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The Final Countdown: Part One

The Final Countdown: Part One


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Aug 25, 2015 2:58 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Blea Rigg, Bowfell, Esk Pike, Harrison Stickle, High Raise (Central Fells), Rosset Pike, Sergeant Man, Tarn Crag (Central Fells), Thunacar Knott

Hewitts included on this walk: Bowfell, Esk Pike, Harrison Stickle, High Raise (Central Fells), Rossett Pike

Date walked: 08/08/2015

Distance: 28 km

Ascent: 2100m

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We had originally planned this holiday to be directly after our week in Kinlochleven, as fate would have it however we couldn't sort out the accommodation we wanted so a bullet full of wind, rain, hail, thunder and general apocalyptic weather was dodged. The other advantage was we could potentially walk on both Saturdays giving us eight days to bag the tops we required. The plan was to summit Wainwrights number 200 to 213 leaving just Great End for us to finish at our pleasure, As it happened the first Saturday was due to be a fine day so we set off early from County Durham bound for Great Langdale.

Bow Fell and others via the climbers traverse, 8th August 2015, 14km 1055m

Great Langdale was, as ever in the summer, quite busy with a Macmillan event being held swelling numbers still further. It's hard to feel anything other than happy at such a great charity receiving support however and several times during the day large groups passed us presumably intent on completing the Langdale horeshoe to raise money.
The only problem when arriving at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel however was the only mountain suffering from Clagitus was Bowfell which looked more like Mordor full of dark gray menacing clouds. Fortunately it was soon a case of 'out of sight out of mind' as we made our way up the steady incline of The Band admiring the Langdales, Crinkle Crags and Pike O'Blisco which all looked particularity fetching at various view points.

ImageMordor by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageSunnny Langdales by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImagePike O'Stickle by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImagePike O'Blisco, Cold Pike and Great Knott by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCrinkle Crags by Anthony Young, on Flickr

By the time Bowfell came into view the clag had thankfully lifted and we left the well worn route up to the three tarns to climb increasingly steeply up to the traverse. The climbers traverse couldn't be simpler, a small path without any significant difficulties clings to the mountainside taking in great views of the real guts of Bowfell. This is not a route for those overly bothered by exposure however as the drops off to your right are very sudden indeed. The path climbs slightly as the base of the great slab nears and the pointed bottom of Cambridge Crag with it's water spout comes into view. According to Wainwright no finer drink ever came from a barrel or a bottle so not wanting to be rude I made my way over to 'have a wee sample'. I was stopped dead in my tracks however by the horrendous sight of a large pile of excrement directly below the spout :sick: . It's origin was without question as no other animal I know of uses toilet tissue. Words cannot describe just how contemptible the individual who left this delight is, to do your business in the hills and not bury it is bad enough but to do it just below a spring that feeds the water courses of a valley that has no mains water supply and relies on filtered water from the hills beggars belief, I so hope Karma is a real thing and one day, somehow this individual gets back just what is coming to them :evil:

That's enough of putting you off your tea however so not wanting to linger we set off up the scree path between the river of boulders and the crags. Soon enough we were eyeing the Great slab which looked dry and so much better than scree, so we picked our way across the boulders and made our way up the pleasingly dry grippy rock to the top where we lunched in a (partially) sheltered spot.

ImageBowfell ahead by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Langdales from the Band by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking back down The Band by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Climbers Traverse, Bowfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStart of the Great Slab by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking back down the Great Slab by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageView from the top of the Great Slab by Anthony Young, on Flickr

By the time lunch was done with Bowfell, which had been chock full of visitors just about constantly had slackened off so we were able to summit with only one other couple who were kind enough to take a family summit shot to commemorate our 200th Wainwright. :D

ImageThe Top of the Great Slab by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Scafells from Bowfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageView down Eskdale from Bowfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image200 Up! by Anthony Young, on Flickr

We lingered a while taking it in before making our way to Ore Gap passing scores of charity walkers on the way. The air which had been ever so hazy so far had cleared quite markedly as we started off up Esk Pike, the Howgills and Dales looked very clear indeed and it was then we received our second, more welcome surprise of the day. Out over the sea to the South a line had appeared on the horizon with some faint, but clearly discernible hills at one end. I must admit to being thrown by this at first, were the hills the Isle of Man? no, they couldn't be in that direction, Ulster? No see above, funny clouds? Certainly didn't look like clouds, all this left one thing it must be Snowdonia and the north coast of Wales around 100 miles away :shock: I took photos, cursing the lack of significant zoom on my camera and continued up the fine rocky top of Esk Pike.

ImageLooking south over Pike de Beild to Snowdonia by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Image...and an enhanced view of the horizon by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageOn the way up to Esk Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking back to Bowfell by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The fact that Esk Pike was nameless for many years on OS maps hints towards the injustice served to this fell. For me it looks even more mountainous than Bowfell in many views and being at the head of such a wonderful valley it deserves more attention than it gets. Today however it was getting plenty attention as another bus load of charity walkers made there way through before we had a few moments alone of the summit. We retraced out steps from here back to Ore Gap to pick up the faint path down to Angle Tarn where we rested with the fine prospect of Hanging Knotts towering above the cool waters. I received a brief burst of 't internet from my phone that confirmed England's Ashes Victory :D but also the rank incompetence and unprofessionalism of some millionaires who disgrace their red and white shirts on a regular basis :(

ImageEskdale from Esk Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageEsk Hause and Great End from Esk Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageAngle Tarn and Hanging Knotts by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Great Slab by Anthony Young, on Flickr

Our last top was an easy stroll to Rossett Pike before returning to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel via the now excellent path down Rossett Gill. On the way down here there was a bunch of young lads who dashing ahead of there parents seamed intent collecting a tick or two by sliding down banks of long grass and bracken in there shorts, an interesting evening ahead for all concerned I think :shock:

ImageView from Rossett Pike by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageDescending Rossett Gill by Anthony Young, on Flickr

This was a tremendous, one incident apart, way to start the week. The weather closed in on the Sunday but the rest was welcome and it gave us the chance to settle into our accommodation in Chapel Stile and plan the week ahead.


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An Evening on Side Pike, 10th August 2015, 1km,100m

With Sunday being wet and windy, well not that wet to be honest, we had intended upon walking on the Monday. The weather deteriorated however so we held steady at the promise of some fine days through the middle of the week. My resolve didn't last however and as it improved towards the evening I headed off up Side Pike to catch the sunset, not much sun to be honest but a wonderfully atmospheric way to end the day.

ImageA Splash of Sunshine by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLangdale Evening by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageWetherlam by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageThe Pikes of Langdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr


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Mopping up the central fells, 11th August 2015, 13km 945m

The other advantage of our location was it was right on the doorstep of the five remaining Central Fells we had left to bag. We could have walked from our front door but to avoid road walking and to keep things simple I drove along to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel (fortunately free parking due to National Trust membership) and we set off on a warm humid morning up the steep and ever popular path to Stickle Tarn. The hot work was made more uncomfortable by a shower which required waterproofs but this soon abated and we left the hordes behind at a millpond like Stickle Tarn and headed for Blea Rigg.

ImageStickle Ghyll by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageShifting mists in Stickle Ghyll by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStickle Tarn, Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The early part of this walk up to our first top was adorned with some splendidly shifting mists and clouds which always enhance a walk. Blea Rigg is a nice summit but with other places to be we quickly turned tail to find a route down to Codale Tarn. We ended up going down pathless slopes but this wasn't a problem as it was very easy going. We passed Bells Knott, looking decidedly unimpressive from this angle and walked along the eastern shore of the tarn. This is a beautiful spot and far less popular than the larger and closer to Grasmere, Easdale Tarn. A very brief pull up and we walked along the ridge to Tarn Crag. If we had shared summits if dozens of walkers on Saturday we shared Tarn Crag with millions of midge so understandably we did not linger.

ImageA glimpse of Easdale Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBlea Rigg by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGrace on Blea Rigg by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageBells Knott and Easdale Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCodale Tarn and Lang Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageCodale Tarn by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageFells for tomorrow by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageLooking towards the Eastern fells from Tarn Crag by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The way up to the plateau of the Central Fells was largely pathless and somewhat wet but the going was easy in the main. We passed by the Birkett of Codale Head (sometimes I bother with Birketts, sometimes not) and approached the surprisingly fine looking Sergeant Man. I had seen and read very little about this top so it was a pleasant surprise to find a rocky little cone with some nice views to the South and East. We stopped for an overdue lunch here and chatted for a while to another family whose journey had only taken them to fifty fells so far, that seemed an long time ago for us while sat on number 205.

ImageAproaching Seargeant Man by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageStickle Tarn from Seargent Man by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageGrace on Seargent Man by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The Central fells are not like may areas of the Lakes as they comprise largely of a flat boggy very wide ridge that runs from Keswick to terminate quite spectacularly with the Langdale Pikes. The good stuff is all around the edges with much boggy wet dreariness in the middle. We crossed such a patch of boggy wet dreariness to attain the highest point on the Central fells of High While Stones or High Raise if you prefer. This isn't a bad top with a very nice view over the long craggy Glaramara Ridge being the best sight on offer.

ImageHigh Raise by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageEight to go! by Anthony Young, on Flickr

We picked up the obvious path back towards Langdale passing over the fantastically named but bafflingly included Thunacar Knott for fell number 207 before realizing it would be easier to go over Harrison Stickle rather than around it for a sixth fell of the day. It was a nice way to finish the day mopping up the Central Fells with a visit to arguably their finest top. Pike O'Stickle and Loft Crag also looked tantalizingly close but with another day of over 1000 meters of ascent planned for tomorrow we felt it prudent to save our legs.

ImageThunacar Knott by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImagePavey Ark and Stickle Tarn from Harrison Stickle by Anthony Young, on Flickr

ImageReturning to Langdale by Anthony Young, on Flickr

The Central Fells will never be my favorites but this was a fine walk around some nice diverse landscapes and views taking some great spots along the way. Another five fells bagged and another book down only seven to go. :D


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Last edited by johnkaysleftleg on Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby nigheandonn » Tue Aug 25, 2015 7:37 pm

That looks like an amazing first day - can't remember when I last had a really clear one. And a very photogenic part of the country!

Good to read about you going from Blea Rigg to Tarn Crag as I need to do that on Saturday :-)

I'm going to really miss your reports when they're done!
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby ChrisW » Wed Aug 26, 2015 7:41 pm

What will you do with yourself when you get em all done JK ....you'll have to do em all again :shock: :lol: :lol:

Fantastic photos as always mate, honestly I could look at these over and over again.

As for whoever took a dump virtually in the spring, I hope they reap exactly what they sowed at some point in the near future :sick:
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby MarkyMark10 » Thu Aug 27, 2015 10:02 pm

Outstanding pictures and report. :clap: Bowfell definitely has the Mordor look about it. I am so glad we didn't rush Bowfell last year when we came off Crinkle Crags. The Climbers Traverse looks awesome! Maybe next year :clap:

Your evening photos are so good! :clap:
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby trailmasher » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:25 pm

Stunning photos with a great report Anthony :clap: :clap: and congrats on completing another book full of hills. That whole area around Langdale including the Crinkles is an outstanding area to walk in and the girls looked to be having a good time also which helps enormously :clap:
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby mamoset » Fri Aug 28, 2015 7:27 pm

Nice pics of good walks there. Like the pics from Side Pike.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby AJNicholls » Fri Aug 28, 2015 10:57 pm

Cracking photos there. Hope you get good weather for your completion. I was on Great End for mind too ('tis traditional after all; and more appropriate than Great Cockup!) and the weather sadly failed on us.

Still, we had whiskey and champagne. :clap:

Great photos anyway... Did I say that before? :wink: Awesome,
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby Alteknacker » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:43 pm

Great report, and absolutely sensational pics - the light is simply breathtaking.

I'd love to do the Langdale area in good weather, but sadly, the only time I tried it, it was pretty clag bound.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby ancancha » Fri Aug 28, 2015 11:47 pm

Some fabulous photos and the great colour :clap:
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby simon-b » Sat Aug 29, 2015 9:01 pm

A productive trip with some nice views, Anthony. I imagine a minority of people who visit Blea Rigg get there via a direct ascent. You lot did that just three days after Pam, Emily and I had done! The view of the Scafells from Bowfell is a classic, with England's 2nd highest showing that awesome vertical face towards no.1 as if in a gesture of defiance - nicely captured by your camera.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby dav2930 » Sat Aug 29, 2015 11:52 pm

Super report on two really good hill days. Some of those photos would win a competition I reckon. You obviously know a thing or two about photography! That northern side of Bowfell, with the Buttress and the Great Slab, is fantastic isn't it? All the more sickening to find such disgusting evidence of human idiocy there! :sick: :crazy: What a shame - hope it didn't spoil your day too much.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Aug 31, 2015 2:10 pm

nigheandonn wrote:That looks like an amazing first day - can't remember when I last had a really clear one. And a very photogenic part of the country!

Good to read about you going from Blea Rigg to Tarn Crag as I need to do that on Saturday :-)

I'm going to really miss your reports when they're done!


Thank you, Blea Rigg and Tarn Crag are pleasant typically lakeland fells, hope you enjoyed them.

ChrisW wrote:What will you do with yourself when you get em all done JK ....you'll have to do em all again :shock: :lol: :lol:

Fantastic photos as always mate, honestly I could look at these over and over again.

As for whoever took a dump virtually in the spring, I hope they reap exactly what they sowed at some point in the near future :sick:


Many thanks Chris, you're to kind, as for what next? I've no idea :lol:

MarkyMark10 wrote:Outstanding pictures and report. :clap: Bowfell definitely has the Mordor look about it. I am so glad we didn't rush Bowfell last year when we came off Crinkle Crags. The Climbers Traverse looks awesome! Maybe next year :clap:

Your evening photos are so good! :clap:


Thank you Mark most kind, the climbers traverse is a great way up Bowfell, it is exposed but so long as the weather is OK not in anyway dangerous.

trailmasher wrote:Stunning photos with a great report Anthony :clap: :clap: and congrats on completing another book full of hills. That whole area around Langdale including the Crinkles is an outstanding area to walk in and the girls looked to be having a good time also which helps enormously :clap:


Cheers, a fine time was had by all. Certainly an area that we'll return to many times.

mamoset wrote:Nice pics of good walks there. Like the pics from Side Pike.


Cheers

AJNicholls wrote:Cracking photos there. Hope you get good weather for your completion. I was on Great End for mind too ('tis traditional after all; and more appropriate than Great Cockup!) and the weather sadly failed on us.

Still, we had whiskey and champagne. :clap:

Great photos anyway... Did I say that before? :wink: Awesome,


Thank you for the kind words, I think the back pack may just have a few treats init for that walk :wink: We decided upon Great End when we were on about 15 fells, it's hard to ignore the obvious name!

Alteknacker wrote:Great report, and absolutely sensational pics - the light is simply breathtaking.

I'd love to do the Langdale area in good weather, but sadly, the only time I tried it, it was pretty clag bound.


Keep trying, so much good stuff for just about all tastes.

ancancha wrote:Some fabulous photos and the great colour :clap:


Thank you :D

simon-b wrote:A productive trip with some nice views, Anthony. I imagine a minority of people who visit Blea Rigg get there via a direct ascent. You lot did that just three days after Pam, Emily and I had done! The view of the Scafells from Bowfell is a classic, with England's 2nd highest showing that awesome vertical face towards no.1 as if in a gesture of defiance - nicely captured by your camera.


I was very glad that the mountain gods were kind so we could bag Bowfell as number 200, it's right up there with the best the Lakes has to offer.

dav2930 wrote:Super report on two really good hill days. Some of those photos would win a competition I reckon. You obviously know a thing or two about photography! That northern side of Bowfell, with the Buttress and the Great Slab, is fantastic isn't it? All the more sickening to find such disgusting evidence of human idiocy there! :sick: :crazy: What a shame - hope it didn't spoil your day too much.


Thank you you are most wise and kind :D the poo incident was unpleasant but we certainly weren't going to let it bring a downer on the day.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby IndoorMunroist » Fri Jan 29, 2016 12:44 pm

Terrific photos. What an amazing place. This area is within driving distance for me, I might do a sortie in the spring as a warm up for Chonzie in the autumn or early 2018.
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri Jan 29, 2016 9:21 pm

[socialhiking][/socialhiking]
IndoorMunroist wrote:Terrific photos. What an amazing place. This area is within driving distance for me, I might do a sortie in the spring as a warm up for Chonzie in the autumn or early 2018.


So many great walks in the Lakes, worth making the effort to get there
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Re: The Final Countdown: Part One

Postby colgregg » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:29 pm

The magic 214. Still 18 to go for me but going to complete this year . Great pics from these walks.
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