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Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike


Postby Phooooey » Sun May 13, 2012 2:44 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Bowfell, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Esk Pike

Hewitts included on this walk: Bowfell, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags (Long Top), Esk Pike

Date walked: 13/05/2012

Time taken: 6.5

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 1268m

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Wrynose Pass - Red Tarn - Crinkle Crags - Bowfell - Esk Pike - Bowfell - Crinkle Crags - Cold Pike - Wrynose Pass

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A busy weekend for the District as this Saturday saw both the K2B (Keswick 2 Barrow 40mile walk / race) & the C2B (Coniston 2 Barrow 26 miles) taking place. After attempting the K2B last year and severly burning my feet, I wasn't tempted to join this year. John (my walking & working partner) did however in a respectable 11 hrs ish.
Our work colleague Julie's husband Paul came in second in 4hrs 34 mins. A huge congratulations to all who finished and took part.

With this in mind, my choice of walk had to avoid the thousands of cars and walkers in the area & so we (Damson & I) travelled down the Duddon Valley and into Eskdale and parked up at the Three Shires stone on Wrynose Pass. Taking the clear track north we made the transition over the hill and up to Red Tarn sitting serenely between Pike O'Blisco & Cold Pike (Cold Pike was to be conquered on the return leg of todays journey).

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Heading up to Crinkle Crags from Red Tarn
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Langdale Pikes (Pike of Stickle, Gimmer Crag & Harrison Stickle) from Red Tarn
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Looking across to Bowfell from Red Tarn

Up to this point the going had been fairly easy but after Red Tarn came the start of the real ascent up onto the Crinkles. The early stages are similar to many of the Lakeland Fells with a stone and rock "erosion limiting" path heading up in a zig-zag formation with the odd set of rock steps thrown in and onto a large grass sloping bank up towards the summits. The summits however are a large rock formation requiring a few hand holds here and there (or 4 paw drive in Damson's case :lol: ) as we propelled our way upwards.

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Final ascent onto summit of Crinkle 1 (Gunson Knott)
Crinkle Crag panorama 1.jpg
Gunson Knott Panorama

This is a very popular route and quite a few people were up this way today but all gave Damson posing space on the tops without getting in the way of the piccies.

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View across Crinkle Crags
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Damson on Gunson Knott

The passage across to Crinkle 2 (Long Top) saw a small complication in the shape of The Bad Step, a large rock slab which blocks the route up the right hand side of Long Top. I had googled this before hand to make sure both Damson & I could get either over or round it and while support in the shape of the two walkers pictured were available, I caught them up and between us we managed to lift little Damson up the rock to the right hand side of the step itself and onto safer ground. We avoided this altogether on the way back by taking a much easier route round the left hand side of the rock.

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Bad Step
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On Long Top
Crinkle Crag panorama 2.jpg
View from Long Top

The view across to the Scafell Range are very impressive from up here as are the views along the Crinkles themselves. The journey across them is a matter of traversing a large boulder & rock field and staying to a path is quite difficult although it is fairly clear in which direction you are to head.

Scafell Massif & Bowfell from Crinkles.jpg
Scafell Massif to Bowfell from Crinkle Crags
Crinkle 1 from Crinkle 2.jpg
Looking back to Gunson Knott from Shelter Crags
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Damson on Shelter Crags

From the end of the Crinkles (Shelter Crags) we dropped down a large bouldered face onto the ridge across to Bowfell passing the 3 tarns. On both way there and back, this was a popular stopping point with people dotted around behind rocks, taking shelter from the increasing breeze and taking on fuel, probably getting ready for the steep rise as we climbed up to Bowfell.

Crinkle Crag panorama 3.jpg
Shelter Crag Panorama
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3 Tarns between Crinkles & Bowfell
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Bowfell from 3 Tarns
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Path up right hand side of Bowfell
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Damson on Bowfell Summit (Great Slab to right of picture)

Bowfell itself was crowded and a little time was taken waiting for our picture opportunity. People seemed to ascend from all directions up here so Damson posed and off we went over towards the Bowfell Butress Crags for our first Views of Angle Tarn before the traverse and steady climb up onto Esk Pike & the half way point of our journey. I wish I'd brought the tent with me as being this close to Scafell but knowing i didn't have time to complete and get back to the car was slightly annoying. A camp over at the tarn or over on Great End would have been superb. Instead we turned 180 degrees and returned on roughly the same path as we'd come.

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Langdales from Bowfell
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Damson on Esk Pike
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Esk Hause & Great End from Esk Pike

On way back after dropping off Gunson Knott at the end of the Crinkle Crags, we departed from the path back down to Red Tarn and headed right towards Cold Pike across a large boggy stretch before reaching another rock summit. The wind had picked up at this point and some moody clouds had crept in to add a bit of gloomy atmosphere.

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Damson on Cold Pike summit
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Crinkle Crags from Cold Pike
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Langdales from Cold Pike

The descent took us down the front of Cold Pike and across another boggy stretch to the right of Red Tarn and over towards our ascent path.

This is probably a Wainwright Classic and has some of the best views in the area.
I might try this again as a 2 day wild camp and come back over the Scafell range and back into Eskdale.
Brilliant alternative to the K2B. :D :D
Last edited by Phooooey on Wed May 23, 2012 9:23 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby SusieThePensioner » Sun May 13, 2012 5:34 pm

Well Craig, you've done it the other way round now........photos but NO report??? :lol:

Lovely photos and Damson posing beautifully :thumbup:

We're in Keswick for the week and also, Wasdale last week in July so who knows, may bump into you two sometime :D
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby colgregg » Sun May 13, 2012 9:48 pm

That wasn't today was it? I could hardly see The Crinkles or Bowfell as it was covered in cloud today when I was on High Raise. Despite that My round of Easedale was mist free but a lashing wind made life difficult.
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 14, 2012 5:35 pm

Lovely shots Phooooey, another great day in the hills by the looks of it. Love the panoramic shots and as always the quality shots of Damson posing like a superstar :lol:
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby Phooooey » Tue May 15, 2012 12:20 pm

Hello all !! :D
The problem with a walk when you return down the same line that you went up is that all your photos get mixed up.
I though writing the report would be easier by loading the photos in time order and then telling the story around them but I seem to have photos of climbing Bowfell after the summit picture of Esk Pike and my head almost exploded trying to work it out on Saturday night. As I was tired (and Damson had already had enough and gone up to bed early), I abondoned all hope and left it till another day. (That day has yet to come but will be some night this week when I find the time :? )
I realised that Saturday was going to be the better day colgregg as the wind has been forecast all week and is still clinging around Barrow as we speak. The breeze on Saturday was just about right in the morning and slightly brisker as we got back to Cold Pike.
The 3 of us are just climbing Arthurs Stone from Grasmere this weekend as John completed the K2B whilst I did the above walk so we could do with just a small challenge.
At Pooley Bridge for Jubilee weekend and heading up to complete Arthurs Seat and remaining fells on that ridge whilst camping with family and friends.
I'd better get back to work ! Happy Hiking :lol:
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby Phooooey » Sun May 20, 2012 4:30 pm

Pictures sorted and report written. It's taken a full week to get round to it ! :? (Must do better!!) :lol:
Gotta write yesterdays small walk up Stone Arthur now.
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Re: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike

Postby jaybee » Sat May 26, 2012 11:06 am

I have fond memories of this walk across the Crinkles - usually from Langdale up from Stool End farm and back down the band.
Also have less fond memories of happily following a line of cairns down from the Crinkles in the mist and ending up right down by the Lingmell Beck and in the wrong valley. :shock: A fair amount of accidental down climbing involved and a very long slog back up to the three tarns - all in the pouring rain! A good learning experience but one we have been careful not to repeat in later years.
Great report and nice to see the views to the Scafell range.
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