Thursday, 25 August 2011

Pike O’Blisco and Crinkle Crags.

We arrived at Langdale Camp Site Monday, and after a very poor night’s sleep on my part, we started the first of our three planned walks on Tuesday.  Initially, it looked like it would rain any minute, so I put my heavy waterproof on. Peter on the other hand thought the weather would improve and didn’t bother.  Turns out he was right and within 10 minutes we started stripping off.  It did stay cloudy, but it was warm, and no rain.

Looking up at Pike Of Blisco
We started by walking up towards Side Pike.  I was tired and finding it difficult to get into my stride and this is quite a steep hill but it was nice to be out.  At the Cattle Grid, we turned away from Side Pike and made our way up to Wrynose fell.  (More steep hills!)  With all thoughts of an easy day now beaten out of my mind, we walked from Wrynose Fell to the top of the Pike of Blisco.    

According to our map we’d climbed just short of 2000ft, or 600 mtrs by now and we’d taken aaaaaaages over it.  I blame it only my normal slowness added to the fact I was very tired. Luckily, the views were handsome and Peter had plenty of opportunity to take pictures whilst he waited for me.  The birds up there were either very large crows or ravens.  I think they were ravens because they sounded different.  Rather than CAWing, they were CROWing, and at one point they were HAH HAH HAHing (at me perhaps?) 
Looking back at the Pike of Blisco from Crinkle Crags
From Pike O’Blisco, we walked down to Browney Gill which is fed by Red Tarn (work that one out).  At the bottom, we came across an interesting couple wild camping.  Interesting because they were not a young couple - easily in their 50s or more- and obviously much hardier animals than I.  We were on the level for all of three minutes (my legs had forgotten what that felt like), then started back up towards the Crinkle Crags.  I had finally managed to wake up, but at cross purposes - now my head was awake and enthusiastic, the body was starting to slow down.  Now though, the sun was breaking through the clouds to encourage us on.

Peter Climbing "The Bad Step"
The five Crinkle Crags are sort of fun, you have to get up and over each one (and other smaller outcrops) as you move towards the Three Tarns and Bow Fell.  This includes climbing over the “Bad Step” to reach the peak of the highest Crag - Long Top.  It wasn’t until we got there that I remembered I’d seen a video on U Tube  Climbing down the Bad Step  I also remember thinking I didn’t want to do that! 
But we were here now, so, after watching Peter climb up and deciding that the other options and “scrambles” weren’t really for me, I followed him. I’m not a climber, or a scrambler and at one point I had a mini panic because I wasn’t sure my leg could lift me the distance required, but I did it.  (I awarded myself a chocolate bar for that)

Looking down from The Crinkle Crags to Oxendale and Langdale
Gunson Knott on the left
Although they are fun, the Crags are also hard work, and as we got further and further on, we were beginning to wonder when they would end.   We finally we got past the last one, (quite a lump) and reached the Three Tarns. 
At this point, with sore feet, we decided to take an easier route down than planned, and followed the path down The Band which is relatively gentle, with a lot of stones set into steps to stop erosion.  Walking on, and on, and on, and further down the hill made me wonder how far we had gone up to be taking so long to get down…….. 2800ish ft apparently.

Our route home, the Band on the left,
Langdale Fell and Langdale Pikes on the right
After a very long and hard walk (for me anyway), we finally got back to the campsite, and after the quickest wash and freshen up possible, we were on our way to the Sticklebarn for a hot meal, fresh coffee for me and Guinness for Peter.  Looking back I think we underestimated how tiring this walk can be, but I am glad we did it. I feel a better, fitter walker each time I am pushed like this. 

Today (Wednesday’s) weather forecast was for rain, rain, rain. (An excellent excuse for a day to recover). We decided to miss our second days walking to amble around Ambleside and check out the many, many walking shops in the town.  We also had lunch at Bilbo’s Café.  I recommend!
Info from Peter:  Route & directions. and Peter's journal entry


  1. Bravo! Brave lady! I don't think that I would have liked to climb 'The Bad Step'. I hope that you get up every morning next week and think: 'I climbed 'The Bad Step'!
    Kindest regards

  2. Thank you Sylvia. I think I might just do that.