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The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

The map should say 'Here be Dragons'


Postby georgeaquaterra » Tue Oct 13, 2015 6:17 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Bowfell, Esk Pike, Rosset Pike

Hewitts included on this walk: Bowfell, Esk Pike, Rossett Pike

Date walked: 11/10/2015

Distance: 15 km

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Not the most original route, or the most sparkling photos. So feel free to look away now....


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



Still here? Well here at least are 10 things I learned from a classic route around Bowfell, Esk Pike and Rossett Pike, on a cloudy summit day.

1. Bowfell is a monster. Taking it on up the band is a long old slog to get to your first summit of the day.
2. Camping at Three Tarns a couple of years ago was a lucky break. We had intended to go right over Bowfell and then camp somewhere further on as part of an Eskdale loop, but instead stopped, knackered, at Three Tarns, and then walked back out the next day with Bowfell unconquered. Having now got to the top of the thing I can now see that it would have been a long way before anywhere else to camp jumps out at you. So the one decent pitch at Three Tarns saved a world of hurt. Oh and it must have two of the best views around for a camping site - the Scafells to one side, and Langdale to the other. We saw those when we camped. On this walk however we pretty much saw the inside of clouds.
3. Bowfell is a monster. It beat us last time we tried to climb it (see the note on Three Tarns above!), and this time we may have got to the top but it seemed to spend the day spewing out steam like some old dragon to spite us as bank after bank of clag hung around. Right until we came out of the Old Dungeon bar to a wonderfully clear evening.
4. Maps tell lies if you let them. If you take just a quick look at the path back from Esk Hause to Rossett Gill, it is easy enough to conclude that its generally quite gently sloping down, with a few little bumps on the way. It isn't. Its a rollercoaster with as much up as down, or at least that's how it feels at the end of the day.
5. If it wasn't covered in clag, Esk Pike might just offer about the most commanding view in the district. there isn't much of note you cant see. It would make a fine destination in itself instead of seemingly always being an add on.
6. Bowfell is a monster. Wandering around in the clag at the summit it feels like there should be Terminators roaming about. The summit area is so shattered it feels entirely post apocalyptic. Trying to weave your way through the debris my thoughts were less about the majestic surroundings and mostly focussed on 'don't break an ankle or something will come and eat you!'
7. The cairned path over the top of the monster are terrific in fog. All three of us would have guessed the way down wrong without reference to the compass. Once we took a bearing the cairns did a great job.
8. Only an idiot would pass this close to the summit of Allen Crags and not have a quick jaunt up it. I am that idiot. But to be fair we were pushed for time.
9. The Old Dungeon bar does a pretty good fish and chips. They even take the skin off the Haddock. Just what you need after what feels like a monster walk back down from Rossett Pike and along Mickelden.
10. Angle Tarn may just have the coolest echo anywhere. At the risk of destroying the calm for miles around by pointing it out, do try it when you are next there. It is set in such a supreme amphitheatre at the foot of Bowfell's crags. Actually I say it is an echo but it just may be the monster shouting back! If it is, it seemed to be calling our dog. I would guess hoping to eat him.

Here are some pictures.

Scafells from Three Tarns.JPG
Scafells in Clag from Three Tarns


Great Slab.JPG
Spooky Huh?


Into the Mist.JPG
Into the Mist. Esk Pike is somewhere out there....


Esk Pike Pano.JPG


Esk Pike Pano2.JPG
Esk Pike Panoramas. Not much to see today


Angle Tarn.JPG
Photo Doesn't do Angle Tarn Justice


Bowfell and Esk Pike.JPG
Bowfell and Esk Pike


Heading Down From Rossett Pike.JPG
Heading Down from Rossett Pike
georgeaquaterra
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby ChrisW » Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:30 am

Sounds like some good graft George but well worth it if the pictures are anything to go by, your mention of fish 'n' chips at the end left me longing :roll: .... :lol: :lol:
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby georgeaquaterra » Fri Oct 16, 2015 9:25 am

Thanks Chris,

I think one of the joys of the Lakes that I guess you cant match in Canada is that you can arrange most walks to end conveniently by walking into a pub for things like fish and chips and a very nice pint. Having seen your great pictures of a moose a couple of weeks ago the end of one of your walks I now think its a mission to try to get a picture of chocolate mousse at the end of one here! I like wildlife. But I do love desserts!

George
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby ChrisW » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:57 pm

georgeaquaterra wrote: Having seen your great pictures of a moose a couple of weeks ago the end of one of your walks I now think its a mission to try to get a picture of chocolate mousse at the end of one here! I like wildlife. But I do love desserts! George


:lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby trailmasher » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:53 pm

Good report :clap: and a great place to be for the views :D . It's a great shame that you didn't get the weather on this trip but maybe next time :D
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby dav2930 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 11:07 pm

Don't know how I managed to miss this report first time round George - it's hilarious! :clap:

A few subtle hints tend to suggest that you think Bowfell is a monster; or have I misconstrued you? :lol:

Well it's certainly one of the rockiest peaks in the Lakes and I do concede that its ascent by the Band is an unrelenting slog. You might have enjoyed the same walk more in reverse!? Or an alternative to the Band is to go up Buscoe Sike - much more interesting going up the side of a pretty spectacular ravine with impressive waterfalls (one of Lakeland's best kept secrets imo), and it lands you at Three Tarns just the same. I have to say Bowfell is one of my favourite fells, maybe because of the Buttress, which is one of my favourite of the easier classic climbs in the District. I'd thoroughly recommend a foray along the Climber's Traverse and up the Great Slab (very easy-angled).

Here is a great WR describing the latter - don't let JKLL's unfortunate discovery at the spring put you off!
http://Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55618
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby dav2930 » Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:55 pm

Sorry about the link in the above post, it should have been as below:

http://walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=55618
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby georgeaquaterra » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:45 am

trailmasher wrote:Good report and a great place to be for the views . It's a great shame that you didn't get the weather on this trip but maybe next time


Thanks Trailmasher. To be honest it was quite nice to have a bit of time in the clag. Its been a long time since I had to navigate in mist, so always good to get a chance to practice.

dav2930 wrote:Or an alternative to the Band is to go up Buscoe Sike - much more interesting going up the side of a pretty spectacular ravine with impressive waterfalls (one of Lakeland's best kept secrets imo), and it lands you at Three Tarns just the same. I have to say Bowfell is one of my favourite fells, maybe because of the Buttress, which is one of my favourite of the easier classic climbs in the District. I'd thoroughly recommend a foray along the Climber's Traverse and up the Great Slab (very easy-angled).


Thanks Dav, The plan had been to follow JKLL's route up, but with the clag coming and going we took the more prudent decision to stick to the main path rather than follow the much fainter option. It struck me that heading along something called 'the climbers traverse' in poor visibility, when unfamiliar with the route might mean finding ourselves on pretty steep ground and not being quite sure we were where we planned to be. To be honest I was looking forward to sharing JKLL's discovery with my companions after they had had a nice refreshing drink at the spring! :D

Maybe try Buscoe Sike when I take on the Crinkles. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue Oct 20, 2015 4:00 pm

Shame you didn't get a clear day for Bowfell. I do think opting out of the climbers traverse in these conditions was wise, you would have had to stick to the scree next to the great slab as well because if wet it would become the slide to oblivion :shock: As for my discovery :sick: the rain will have seen it gone quite quickly, I'm sure it put many off having a refreshing drink in the meantime however.
I wouldn't worry about Allen Crags, it ties in nicely with Glaramara which is another fine fell.
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Re: The map should say 'Here be Dragons'

Postby georgeaquaterra » Wed Oct 21, 2015 5:32 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Shame you didn't get a clear day for Bowfell. I do think opting out of the climbers traverse in these conditions was wise, you would have had to stick to the scree next to the great slab as well because if wet it would become the slide to oblivion :shock: As for my discovery :sick: the rain will have seen it gone quite quickly, I'm sure it put many off having a refreshing drink in the meantime however.
I wouldn't worry about Allen Crags, it ties in nicely with Glaramara which is another fine fell.


Cheers JKLL, nice to have the choice of route vindicated. I did feel a bit of a wus for giving it a miss. I am sure renaming the Great Slab as the 'Slide to Oblivion' would look good on the OS map. That and 'Here be Dragons' marked on Bowfell might start to reduce the crowds! :lol: Actually I remember your report as describing the approach on a black cloud day as resembling the approach to Mordor so a pattern is emerging here. :D

The Glaramara connection to Allen Crags did stop me being grumpy about missing it. Another excuse to explore around this area in the future.
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