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  • Howgill/ Bowerdale mtb route worth it ?
  • stevedoc
    Free Member

    Free pass weekend means an away play date with the bike. Ive looked at this route a few times over the years and though hopw it would be a right pain in the Ar** in the wind and rain. But as the weather looks good and any incurtion into the heart of the Lakes will be greated by way to many people for my social battery its a possible why not .

    The GPX will take care of the route but simple question Is it worth it

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    It should be getting into good nick. It’s quite old school in the effort/reward stakes, the Bowderdale descent and the bit after it is actual kinda awkward in places and hard to find flow. The return leg back to Sedbergh is decent here and there, but a bit of a schlepp in others.

    Think of it as a good day out with a summit, great views and some nice riding.

    Tip – stay on tarmac between the foot of Bowderdale and Ravenstonedale. The ‘classic’ route involves a lot of field plodding. There is a minor road running parallel with the A684.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    V much worth it. The descent into Bowderdale is v rutty, but still a fun ride and then…

    the Bowderdale descent and the bit after it is actual kinda awkward in places and hard to find flow.

    Strongly disagree :-) Just need to go quickly. Helps if you’re chasing/trying to drop mates.

    stay on tarmac between the foot of Bowderdale and Ravenstonedale.

    Agree. To be got out of the way quickly which it can be. Good pubs in Ravenstonedale.

    he return leg back to Sedbergh is decent here and there, but a bit of a schlepp in others.

    Last time I did this was after three pints in Ravenstonedale, which definitely helped. What I’ve done a couple of times when I’ve done this route on my own, and never managed to persuade anyone else to do for some reason, is to ride to the base of Cautley Spout and then carry up, and then there’s a thin and partly ridable path above the beck, which you cross to ride up to Great Dummocks on the Calf ridge, where you join the main bridleway for the blast down to Winder and Sedbergh. This is just very fast and not at all tech fun.

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    Was going to suggest the Cautley Spout carry, but it’s not for everyone!

    mick_r
    Full Member

    We did it in a dry spell a few years ago and enjoyed it. Perfect for an xc full sus to take the sting out of the rutty bit. Definitely get some kind of drink in Ravenstonedale as we ran out of water.

    ampthill
    Full Member

    I went up Bowderdale! It was the 1990s but is there a statute of limitations on blaming some one for poor planing

    Mind you I enjoyed trying to ride up the valley and they didn’t

    1
    johnx2
    Free Member

    Was going to suggest the Cautley Spout carry, but it’s not for everyone!

    and the little path off the top has its sketchy moments

    ped
    Full Member

    If you’re riding up from Sedbergh, I’d suggest doing the ascent that goes through the farm, left along the wall then sharp right, and not the one further up Howgill Lane that takes in Winder. The former is far more ridable.

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    That would be Lockbank farm looking on the o/s and the return via Cautley does it run by the beck ?

    johnx2
    Free Member

    editing to say ha! ^^^ exactly that for the way up and back.

    But at the end of Bowderdale I’d just ride up through Wath (less faff) and take the road to Ravenstonedale.

    That would be Lockbank farm looking on the o/s and the return via Cautley does it run by the beck ?

    yes and yes.

    Good point about the way up – I’ve cleaned all the way up going that way, bar the steep corner up Calder, which doubtless some folks can ride.

    The way back is road out of ravenstonedale through Banks on he map. Cruel with a headwind. Then you can branch off on the bridleway through Murthwaite, which I’ve never done; or go to the very end of the road and take the bridleway through Mountain View on the map, which I’ve walked few times though not for years or would rid fine; or do what I think most people riding this do and drop from the road through the farm at Adamthwaite and follow the bw until it turns into road at Thursgill.

    ped
    Full Member

    you can branch off on the bridleway through Murthwaite

    Good call, as the track immediately off the road is fun, but I actually edited that route before sharing to remove that lower path as it can be boggy as **** closer to the beck, so have opted to stay high the past few times I’ve ridden it.

    FunkyDunc
    Free Member

    Its a ride I have always wanted to do but never got round to it.

    As above pedalling an mtb is a bit old school now, but looks a great route to me, especially with the dry weather of late

    martinhutch
    Full Member

    I rode it once after weeks of dry weather and there was still a bit of slop on the track at the bottom of Bowderdale. It’s definitely not one to do in wet conditions.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    Just heading off to do it now, entirely coincidentally…

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    Oww report back John

    Do the West Fell path, not the bridleway. Ride it anticlockwise.

    1
    johnx2
    Free Member

    Ride it anticlockwise.

    May do next time. I’ve ridden up bowderdale and it’s okay, descent from the calf making it worth it.

    In fact there were four dodgy looking MXers riding up the bw which they really shouldn’t have been. Some little blue flags implying some kind of event tho I don’t see how it can have been legit.

    Anyway, good half day ride. Old school for sure. Bits where streams cross the path are always going to be wet but really not an issue. Bridleway from ravenstonedale was more fun than I remember.

    Here’s a pic

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    That looks great

    FFJA
    Free Member

    It’s a bit of a grind I found and then b/w through the fields after bowderdale can be a slog, the adamthwaite bit with the old ruined farmhouse was quite nice on way back into sedbergh.
    Was January and a blizzard when I went. Would be much nicer in summer tbf.

    MadBillMcMad
    Full Member

    Possibly controversially I prefer to do the western line in both directions and skip the eastern roady line.

    yoshimi
    Full Member

    I rode this last weekend – very enjobale day out – came accross 1 group of about 6 riders all day but worried they might be STWers so gave them a wide berth:)

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    With regret I didnt both last weekend and ended up doing a Loop around Stockdale lane and the Dales . Im looking again for this weekend up im sure were close to the horse draggin and travellers weekend ….

    montgomery
    Free Member

    Christ, thanks for the reminder – I was contemplating taking the bike up Cross Fell way next week. Think I’ll postpone for a couple of weeks…

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