Sharp Haw is the distinctive summit of Flasby Fell which, despite its modest altitude, is one of the most prominent fells in the Dales.
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Altogether Flasby Fell has five summits, only the two highest Sharp Haw and Rough Haw (339m) are named. The other three tops are the crag lined 326m summit to the south-west of Sharp Haw and the less interesting 289m and 283m tops to the north of Rough Haw.
The main duo of Sharp Haw and Rough Haw make a fine contrast, from the south in particular Sharp Haw is well named as it rises to a point, to the east Rough Haw is much more rounded. The author Paul Hannon memorably described them as ‘twin portals to the Yorkshire Dales’.
Probably the easiest way to the top of Sharp Haw is via a simple walk of just over a mile from a sharp bend on Bog Lane, where it is possible to park several cars. From the gate on the road corner simply follow the bridleway until it approaches the saddle between Sharp Haw and Rough Haw. A clear path branches off to climb to the summit, a short steep pull to finish.
From the north the same bridleway can be followed southwards from the small village of Flasby where once again a path breaks off for Sharp Haw whilst just below the saddle with Rough Haw.
An alternative route from Flasby is to take the path past High Laithe and into Crag Wood. Upon reaching a memorial bench take a thin path on the left. This zigzags up through trees and rhododendrons before gaining the open fell at a gate. It is then a short walk to the summit.
Sharp Haw has probably the smallest summit area of any of the hills in the Yorkshire Dales. The highest point is not in doubt and is marked by an Ordnance Survey trig point, listed as Sharpah on the OS database. The views are excellent, especially looking north-east towards Cracoe Fell and the clearly visible Rylstone Cross. To the south-west meanwhile the view looks towards Pinhaw Beacon, Weets Hill and the unmistakeable profile of Pendle Hill.
While it would be easy to simply walk to the summit and back it is worth exploring some of the other summits on Flasby Fell. Rough Haw is definitely worth checking out though my favourite is the 326m summit above Crag Wood which is topped by a large cairn and features some fine gritstone outcrops. Also worth finding is the small tarn, that I call Crag Tarn, which is hidden away below a crag to the west of Sharp Haw’s summit.