Date & Time: Monday 9th October 2006. 10 am start.

Location of Start : Old Dungeon Ghyll public car park Langdale Valley, Cumbria Uk. ( NY286 061 )

Places visited : ODG, Stool End, The Band, Climber's Traverse, Bowfell Slab, Bowfell, Ore Gap, Esk Pike, Esk Hause and shelter, Angle Tarn, Rossett Pike, Mickleden, ODG.

Walk details : 8.8 mls, 3475 ft of ascent , 7 hrs 10 mins.

Walked with : Ann and the dogs.

Weather : Surprising change of weather after an off-putting 7.30 am downpour. Blue skies but a large cloud over the Scafells, base at about 3100 ft, elsewhere was clear with excellent visibility. A cool breeze where we found the exposed westerly slopes.



Today the Southern Fells were calling as we are on a roll for the final few Wainwright Fells of our second round.

We have actually climbed a lot more fells than that due to duplicating favourite walks for ourselves or with visiting friends. We have also re-started our count twice as each of our young dogs came along. Bethan is now a day off her 2nd birthday, and Harry about ten month older. Both will hopefully complete their first round as we complete our second.

Before then of course, we had planned to do this walk, a bit of a Langdale round.

Starting at the Old Dungeon Ghyll, we took the road to Stool End Farm, in order to climb the Band,

the bracken covered ridge climbing up towards Bowfell in the centre of the picture.

A quick view of a field of Herdwick sheep sunbathing after a rough night's weather !

Bowfell is the high peak, Hanging Knotts the extension of the summit ridge to it's right, Rossett Ghyll and Rossett Pike the col and higher ground further right again. We planned to climb the Pike before descending by the Ghyll and walking out of Mickleden on the track hidden behind the fell wall.

The instantly recognisable Langdale Pikes
An RAF helicopter practicing in the valley.


Stool End Farm as we start our climb.
Blue skies, a passing cloud shadow, and Stickle Pike.


We stopped briefly in the farmyard to talk to the farmer and his multitude of dogs. It turned out that he and four others were just about to climb the same route as us up the Band. They were going out to "gather" the sheep from Bowfell and return them to the farm. These were his normal working dogs plus several young trainee pups, and combined with ours there were thirteen dogs taking to the fells this morning.

Some of them can be seen in the first photo above.

Crinkle Crags looking resplendent in today's sunshine,and reminded me of the time we walked

across it's summits and ended up on Pike o' Blisco for our friend's 214th some thirteen months ago. Time flies doesn't it John.

Today however we were aiming for the Climber's Traverse, a delightful path under the face of Bowfell. The main path can be seen climbing steadily right to left underneath Bowfell, but we were aiming for the steeper climb onto the S.E. ridge of the fell.

Originally named by the rock climbers who wanted to ventures onto the Cambridge and Bowfell Crags, the path also gives access to the base of the Great Slab of Bowfell, one of the best ways up the mountain for fellwalkers who don't mind an occasional hand touching rock to help them on their way.

Great views of the Stickle Pike and Loft Crag high above the valley of Mickleden.

Behind is the rounded summit of High Raise, regarded by many as the geographical centre of the Lakes,

the hub of the cartwheel, with the Cumbrian Lakes as it's spokes.

Looking back now as we venture over the ridge and onto the traverse.

Windermere can be seen just clear of Lingmoor in the middle distance.

The Climber's Traverse

"Come on - what are you waiting for ?"

A fine route making its way under the high peak.
Bowfell Buttress, drying nicely in the sunshine.


Flat Crags, matching the strata of the Great Slab to come.
Harry by the spring at the base of the Great Slab

The waterspout. "Nothing better ever came out of a barrel or a bottle" ~ AW.

Climbing alongside the Great Slab towards Bowfell Summit.
Ann out into the sunshine half way up.

A crow flies across the Great Slab, which was looking particularly green and slippery today.

Fortunately the climb on the path amongst the boulders is easy enough, and recourse to the flat rock is not required.

The top of the slab, a geologist's dream climb completed.

More rocky delights near the summit of Bowfell.

Bowfell commands the heights above the three valleys of Langdale (Mickleden), Eskdale, and to the north Langstrath.

The view included Glaramara to the left, Bleaberry in the middle distance and Ullscarf to the right. Behind is Skiddaw, Blencathra and the Helvellyn fells.

To the left here, a view across one of the "Three Tarns", to Crinkle Crags, Cold Pike and Pike o' Blisco. Red Tarn is the flash of silvery water.

Beyond is Wetherlam and Swirl How where we were last week.

On a good day,

from the top of Bowfell, you can also get a fine view of the Scafells.

Today they had a slight cloud cover but still looked good.

Click here or on the photo for a larger version of this small panorama.

The farmers we saw at the start were distant companions for most of this walk as they swept the slopes of the back of Bowfell on their "Gather".

This is an age old tradition as this older style photo tries to imply :o)

Meanwhile we walked on towards our next objective, Esk Pike.

Ahead was the depression of Ore Gap, so called because of a vein of hematite passes close to the surface and colours the stones.

Rocky terrain as we cross from Bowfell.
The red stones of Ore Gap.


The ever present Langdale Pikes.
Rossett Pike down there in the sunshine.

Esk Pike too, has that rugged, rocky look to its summit, like its close neighbour Bowfell that we had just visited.

The rock outcrop on Esk Pike gives us sufficient shelter from the gentle but cool breeze for us to enjoy a little lunch.

Scafell and Scafell Pike looking clearer now as the sunshine has dispersed some of the cloud.

Who took that ?

Ann has the camera, as I beat the dogs for once to the cairn on second summit of Esk Pike.

Warm enough for shorts but cool enough for gloves. Work that one out !

A slightly indirect descent from Est Pike took us along the edge of the high ground . . .

and our reward was a fine view of Angle Tarn.

Great End.

We need to climb this one for our second round, but today it will become deferred gratification as we make our way down to Esk Hause.

Fine views of Great and Green Gable in the clear air.

Behind are the North Western Fells of Grasmoor, Hopegill Head and Grisedale Pike.

Skiddaw still clear in the distance above Allen Crags.

The cross shaped shelter below Esk Hause, similar to the one on Helvellyn, but this time on the Styhead Tarn to Langdale path.

There is no wide bottom layer of stones to sit on here, so I think this one was built for the sheep.

Angle Tarn, a perfect corrie lake under the high crags of Bowfell.

Dug out by ancient glaciers, we can only guess at the depth of it's deep blue water.

The Pathfairies are at work again.


Stepping stones for Angle Tarn Gill

and a National Trust person repairing the path on the rise beyond.


These guys had to climb the Rossett Gill path and walk over to here

before they even started their day's work.

A great place to be but no doubt a little desolate if the weather turns bad.

A short climb took us up onto the final summit of the day, Rossett Pike.

Mickleden and the Langdale Valley from Rossett Pike.

Down into the late afternoon shadows after a rapid descent on the zigzag path at the head of the valley.

Still full of energy, Harry and Bethan pause briefly on the wooden bridge over Stake Gill

before returning to the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . time for a pint at the end !

(Unfortunately we had to get back - and be out again for seven - busy or what )

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Previous walk - 3rd October 2006 The Wetherlam - Dow Crags Round

A previous time up here - 16th September 2005 Pike o' Blisco with a Reward

Only one walk to go for Ann's and my magic 428.

Lingmell, Scafell Pike and Great End.