Calders

Calders

Calders is the overlord of the southern Howgill Fells and is second only to The Calf in terms of height.

Height (m): 675.4
Height (ft): 2216
Prominence (m): 34.2
Classification: Nuttall, Hewitt
Hill No: 2737
Grid Ref: SD670960
OS Map OL19
No. of Visits 4

The spot height on the Ordnance Survey map shows the height of Calders as 674m. However, a survey in April 2014 found that the highest point is actually 675.4m. This means that Calders is just 60cm or 2ft lower than The Calf, two-thirds of a mile to the north.

Approaching Calders from the west
Approaching Calders from the west

The survey found that the highest point of Calders is actually a spot on the path 5m west of the cairn. The latter is obviously lower than the path but makes a good spot to take a summit photo.

The summit of Calders looking towards the Lake District
The summit of Calders looking towards the Lake District

As with most of the Howgills the view from Calders is superb. Indeed, whilst The Calf excels in its view to the north, Calders has a fantastic panorama to the south. The view extends right down the Lune valley towards the distant Bowland moors. To the west is the Lakeland skyline while nearer to hand the southern Howgills and the hills of Garsdale and Dentdale are well seen.

Calders from Arant Haw
Calders from Arant Haw

There are two other features of note on the summit. The first is the fence. Fences are few in the Howgills and in fact it is many miles to the north until another wall or fence is encountered, a state of affairs that make it such a great home to fell ponies. Secondly, just below the cairn are three stone blocks which hold a geocache.

The geocache just below the summit
The geocache just below the summit

Calders has two subsidary tops, Bram Rigg Top to the north and Great Dummacks to the west. Bram Rigg Top was once classed as a separate summit on the list of Nuttalls. However, in October 2016 a survey found that it just failed to achieve the requisite 15m prominence and so was relegated from the list.

Bram Rigg Top to the left of the wide path between Calders and The Calf
Bram Rigg Top to the left of the wide path between Calders and The Calf

Great Dummacks has a height of 663m. Whilst its summit is nondescript a bit further to the west is the spectacular rim of Cautley Crag. One of the few places in the Howgill Fells where the underlying Silurian rock can be seen, Cautley Crag stands in places 400-500ft in height overlooking the side valley of Cautley Holme Beck.

On Cautley Crag
On Cautley Crag

Most people who climb Calders do so almost by accident as it lies right on the popular path from Sedbergh on The Calf. The path crosses the narrow ridge of Rowantree Grains, which connects Calders from the southern Howgill Fells.

Approaching Calders along Rowantree Grains
Approaching Calders along Rowantree Grains

From the Cross Keys Inn to the east a good route climbs up alongside Cautley Spout before following the rim of Cautley Crag round on to Great Dummacks and thence on to Calders. A less obvious, steep, but hugely enjoyable route from the west approaches via Bram Rigg Beck before climbing directly up Calders Rigg.

Looking back down the steep climb up Calders Rigg
Looking back down the steep climb up Calders Rigg

Calders is a majestic fell and would be much better known were it not for the fact that The Calf is slightly higher. Certainly it is one of my favourite hills in the Yorkshire Dales.

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