Yorkshire Dales Walks
Cam Rakes & Woldside
Date: 10th April 2007
Distance: 14.8 miles
Ascent: 2024 feet
Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: SD875807
Route Summary: Low Bank - Oughtershaw - Cocklee Fell - Cam Rakes - Cam Pasture - Cam High Road - Grove Head - Snaizeholme Fell - Grove Head - Kidhow Gate - Green Side - Fleet Moss Edge - Woldside - Oughtershaw - Low Bank
Walk Summary: The aim of this walk was to bag another Dales Dewey in the modest form of Cam Rakes with the option of Woldside if time and weather were favourable.
The drive up Wharfedale saw a few showers and some spots of sunshine but the latter vanished for sometime when I started walking. Initially using the path from Oughtershaw to Green Field I then followed the ridge wall all the way to the summit.
Apart from a few patches of bog and a barbed wire fence to cross the conditions underfoot were fairly easy. However the weather took a turn as it so often does and by the time I’d reached the top I was quite wet and the cloud had come down so there was nothing to see.
It began to clear shortly after beginning my descent and after crossing a dodgy looking bridge over Cam Beck I made the short but steep climb up to and beyond Cam Houses to the Cam High Road. By this time I’d decided I may as well bag Woldside as well.
By the time I reached Kidhow Gate the weather had begun to come out quite nicely. Due to the improving weather and a sudden realisation I was so close I decided to make an on the spot there and back again detour to bag Snaizeholme Fell. Of course having made this decision and having battled half the way across some quite tussocky ground the weather had the temerity to get worse and even rain briefly.
While there are some modest limestone outcrops surrounding the summit the summit itself is a grassy plateau with very little of interest, not even a summit cairn. I ate some lunch in the shelter of one outcrop before retracing my steps, this time with the aid of the built extension to the Ribble Way path which saved me from an excess of tussocks.
Back at the road I had a good march before heading off across Green Side to cross the Hawes – Oughtershaw road and then on to the modest Fleet Moss Edge. By this time my legs were aching from all the rough ground I’d been over but I seemed to get a second wind as I approached Woldside and after hurdling a number of drainage ditches on the eastern edge of Fleet Moss I headed up to the top of Woldside to find another featureless grassy top also bereft of a summit cairn.
A walk around the summit plateau brought into view the modest Jeffrey Pot Scar and further east Oughtershaw Tarn. I decided against the detour out to the latter and instead headed back down to the road where I was lucky enough to find a handy gate to give me access to the road.
The final mile or so was back along the road and I have to say Oughtershaw looked a rather messy, decayed sort of place. I’m sure it has looked nicer driving through in the sun but on this day it looked uninviting.
Sometimes the weather can make or break a walk but on this day it did neither. It was good to be able to bag three Deweys in one walk and having stood at the top I’m very glad I didn’t make Snaizeholme Fell the sole objective of a walk. Having said that the view I had of the Snaizeholme Valley from Grove Head was very fine indeed.
1. The top of Cam Rakes
2. Looking back at Cam Rakes
3. A derelict barn above the Oughtershaw valley
4. Snaizeholme Fell
5. The Snaizeholme valley from Grove Head
6. Dodd Fell
7. Cairn on Fleet Moss Edge
8. Jeffrey Pot Scar
9. The upper slopes of Woldside