Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

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Date : Friday 16 th September 2005

Location : Crinckle Crags and Pike o' Blisco in the Langdale Valley, Cumbria, UK.

Occasion : An invitation to join Mr Patterson on his ascent of his 214 th Wainwright Peak, his last un-climbed Wainwright summit.

Walk details : 7.75 miles, 3,300 ft of ascent, 7.25 hours of leisurely walking (incl lunch stop).

Weather : Fine and dry, superb visibility, with a cool breeze

In a week of changeable weather, John managed to pick a great day for his 214th Wainwright summit. Blue skies, clear visibility and warm sun were in prospect for his day out in the Langdale Valley.

After and invitation on the Online Fellwalking Club, a party of eight of us met up and made our way from the Old Dungeon Gill car park towards Oxendale and the Hell Gill Route up towards Crinkle Crags.

Ahead is part of our route, Great Knott with Crinkle Crags to the centre right.

Our plan is to climb up the lesser used path, tucked in behind the green spur of The Band, following the Oxendale Valley upward. The path heads towards Crinkle Gill in the centre, but then turns right as it climbs towards Bowfell.

Superb clarity in the air allowed us fine views of the Langdale Pikes as they rise above the green spur of The Band.

The main path climbs up from Stool End Farm, but we stay in the valley for a while longer.

The dramatic Whorneyside Force
The footbridge over Buscoe Sike Stream

Tucked away behind the Band is the dramatic Whorneyside waterfalls. Here the main cataract is over 100 feet in length and tumbles down into a small, deep plunge pool at its base.

The footbridge gets us easily across the beck and we start to get views down the valley as we climb.

Above the main falls now, the view opens out to reveal the lower end of the Langdale Valley.

To the right, Pike o' Blisco our final peak, and in the middle distance Lingmoor Fell catching the sunlight.

The top falls are memorable for this amazing perched boulder

hanging precariously on the front edge of the rock pool.

The Langdale Pikes appear once again as we climb and re-join the main path.

Pike o' Stickle, Loft Crag, and Harrison Stickle in the background.

Three Tarns, on the col between Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.

Scafell in sunshine and Scafell Pikes in shade form a fine backdrop to the largest of the tarns.

A cool wind encourages us to add extra layers to keep warm.

The strong breeze scurrying the clouds across the sky at this point give Bowfell dramatic light and shade.

As we climb the full panorama of the Scafells comes into view.

To the left the sea, and moving right, Broad Crag, Great End, Esk Pike, and the shapely peak of Bowfell.

Keeping one eye out for a sheltered lunch spot we pass this delightful summit tarn on Crinkle Crags.

Below are the Langdales, and behind are Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag, and Fairfield.

Crinkles 1 and 2 with Bowfell in shade beyond.
Ahead Crinkles 3, 4 and 5 from our lunch spot.

Below is the summit of Pike o' Blisco with Windermere and the Coniston Fells behind.

Downhill all the way now (almost). Time to step it out . . .

John starts down the "Bad Step"
Barry making it look easy


The "Bad Step" - off the fourth Crinkle
Barry looking a little less cool *

The obvious way down from the fourth Crinkle leads to a rock gully that has been choked by fallen boulders leaving the walker with a fifteen foot or so scramble down the side wall. An alternative is available by traversing right from the summit and rejoining the path below the obstruction.

* Photo included at special request

The last summit past and we now head east towards our goal.

Behind Ann and Barry are the hills of Stonesty Pike, Swirl How and finally Coniston Old Man.

Far away a voice is calling . . . .

Sean was unable to join us for the whole walk, but managed to meet up with us for the final peak. He had parked at Three Shires Stone and he and Angus (the dog) were waiting on Great Knott. Andrew had gone ahead to meet him, and is the second figure on the skyline.

Looking back from Great Knott

with the sunlight and shadows giving dramatic light and shade on Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

Only 700 feet to go . . . .
Sean and John step it out for the top.

Still enough energy left to pop the cork on his celebratory bottle,

Rose champagne to match the red and white Stoke City Shirt ( whoever they are !!)

Click here to see the great man in action

The successful summit team.

(l to r) Myself and Bethan, Sean and Angus, Ann and Harry, John and his bottle, Andrew Leaney, Liz and Barry,

plus Jo Hall and Jodie, Ann Bowker in front, and Megan hiding there on the right disguised as a black rock.

Onward and downward from the Pike . . .
. . . back to the road and Langdale Valley.

Taking it steady after our "refreshments" we started down the path through the summit crags, heading for the road below as it drops from Blea Tarn to Wall End Farm. At first the path is a little indistinct through the rocks, but lower it has been pitched with stone and now blends beautifully into the hillside.

Sunshine on Kettle Crag, looking down on that waiting brew at the ODG Hikers Bar.

- - - 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 a bottle of Bubbly (or two).

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