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Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:10 pm
by old danensian
Pike o' Blisco, for me, has been one of those ever-present yet never visited Lakeland tops for decades. It's been the backdrop to early climbs on Raven Crag and Gimmer, and has sat patiently in the wings as Crinkles and Bowfell have been ascended on numerous occasions. It's presence has always been noticed but never attended to on those motorised dashes over towards Wrynose, and the upper slopes of its smaller partner, Lingmoor Fell have been similarly neglected.

After a couple of grotty days, and with a tantalising glimpse of tops from amidst the wispy lingering clouds when the tent doorway was thrown open early on Tuesday morning, their time had come. I needed to be heading south by lunchtime and staying an extra night at the Langdale campsite had proved worthwhile if a couple of quick tops could be reached - and these two couldn't have been any simpler or much more enjoyable for a morning dash.

Bowfell from Langdale campsite

From the campsite, the tarmac of the road over to Little Langdale only has to be endured for a few minutes before the well engineered path up Redacre Gill is reached. Thinking about the curious culinary combination the night before kept my mind off the initial steepness: sausage with lashings of rich onion gravy - and a coleslaw and salad garnish - Heston eat your heart out. Mind you, a pint of OP washes anything down nicely.

Langdale Pikes from above Redacre Gill

Though not yet paved, the path above the gill is a clear and gentle rise towards the final rocky summit. The view on Tuesday over Bowfell and Crinkles just kept on changing. However, apart from Pike o' Stickle, the rest of the Langdale Pikes were refusing to appear. It was refreshing to spend a solitary while on the top of what must be one of the most visited summits above Langdale. Preparations are well in hand for further preservation work as a dozen or so bags of stones for more pavement work had been deposited on the top.

Crinkle Crags from Pike o' Blisco

Clouds - south east from Pike o' Blisco

As I was then heading towards Lingmoor Fell I simply reversed the route upwards, and passed a growing string of people heading for the top. "That's the problem of having to wait for breakfast in the hotel" was the lament of one gent who was clearly jealous of an early campsite start. "But I don't rough it now" he followed up: well that's a price you have to pay. With hindsight, I could have gone up from Stool End and Oxendale and then traversed the top in the time I had available - another time maybe.

Once the road over to Little Langdale had been crossed, it was on, up and around Side Pike to join the undulating ridge of Lingmoor Fell. At times the path follows open ground a few yards to the left of the stone wall running along its crest. At other times it sneaks and squeezes into the narrowest of dingy damp gaps between the wall and rocky outcrops before opening out again and revealing yet more of the deceptively long ridge. "It's only little, just 1550 feet" you say, so you think that the top will be in reach in no time at all. Finally though, the views open out and stretches of Windermere, a sliver of Coniston Water and the Coniston Fells come into view - and like the rest of the surrounding fells, they were just shedding their veils of cloud.

Blea Tarn and Coniston Fells from Lingmoor Fell

Side Pike and Langdale Pikes

I decided to reverse the upward route again, having already walked the stretch in the valley from Chapel Stile to the Dungeon Gill in the rain the day before. The Langdale Pikes had finally shrugged off their coverings, and once past Side Pike, the benefit of this return trip was in the view up Mickelden, framed by Bowfell and the Pikes. This must be one of the most quintessentially Lakeland views of them all, and it was already ranked as one of my favourites when viewed from other directions. I'll have to dig the slides out to find pictures from the top of Gimmer - it's a great way of keeping the trip going.

Bowfell, Rossett Pike, Langdale Pikes - down Mickelden

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:36 pm
by mountain coward
Some lovely warm pics there - I'm getting sick of snowscenes!

Have to admit to not liking Lingmoor Fell (although I know it's popular) - might be 'cos I got chased across the whole length of it's top by a wasp so never really enjoyed my walk! :lol:

As to Pike O' Blisco, it's a great fell isn't it? That was my first 'Wainwright' when I started walking again in my 30s after a long absence... I actually set off from Blea Tarn up Blake Rigg looking for where Jimmy Page had just been interviewed for the TV as I was a huge fan of his at the time... Wasn't sure I found the actual rock he'd been sat on but, on looking round, saw a distant summit (Blisco) and thought I may as well go there. It's the only time I've been up a fell/mountain and asked people on the summit what fell it was!

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 9:42 am
by colgregg
Pike o Blisco makes for a great prelude to Crinkle Crags. Fortunately when I did it, it was a gloriously sunny day. I headed the same way as you and dropped down to Red Tarn before attacking the Crinkles. While it's not the highest of fells, as a viewpoint it excels. You need to be determined to stick to your itinery on days such as the one I had, as the temptation just to linger on the summit for the day is very hard to resist. I was going to throw in Bow Fell too on that day but thought I'd save it for a full day's outing.

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:04 pm
by mountain coward
When you do Bowfell, the Climbers' Traverse is well worth a look - really great route!

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Sat Mar 27, 2010 10:15 pm
by colgregg
I did it last year (3rd time). Agreed, it's the best way up Bowfell.I got no view from the top but came down to Angle Tarn made my way round to Langdale Pikes to compensate. It's a bit of a trudge round by Stake Pass but worth it when you get to Pike of Stickle.

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 10:14 am
by 37lumleyst
A very nice peport there, this area is one that I dont knowm that well although I did manage a 'Langdale Round' in blistering heat last year and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I've always vowed to return and camp and catch those fells I didnt do and revisit some of the ones I did - although family ties keep me away from the hills at the moment (New baby arrived 4 weeks ago so plenty of sleepless nights at our house) I'm sure I will get back across and complete my explore of Langdale, its such a cracking place with lots to offer everyone.

Re: Pike o' Blisco & Lingmoor Fell - Langdale beauties

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:04 am
by colgregg
This would be an ideal time to go for a couple of days. It would give your wife a chance for a bit more mother - baby bonding while you were away. Well, you could spin her the line and take it from there. Congrats on the newborn, hopefully a next generation walker.