Bowfell Via Crinkle Crags

Bowfell Via Crinkle Crags

Starting from the National Trust Car park near the Old Hotel  I headed off westwards out of Langdale into tiny Oxendale. A short while after passing Stool End, the last farm in the valley   a footbridge was reached which crosses Oxendale Beck and I began toclimb. Climbing up Brown Howe, passing near to Red Tarn and finally to Great Knott was the chosen route. In less than two miles over 500 metres if climbing was achieved, a great start  as climbing always seems easier when you are fresh and tiredness is a long way off. Up to Great Knott (often confused as one of the Crinkles) and then the walk eased down to a gentle stroll. The approach to Crinkle Crags was before me.

Deciding to take the high route over the Crags I progressed steadily and encountered no difficulties at all, not even on the Bad Step section of Long Top Crinkle. The views from The Crags are just wonderful. Some two miles north west are the Scafells,  to the north east are the Langdale Pikes and look south  the Coniston Fells are three miles off.

From the Crags I started walking due north down to Three Tarns which are perched on a saddle connecting the crags to Bowfell. Here I stopped and took on board some refreshment and contemplated the walk in front of me. Rested I set off once more and commenced the short stiff 200 metres climb which was reached without difficulty. The summit of Bowfell is a boulder field that plays havoc with your ankles and care had to be taken here. As a lone walker I need to take additional care – mobile phone coverage is not to good in Lakeland and help can be a long way off. At the cairn there was a fair wind blowing which soon chilled the body so I sort shelter and rested.

Restarting a walk after a lengthy rest can be difficult especially when the wid is blowing hard into your face but from the top of a lakeland peak you have no option. I headed for Ore Gap  and commenced the drop down to Angle Tarn, the going quite wet underfoot but not too taxing. Having achieved my target a made the short climb round Rossett Pike and Hanging Knotts to Rossett Gill. There followed an awkward decent down the Gill I faced  a gentle walk over ;level ground for acouple of miles. By now the wind had dropped as I descended from the peaks and it was quite pleasant. Most of this section follows Mickleden Beck which is flanked by Pike of Stickle and Gimmer Crag on the one side and by Earing Crag/The Band and  Crinkle Crags on the other. Tired and leg weary I arrived back at the car park delighted with a strenuous but enjoyable day. Alas I still faced the long drive home but it had been worth it!

The overall distance covered on the walk was some nine miles and with over 1000 metres of climbing involved.  It is a very hard walk with strenuous climbs and descents and is not for the faint hearted.  Having said that it will provide you with 6 to 7 hours of true Lakeland splendour that lasts in the memory.

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