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Global warming aided Langdale scrambler

Global warming aided Langdale scrambler

Postby Pointless Parasite » Sun Mar 03, 2019 9:43 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Bowfell, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Pavey Ark, Pike o'Blisco, Rosset Pike, Thunacar Knott

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

Date walked: 25/02/2019

Time taken: 6.15

Distance: 16.3 km

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Who else took advantage of the warm weather to go walking in the Lakes? 15 degrees in February? Sun? No wind? Ridiculous! I realised this was an opportunity not to be missed and took a couple of days off work at short notice. I spent a few hours on Sunday climbing some very minor Wainwrights West of Grasmere, but my main goal was a circuit of Langdale, taking in some of the best hills in the Lake District.

our_route.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

First up was Pavey Ark:

Pavey Ark.JPG

I'd thought about doing Jack's Rake previously, but had always imagined climbing it in snow and ice. I was a little put off by the apparent exposure, so had decided to climb Pavey Ark by the alternative route up Easy/East gully. While climbing up from Langdale I started to wonder if Jack's Rake might be a better option, especially with the dry weather conditions. In fact the starting points for Jack's Rake and Easy Gully are basically the same, so there was no harm in at least having a look.

Jacks Rake 1.JPG
The unlikely looking Jack's Rake route up Pavey Ark

By 'having a look', that meant climbing a little way up, then a bit further. There was an ititial steep section up damp rock (near the climbers in the photo below), but it was fairly straightforward, so I carried on upwards:

Jacks Rake 2.JPG

Past the point of no return, I kept climbing higher, expecting it to become dangerously exposed at some point, but it never happened.

Jacks Rake 3.JPG

Up and up:

Jacks Rake 4.JPG

Jacks Rake 5.JPG

Jacks Rake 6.JPG

The final section of the route after exiting the ledge:

Jacks Rake 7.JPG

The whole thing only took about 20 minutes 8)

Stickle tarn from Jacks rake.JPG

After climbing to the top of Pavey Ark I continued along to one of Wainwright's silly summits, Thunacar Knott, basically just the high point of Pavey Ark and hardly worthy of a seperate chapter.

Stickle from Thunacar.JPG

Near the top of Thunacar I stopped to recreate a view familiar to many from the 1:25,000 OS map. All that's missing is the young kid jumping over the tarn:

Bowfell from Thunacar.JPG

Next up was Rosset PIke, a rather unremarkable hill that simply fills the gap between much better hills. There isn't a proper route from Rosset to Bowfell so I was left to pick my own way up through the crags and scree.

Bowfell from Rosset.JPG

Bowfell climb.JPG

Bowfell was fine but the crowds were starting to arrive, so I didn't linger for long. On to Crinkle Crags. I'd climbed this years ago as a child, but have no idea what route we took then.

Crinkle from Bowfell.JPG

Eskdale always looks beautiful from the North on a sunny day:

Eskdale from Bowfell.JPG

Bowfell from Crinkle.JPG

Blisco from Crinkle.JPG

Descending from Crinkle Crags, I knew I'd end up in the trap of the 'awkward step'. There are alternative routes that avoid it completely but I managed to find it just fine. Of all the 'awkward' or 'bad' steps I've encountered, this is the only one that lived up to its reputation. It really was awkward. I managed to climb down to the top of the big drop down and somehow managed to lower myself down by climbing up a little way. I needed something of a leap of faith in the end, but luckily I got my feet down safely on the scree below and walked out out the trap :crazy:

Bad step 1.JPG

Bad step 2.JPG

Approaching Cold Pike, I crossed a large area of boggy ground, managing to avoid the dreaded 'bog boot'. I thought I was over the worst of it but after crossing over a dry area I suddenly had that feeling as if I was stood on a carpet floating on water :shock:

I panicked and ran forward, half expecting one foot to disapear into a deep bog, but thankfully managed to get safely across.

Cold Pike.JPG
Summit of Cold Pike

Blisco from Cold Pike.JPG

By now I was getting worried about water. I'd only brought a single 750 ml bottle, despite the promise of warm weather. Up until now, the route had not crossed any streams at all, so there was no chance of a refill. There was a little stream in between Cold Pike and Pike o'Blico, but it didn't look particularly inviting. I drank the rest of my water, filled my bottle back up from the stream and put in a chlorine tablet. I hoped I wouldn't need to drink it.

It took scarcely 15 minutes to climb to the top of Pike o'Blisco, partly on a repaired footpath.

Blisco summit.JPG

The descent from Pike o'Blisco was awkward. I kept losing the path and ended up passing through the big rock band near the summit through a series of difficult steps (though none as bad as the one on Crinkle).

Blisco descent.JPG

Finally I made it down to easier ground and found a much better stream to fill up my water bottle. I joined the main road and followed it down to New Dungeon Gill with 45 minutes to spare before the last bus back to Ambleside. In all, I climbed 9 new Wainwrights on this trip, leaving me with 6 to go :D
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Pointless Parasite
Posts: 355
Munros:83   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   Donalds:17
Sub 2000:8   Hewitts:114
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Apr 9, 2017
Location: Geneva

Re: Global warming aided Langdale scrambler

Postby dav2930 » Thu Mar 07, 2019 10:54 pm

A cracking round PP, nice one! :clap: Jack's Rake is pretty good value for a grade 1 scramble, I think. As you say, it looks quite improbable when seen face-on, but turns out to be far less exposed than appearances suggest. Some nice photos there too 8)
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Posts: 1527
Munros:242   Corbetts:13
Grahams:16   Donalds:45
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

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