Selside Pike is a fell in the English Lake
District standing between the valleys of Mardale and Swindale in the Far
Mardale (Haweswater) and Swindale run parallel
S-shaped courses, trending generally to the north east. Between them is
a tract of high ground about two miles wide and five miles long.
Branstree is the first fell on this ridge followed by two more tops of
similar height. The first at 2,207 ft is unnamed on OS maps, although,
the name High Howes has been offered in at least one guidebook.
Wainwright considered this to be a subsidiary of Branstree and accorded
separate fell status to the next summit Selside Pike in his Pictorial
Guide to the Lakeland Fells.
The upper parts of Selside Pike are
characterised by smooth grassy slopes and the top of the fell has a
dome-like appearance from most angles. The lower slopes on the western
side- falling to the shore of Haweswater are steeper with tongues of
scree in evidence.
Two small conifer plantations on the shore
stand above the submerged village of Mardale Green and the Dun Bull Inn.
These were lost when the lake was raised in the 1940s to provide
drinking water supplies.
The eastern side of the fell forms the
head of Swindale proper, the upper valley being known as Mosedale.
Swindale is a classic U-shaped valley, its profile almost a square
section, with a flat base and sheer walls.
Selside Pike's eastern
slopes fall gently to about the 2,000 ft contour and then plunge over a
wall of crag to the valley floor.
Geordie Greathead Crag is the
dominant feature and below this is the dry tarnbed of Dodd Bottom.
Hobgrumble Gill falls down this face in a deep gully, separating
Selside Pike from the north east ridge of High Howes. Above the crags
the gill runs in a small hanging valley.
The ridge south westward
to High Howes is grassy and broad, crossing a wet depression at Captain
North eastwards from Selside Pike the ridge narrows,
dropping over High Blake Dodd to the Mardale Corpse Road. Beyond this is
Hare Shaw (1,650 ft), standing at the head of an area of rough fell on
either side of the Naddle Beck.
Selside Pike summit has a large
stone cairn while all around is grass. The view of the Lakeland fells is
confined to the head of Mardale but Haweswater, Shap and the Pennines
present a fine open prospect.
Selside Pike can be climbed from
Mardale via the Corpse road and High Blake Dodd.
The same means
of ascent can also be gained from Swindale, or the track up Mosedale can
There is no access for non-residents cars to the last
mile and a half of the Swindale road.