Lake District






Crinkle Crags and Bowfell
Helvellyn
Langdale Pikes
Buttermere - Haystacks



Langdale Pikes  


The Route



I once again had the privilege of joining KC Walking in Great Langdale with the view to walk the Langdale Pikes following the route detailed above.



KC Walking group
We started off from the local National Trust camp site and headed up Stickle Ghyll passing the Stickle Barn Tavern to reach Stickle Tarn up a steep ascent traversing some fantastic waterfalls.

 Stickle Gyll and the start of the ascent 



Looking back over Langdale from Stickle Ghyll

Upon reaching Stickle Tarn and after a short rest, we took a direct route, passing Stickle Tarn and Pavey Ark on our right to the cairn of Harrison Stickle.

Pavey Ark from Stickle Ghyll

 Stickle Tarn

Upon reaching the cairn at Harrison Stickle and due to great weather the panoramic views over Great Langdale were magnificent.

Harrison Stickle from Stickle Tarn
Taking a rest ascending Harrison Stickle

View of Great Langdale from Harrison Stickle

From Harrison Stickle we headed towards Loft Crag taking lunch after a descent from Harrison Stickle - The stretch between the two points was steep however not a difficult walk.

Loft Crag from Harrison Stickle (Bowfell behind however covered in low cloud)
  
Harrison Stickle from Loft Crag

From Loft Crag we could see our third target of the day, Pike of Stickle, which was a short walk to the base of the buttress - A fun scramble to the cairn was rewarded with more wonderful views of Great Langdale and the route to Bowfell

Pike of Stickle from Harrison Stickle

Route to the base of Pike of Stickle

Our intention was to ascend Bowfell, following a well defined footpath (although found to be very eroded) passing Rossett Crag and to descend down The Band back to Stool End Farm, however due to time and weather conditions we began our descent following a steep path at Angle Tarn.

Route to Bowfell and the worsening weather conditions


From Angle Tarn the footpath meets the The Cumbria Way trail at the valley floor which we followed back to the Dungeon Gill Hotel for a well deserved pint.

A fantastic walk with excellent company, although it was extremely disappointing that we could not visit Bowfell on this occasion, however she will be there the next time we're in these parts again. 

Further pictures of this walk can be found on my Flicker account or navigate to 'My Photos' tab above.

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell


Start:
Langdale – Old Dungeon Gill
Start (OS ref):
NY285060
Maps (1:25,000):
OL6 The Lake District: SW area
Parking:
Public Car Park, pay and display (Old Dungeon Gill)
Distance:
7 miles (11.2 km)
Time:
7 Hours
Difficulty:
Difficult
Hazards:
Very steep ascents and descents, scree, rocky summits
Refreshments:
Langdale – 2 public houses

 (All photos taken by @MarkConwayUK who accompanied me on this walk)



Map of Route



We started this walk early on an extremely hot  Friday morning in May 2012 with a hope that the view from the tops were going to be good. As there was not a cloud in the sky we were not going to be disappointed. 

The walk starts from The Old Dungeon Gill and heads towards Stool End Farm towards Oxendale Beck. The ascent starts by heading up the flank of Browney Gill until the path turns right before Red Tarn.

View of Crinkle Crags from the start

Path to Stool End Farm

Oxendale Beck - Coming to the start of the main Ascent
The path levels out for a while, which gives an opportunity to look back over the Langdale valley. Upon reaching the first crinkle the Scafell range can be seen. 

Path levels off to the first crag

View from Crinkle Crags - looking back over the Langdale valley
Heading north towards Bowfell the remaining crags are not too difficult to negotiate, taking on a few scrambles, although the difficulty totally depends upon the route chosen. Once the last crag has been conquered Bowfell's rocky summit and ascent can be seen. 

View of Bowfell for the last crag
Passing three small tarns at the foot of Bowfell the 'usual' path up to the summit is simple to follow, however is rocky and care is needed. Upon negotiating the route up and passing 'Great Slab' the summit is in sight  although another small scramble to the trig point is required.

Great Slab

Summit of Bowfell
From the summit this route retraces itself down Bowfell to the Langdale valley floor following the footpath crossing The Band back to Stool End Farm and The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Please note other routes are available to the finish i.e to Rossett Pike and back to the start by using the Cumbria Way.

If weather and cloud conditions are kind (as it was for me) I have been told it is one of the best walks in the Lake District. All I can say is that this was one of the most spectacular days spent hill walking I have ever done ..... so far!


Helvellyn


Start:
Glenridding
Start (OS ref):
NY389170
Maps (1:25,000):
OL6 The Lake District: SW area
Parking:
Public Car Park, pay and display (The Pier, Ullswater)
Distance:
7 miles (11.2 km)
Time:
6 Hours
Difficulty:
Difficult
Hazards:
Very steep ascent/descents, Striding Edge
Refreshments:
Glenridding

(All photos taken by @MarkConwayUK who accompanied me on this walk)  




The Route


We were hoping that the views from Helvellyn were going to be as good as the ones from Crincle Crags and Bowfell - The weekend weather was still fantastic and therefore we started the walk with hopes high.

From the pier at Ullswater we headed towards Birkhouse Moor and Grisedale Brow with the intention of crossing Striding Edge. Striding Edge can be reached from a number of location (as with ascending Helvellyn) however this seemed to be the most direct route.

The route past Birkhouse Moor is steep, however eventually flattens out with a rewarding view of Helvellyn and Striding Edge. From this point the route to the start of Striding edge is a simple level walk.

Looking back at Ullswater from Birkhouse Moor
Depending upon the weather the crossing of Striding Edge can be extremely dangerous, however the weather was ideal on the day we crossed.

First look at Helvellyn

Helvellyn and Red Tarn
Once Striding Edge has been traversed the final ascent is steep and rocky, however after a scramble the flat top of Helvellyn is finally reached where the wind break and trig point is only a short walk away.


Crossing Striding Edge and the view of the  the final scramble

Looking back at Strding Edge from Helvellyn
Due to high winds on the top (which blew me off my feet twice!) we chose to take the route back to Glenridding via Helvellyn Lower Man, heading towards Kepple Cove, White Side and the Youth Hostel at Glenridding.


Trig Point - Helvellyn




A superb walk in fantastic weather and the scenery was breathtaking. The weekend spent in the lakes completing Crinckle Crags, Bowfell and Helvellyn was one I'd never forget and hope to revisit soon.

Helvellyn Lower Man

Looking back to Kepple Cove




No comments:

Post a Comment

Many thanks for leaving a message on The Walking Cave Man - Please remember to follow me on Facebook, Twitter or email me on thewalkingcaveman@ymail.com