Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Esk Pike & Cold Pike
by 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: 1268m1 person thinks this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
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).
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 ) as we propelled our way upwards.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
by SusieThePensioner » Sun May 13, 2012 5:34 pm
Lovely photos and Damson posing beautifully
We're in Keswick for the week and also, Wasdale last week in July so who knows, may bump into you two sometime
by colgregg » Sun May 13, 2012 9:48 pm
by ChrisW » Mon May 14, 2012 5:35 pm
by Phooooey » Tue May 15, 2012 12:20 pm
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
by Phooooey » Sun May 20, 2012 4:30 pm
Gotta write yesterdays small walk up Stone Arthur now.
by jaybee » Sat May 26, 2012 11:06 am
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. 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.