go over Barley Hill and Ogden, drop down to the bridge over the Lower Odgen Reservoir, go up and through Fell Wood, cross over Saddlers and Driver Heights then head east to Spence Moor, head north to Black Hill then south to Badger Wells hill and Apronful then head south to the Nick of Pendle, from here one would have to have a rest before turning north and heading towards Ashdean Clough – this will mean wading across Howcroft Brook before a massive drop down towards Ogden Clough and another stream fording!

Now we are set for the second part of the walk as we go gradually up Ogden Clough following the paved slabs past the scout cairn (pile of stones as the O/S rather none-flatteringly words it!). After eventually winding our way to the o/s point at the summit take in the views – relax, this is now the pinnacle of the walk – alas it isn’t then end of it as now it’s a long drop into Downham and over to Weets 7.1 miles away! Even worse news is that once we have reached Weets Hill we then come straight back again and head off over to Stang Top Moor for the finale!

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