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From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.


Postby trailmasher » Thu Aug 11, 2016 9:05 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Pike o'Blisco

Hewitts included on this walk: Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags (Long Top), Crinkle Crags South Top, Pike of Blisco, Shelter Crags

Date walked: 29/07/2016

Time taken: 6.45

Distance: 19.34 km

Ascent: 1313m

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Pike O' Blisco, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags circular.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Well today is the Friday of the same week that on the Monday we had walked Bow Fell and Rossett Pike in less than pleasant conditions, and although the weather forecast was once again favourable the clouds as on the Monday were hanging low over the fell tops as we arrived once again at the ODG in Great Langdale. Today's mission was to complete the route that the weather conditions on that Monday so selfishly denied us. We could only hope that today the forecast was going conform to what the MWIS and Weatherline websites had told us. The temperature was 16°c.

As we were getting ready for the walk we had a chat to a climbing guide who was waiting for a client who wanted to do some climbing on the Langdale Pikes and whilst engaged in this I remembered that we had met two chaps at the foot of Rossett Pike on the Monday just gone. Getting into a conversation with them we established that they hailed from Bath and were on a Mountain Leaders course, but when I asked them where they had just come from and after they had consulted their map they couldn't tell me. Some things are just too scary to think about.

After leaving the NT car park at the ODG we walked along the tarmac road towards Wall End and picked up the Pike O' Blisco path just after Redacre Gill begins to run alongside the road. This path starts off as a rough stony one through bracken but soon progresses to a mostly paved one as we gained height and whilst looking back saw that the views were opening up behind us, albeit still mostly shrouded in cloud the most prominent being the Langdale Pikes, Side Pike, and Lingmoor Fell.

Somewhere around the 250 metre contour and 20 minutes after setting out the rain began to fall, not hard but enough to warrant donning our wet gear and as it's so warm we could have done without that just now but things being as they were we just had to get on with it and hope that the rain wouldn't last too long. Fortunately it didn't, and well before we reached the point from where we would leave the main path the wet weather broke and the clouds began to reveal blue skies and sunshine.
5 - A view into Little Langdale from Redacre Gill.JPG
A view into Langdale from Redacre Gill.

Waterproofs shed we continued ever upwards on the well engineered and paved path until at about 490 metres we turned off the main path and onto a narrow and reddish coloured stone path and now walking east as the path reverted to a narrow grass trod as after a short distance it turned southeast as it passed over Bleaberry Knott…
7 - A view southeast from near Bleaberry Knott.JPG
A view southeast from near Bleaberry Knott.

past a couple of small unnamed tarns and then a larger unnamed one before arriving at the Birkett of Blake Rigg with its large cairn perched on the highest rocky knoll.
12 - Little Langdale and Blea Tarn from Blake Rigg.JPG
Little Langdale and Blea Tarn from Blake Rigg.

The way to here has been pretty good with just the odd spot of damp ground as the path wound its way in and around small humps and bumps that is the nature of the landscape around here. The clouds are lifting fairly quickly now and the surrounding hills are becoming visible…
13 - Pike O' Blisco-Crinkles and Bow Fell in  cloud from Blake Rigg.JPG
Pike O' Blisco-Crinkles and Bow Fell in cloud from Blake Rigg.

with the Coniston Fells to the south bathed in shadow that makes them appear mean and moody. I think that just about all of them can be seen from here with Coniston Old Man just peeping over the skyline in the distant far centre. Below Wetherlam there are the Tilberthwaite Fells that we visited a good few weeks ago.
14 - Coniston Fells from Blake Rigg summit.JPG
Coniston Fells from Blake Rigg summit.

Lingmoor Fell is to the east, north of course are the Langdale Pikes with the cloud still covering the tops of the higher fells including Bow Fell to the west although Pike O' Blisco is cloud free.

Our next target is Long Crag, another Birkett that sits to the west of Blake Rigg, and to get there we had to do a bit of wandering about to be able to follow the best route through the many hillocks and depressions without doing too much unnecessary climbing up and over those small hills. There were also some wet areas to take into consideration whilst on this part of the walk. We passed the larger of the unnamed tarns once again as we more or less back tracked northwest until turning southwest and then west and south to arrive at the aptly named Long Crag which as its name implies is long and craggy with a fairly high and more or less vertical west face and care has to be taken when walking about along the top of the crag as the highest rocky knoll with its three or four stones of a cairn sits near to the edge of the cliff. The cloud had by this time lifted off Bow Fell and the ridge of Glaramara can now be seen with Dale Head in evidence way behind it.
17 - A view northwest from Long Crag top.JPG
A view northwest from Blake Rigg top.

Looking back we can see Blake Rigg and Bleaberry Knott across the gnarled landscape that we have just crossed. West we could now see Cold Pike where we hope to be in not too long a time. There was still a lot of cloud about but the sun was shining, it's getting hotter so all is good with the world just now.
18 - Looking back to Blake Rigg from Long Crag.JPG
Looking back to Blake Rigg from Long Crag top.

After leaving Long Crag we simply walked northwest until we met the main path to Pike O' Blisco which we followed over what was now gently rising ground that arrived at a near vertical rock face that requires some easy scrambling although the rocks have been worn smooth with the passage of many boots so putting the feet in the right place at the right time may save some bruising or worse if a slip occurred. Once over this minor obstacle the path remains the same as it was with Red Tarn making an appearance over to our left with Cold Pike sitting over it.
21 - Red Tarn with Cold Pike behind.JPG
Red Tarn with Cold Pike behind.

We soon arrived at the rocky summit with its two cairns, the main one - and highest - of which is large and conical in shape. This is where Chris decided to do and video 22 press ups for the 22 Push Up Challenge that is a US charity calling on people to film themselves doing 22 press ups to raise awareness of veterans suffering from mental illness. This figure was chosen because it was reported that in America 22 veterans a day are committing suicide. He rose to the challenge and completed them in a matter of seconds.

Me, I just watched.
24 - Bow Fell and the Crinkles from Pike O' Blisco summit.JPG
Bow Fell and the Crinkles from Pike O' Blisco summit.

After his sterling efforts Chris needed a well earned break so we refuelled sat on the summit looking over to Cold Pike - our next hill - and the Coniston Fells in the warmth of the sun, although out of shelter of the cairn the breeze was a bit chilly. There was no one else on the summit when we arrived but we were soon joined by another four people milling about behind us.

The magic of the moment was broken so we collected our things together and set off down the southwest facing path that is rough and slippery due to the dryness of the small stones and gravel on it with Red Tarn becoming more visible the lower we got. Arriving at the bottom where the short section of metal pipe is stuck out of the ground I have in the past wondered what it was for. We continued past the tarn and proceeded to climb the opposite well made path until we reached the first tributary of Browney Gill from where we picked up a narrow path over grass that was heading in the direction of Cold Pike but that soon ran out of steam leaving us to make our way upwards over the short rough grass that clothes this fell.

On arriving at the top the cairn was to be found sitting on a metre high rock column…
29 - Great Knott front right with the Crinkles and Bow Fell behind from Cold Pike.JPG
Great Knott front right with the Crinkles and Bow Fell behind from Cold Pike.

from where the views were similar to what we had already enjoyed on our journey so far and we had a good view of Red Tarn and the rocky southwest face of Pike O' Blisco. We didn't stop too long as we still had a long way to go as we are now going for Cold Pike West Top that is quite a way over to the west of where we are just now across a large grassy hollow. As we approached the next top we swung around to our right to keep as high as possible but it still took us half an hour to get from one to the other to find a large lump of rock adorned with three, maybe four small stones at the most indicating that we had arrived at the summit.
31 - Looking to Cold Pike from Cold Pike West Top.JPG
Looking to Cold Pike from Cold Pike West Top.

From here we had a good view of the west face of Cold Pike with the high vertical rock face of its southwest spur being prominent as it dropped into the grassy hollow. Our next place to visit was further over in the same direction that is northwest of where we were on the west top and this one is to be Cold Pike Far West Top and as its name suggests is just another subsidiary top of Cold Pike. We can see it plain enough and from where we are it looks more than the 200 yards - 180 metres - away that the Nuttall's have claimed it to be, as was the 400 yards - 365 metres - that they say the West Top is away from the main Cold Pike. In any event it has to be looked at up close and personal so we made our way across the grass to climb the rocky slopes and find an untidy heap of stones marking the summit. All around us now we can see big hills with the Coniston Fells most prominent to the south with the Tilberthwaite Fells sitting under Wetherlam.
32 - Cold Pike Far West Top with Little Stand behind.JPG
Cold Pike Far West Top with Little Stand behind.

Further west and slightly more south than where we are just now is the Nuttall/Birkett that goes by the name of Little Stand and it looks a long way away with a fair drop into the head of Gaitscale Gill before making the long climb out up onto Little Stand itself. We can't see a path down to the gill but we can certainly see one leading from the gill up the side of the far slope. A quick drink is the order of the day before we set off down the grassy hillside to reach the gill in just a few minutes from where the climb up the opposite bank looked very steep, and indeed it is. As we attacked it and dug in another similar climb came to mind and that is the one that climbs alongside the fence up the north ridge from Burnt Horse - if one can call it a ridge - of Lonscale Fell, and after tramping over rough ground for a while this climb feels quite brutal especially in the heat of the day. The photograph doesn't portray just how steep this hill is but it was a relief to get it done and dusted.
35 - The path from Gaitscale Gill to Little Stand summit.JPG
The path from Gaitscale Gill to Little Stand.

Before we reached the summit there was some wet ground to negotiate before we walked through the protruding lumps of rock to gain the summit from where a couple of small unnamed tarns can be seen not too far away. Looking northwest we can now see the Scafell Range including Slight Side, Great Gable, etc.
37 - Chris at Little Stand summit cairn.JPG
Chris at Little Stand summit cairn.

The view over to Hard Knott and the Harter Fell hills…
39 - Looking over Hard Knott towards Harter Fell.JPG
Looking over Hard Knott towards Harter Fell.

are also to be seen and enjoyed before we once again set off this time to head roughly north to seek out Stonesty Pike. By this time I'm getting hungry and we decide to have a break at our next hill so off we went to follow a grassy corridor between two rocky mounds and then taking an easy walk across grass to pass a small tarn that we didn't see and feeds Stonesty Gill that itself runs into Moasdale Beck to end up at Cockley Beck. Bearing northwest from the head of Stonesty Gill we walked over easy ground with a short final pull onto the plateau that carries the miserable little hump of Stonesty Pike, that in spite of its meagre dimensions does indeed bear many stones on its back. Chris and I thought that the actual summit position was a bit contentious as there is a cairnless and higher spot not far away from the cairn that Bill Birkett has nominated as the true summit. After visiting both I suppose one has to make his or her mind up as to which one they prefer regardless of whether or not it has a cairn on its top. We elected the one without the cairn and I didn't get to have my re-fuelling break.

The Crinkles are in sight as we walked over the thousands of stones that litter the fellside as we now took a bearing northeast aiming for a long grey up stand of rock that sits just north of the main path between the Crinkles and Pike O' Blisco with the intention of stuffing in the 696 metre high Great Knott before tackling the Crinkles. On arriving at the stand of rocks we could see Great Knott only about 50 metres below us but about 650 metres away and with a joint moan of exasperation decided that we wasn't going to get that one today as we still have a fair bit to cope with so will slot it in with a second visit to the area another day. This was my fault as it should have been picked off after we had left Pike O' Blisco and before we visited Cold Pike as that would have been so much the easier option, what a dummy. :oops:
44 - Great Knott with Pike O' Blisco behind and Cold Pike to the right.JPG
Great Knott with Pike O' Blisco behind and Cold Pike to the right.

My stomach is now insisting on having food and drink put into it so after climbing the path up to the Crinkles for a short way we stopped for a break before tackling this next set of hills. Unless Chris has been secretly eating food behind my back I can't believe that he has gone so long without a food fix. A rear view mirror or periscope might be a good acquisition.

Food and drink now consumed we set off to follow the well worn path along, up, and onto the First Crinkle and its cairns from where a good view into the Langdale Valley is to be enjoyed…
45 - A view into Langdale from the 1st Crinkle.JPG
A view into Langdale from the 1st Crinkle.

46 - A view towards Eskdale and the Scafell Range of hills.JPG
A view towards Eskdale and the Scafell Range of hills.

before leaving it behind to follow the short ridge along before dropping down to the base of the Second Crinkle that bears the name of Long Top that bears reference to its actual size.
48 - Looking to the 2nd Crinkle - Long Top and the Bad Step.JPG
Looking to the 2nd Crinkle - Long Top and the Bad Step.

At the foot of Long Top there is the vertical face of the Bad Step that is as described and is located at the foot of a covered rock filled gully. The last time I was here I was moving from north to south and trying to descend down the Bad Step proved to be a bad move as once I had got onto the first small ledge I found that the rock face beneath me was too smooth to get a purchase so made a move to climb out again. Due to the sloping nature of the ground above the 'Step' which was of small, loose, and dry material I couldn't get a purchase to pull myself back out so had to shout for my two mates who had left me to it thinking that I would get down it alright. After much shouting they eventually heard me and dragged me up from the ledge. If they hadn't have heard me they would have seen me when they arrived via the easy path that is to the left when facing the obstacle from the bottom but it would have meant quite a climb back for them if they had not heard me. Chris who had read about it was not in a hurry to give it a go from the bottom.

As we were looking at said feature two walkers and their dog appeared on the slopes above the Bad Step and we would presume that they scrambled down the left hand side of it through the rocks and grass that cover that part of the fell.

Anyway we took the path to our left which is in a worse condition than the last time I was on it. We crossed over a rocky section before starting the climb around the side of Long Top on a rough path that soon had us at the summit cairn of this highest Crinkle passing a small tarn en route. There are a couple of cairns with the southerly one being the highest. From here we could see all or most of the major fells and we can even see Blencathra away in the distance right on the skyline. Bowfell Links and the mountain that it shares its name with it is now to be seen in all its glory with the long ridge of The Band leading ones eye to the large, black, pointy summit.
51 - 2nd Crinkle - Long Top summit.JPG
2nd Crinkle - Long Top summit.

Within minutes we were leaving Long Top to pass over the third and fourth tops whilst making a quick visit to each cairn. Next on is the last and Fifth Crinkle that goes by the name of Gunson Knott that at 815 metres is the same height as Shelter Crags the last summit to be climbed as we walked along the ridge. The access off Gunson Knott is by way of a fairly steep slope that consists of many boulders that is reminiscent of Ill Crag in some respects.
55 - More Crinkles to come.JPG
More Crinkles to come.

Having negotiated the boulder slopes without mishap we then took the easier path up onto Shelter Crags where Chris had his last summit photo shoot before we left it behind to take the walk down to Three Tarns from where there is a good view of Bowfell Links to be had before we then took the path on The Band for a short distance before turning off to our right to stride across the head of Buscoe Sike to follow it down its south side. A good length of this narrow path through the grass is covered in gravel that has washed down the fellside making it very treacherous underfoot and even walking alongside the path was not a good proposition as the ground is quite steep and damp making for greasy underfoot conditions.
65 - Heading for Hell Gill from Three Tarns.JPG
Heading for Hell Gill from Three Tarns.

We descended as fast as we could until eventually the ground eased off and the narrow path became a green lane as we approached the aptly named Hell Gill that is deep, narrow, and dark.
67 - Hell Gill and Pike O' Blisco ahead.JPG
Hell Gill and Pike O' Blisco ahead.

Trees and ferns grow in abundance in the confines of the deep gully and as we proceed over the grass we are suddenly confronted by a paved path as we descended down the now steepening slopes towards Whorneyside Force.

At the bottom of this steep section we had to cross the gill just below the Hell Gill gorge for a short distance where the path is virtually non-existent before once more re-crossing to gain the south bank once again. Around about here the path has eroded in a couple of places and care must be taken or a close inspection of the bed of the gill will ensue. We still had a fair way to go before we reached the bottom and the path was now a bit rougher underfoot as we approached the spot where the water from Hell Gill is forced into and through a narrow channel before it begins its 12 metre fall over rocks to land in a large clear pool before continuing its journey down through the rocky channel to pass under the footbridge and helps to increase the flow of Oxendale Beck as it continues on its journey into and through Great Langdale.
70 - Langdale from Whorneyside Force.JPG
Langdale from Whorneyside Force.

Once across the footbridge we had a more sedate amble down the north bank of Oxendale Beck before rejoining the start of The Band route at Stool End from where our next stop would be the coolness of the Walkers Bar in the ODG where a pint of the Blonde stuff certainly hit the right spot. It is 19°c outside just now and was surely a lot hotter than that at high noon or soon after.

A great day for a great walk with the weather improving from a suspect low cloud and short rain shower to one of glorious sunshine intermingled with cloud that were not in the least rain threatening. It was a warm start and got hotter as the day progressed but we made good progress over varying ground conditions that are a mix of paths from rough to paved, undulating ground, rock, grass, hollows and steep climbs along with the more amenable slopes. Some high fells were climbed along with a variety of Nuttall's and Birkett's thrown in taking us to places where I have not walked before, and as for Chris, it was all new ground with a good haul made. The big mistake of the day missing out Great Knott when the opportunity was there was down to me, but that will be rectified forthwith I'm sure. It's been there for a long time and will be so for much longer.
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trailmasher
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby thefallwalker » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:31 am

excellent account of an epic day out! shame we miscalculated great knott :( , but hey ho :lol:
loads to see (for a change!) & plenty of hills knocked off my list :D
thanks for the day bud :clap: & see ya soon :)
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby trailmasher » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:47 pm

thefallwalker wrote:excellent account of an epic day out! shame we miscalculated great knott :( , but hey ho :lol:
loads to see (for a change!) & plenty of hills knocked off my list :D
thanks for the day bud :clap: & see ya soon :)


Yes, quite a good wander about TFW :wink: Catch up with you back end of September :)
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby ChrisW » Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:14 pm

Two men on a mission here TM :crazy: but a great day for it (after the little damp start) I laughed at the guys on the mountain leaders course unaware of where they were :roll: I guess they need a bit more time on the course. There were some very modest cairns on some of these, I might have walked right past em and not realised (though to be fair once I'm on top I'm not too bothered about such things :wink: )

I did 22 press ups ....between 1975 and 1995 :lol:

Great read as always and lovely shots along the way, must have been hard graft in the heat too :clap: :clap:
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby trailmasher » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:56 am

ChrisW wrote:I did 22 press ups ....between 1975 and 1995 :lol:


You need to be careful not to over do things with all this exercising or are you in training for the 2040 Olympics :wink: :lol:
It was a fairly hard day out but enjoyable 8) and much prefer the sun to rain :)

Thanks very much for your comments :D :D much appreciated :clap:
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby simon-b » Sun Aug 21, 2016 5:09 pm

A nice corner of Lakeland, trailmasher. You put in a lot of extra effort to get all those Biketts and Nuttals.

You mention a previous attempt at the Cinkles' bad step north to south. The holds are there for a descent facing the rock. Perhaps the trickiest bit was getting started down the steep face. I seem to remember negotiating a bit of a corner to get started off the edge, but from then on a line down could be picked with reasonable comfort.
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Re: From a miserable Monday to a flaming Friday.

Postby trailmasher » Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:44 pm

simon-b wrote:A nice corner of Lakeland, trailmasher. You put in a lot of extra effort to get all those Biketts and Nuttals.

You mention a previous attempt at the Cinkles' bad step north to south. The holds are there for a descent facing the rock. Perhaps the trickiest bit was getting started down the steep face. I seem to remember negotiating a bit of a corner to get started off the edge, but from then on a line down could be picked with reasonable comfort.


Thanks for the advice simon-b :D and wish that I had that bit of info before starting. The thought of landing in an ungainly and bloody heap on the rocks below didn't encourage me to attempt any fancy moves :lol:

Thanks for reading and comments much appreciated :D :clap:
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