Pike O'Blisco, Cold Pike & Crinkle Crags
For the main walk of our weekend, Duncan and I chose to walk around the head of Langdale. I have previously climbed Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags, but had yet to climb four of the other peaks, two on one side and two on the other. To capture all 4 would mean a total of 6 peaks in one quite significant walk. So we decided to split the six peaks into two groups and concentrate this walk on climbing Pike O'Blisco (705m), Cold Pike (701m) and Crinkle Crags, coming back down The Band into the Langdale valley - a walk of nearly 9 miles. This route had the added bonus that I climbed the Crinkle Crags in the reverse order to my first climb.
We parked in the National Trust car park at Dungeon Ghyll, from where we have started a number of walks in the past. And indeed the first part of the walk was quite familiar, taking us along the road and up past Wall End Farm, starting the steep, winding ascent which eventually takes you to Blea Tarn. But part way up our route took us to the right across the fell and up to Pike O'Blisco. The route was easy to find, and generally a steady incline, although there was one stretch that involved a short scramble.
As we gained height, the views back down Langdale Valley started to open up behind us.
Across the valley, the Langdale Pike stood proud against the skyline.
The summit of Pike O'Blisco has two tops, both of which are marked by large cairns. The northern cairn marks the highest point, from which the views are quite spectacular. In one direction you look over the summit shelter towards Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and the Scafell range beyond. The long ridge stretching from left from right is The Band - our route down later in the day.
Moving round to the right, you see the Langdale Pikes.
Further round still you can see the full beauty of the Langdale valley.
And yet further round still you can see the cairn on the southern summit, with Lake Windermere in the distance.
We spent a little while around the summit cairn, admiring the views in the changing light.
As we moved across to the southern summit we kept a close eye on an approaching rainstorm.
The changing light made for quite a dramatic scene.
As we descended Pike O'Blisco, we couldn't tell if or when we were going to get very wet!!
Fortunately it stayed dry - and the light remained dramatic all around us.
Our next stop was Cold Pike - a small diversion from the direct route between Pike O'Blisco and Crinkle Crags - but well worth it. Whilst the view from the summit of Cold Pike is slightly obscured in one direction, you can see all the away across the fells to the coast in the other.
As we moved on towards Crinkle Crags, the view of the Langdale Pikes returned.
And we were able to look back down towards Pike O'Blisco where we had been earlier in the day.
The head of the valley is marked by the Crinkle Crags - a series of rocky summits, each separated by distinct rocky descents and climbs and each having its own cairn. We were still a bit uncertain about the weather so we kept going, stopping only occasionally to take photos.
This image looks back over the route we came up.
Towards the far end of the Crinkle Crags, the views open out in the other direction, towards Scafell and Scafell Pike (albeit shrouded on cloud).
Looking back in the other direction, the light was quite spectacular, with a distant rainbow adding to the overall drama of the scene.
As we descended The Band, the valley continued to be bathed in glorious evening light.
I love the play of sunlight and shadow across the hills and the valley floor.
It had been a fantastic day- a great walk with great company. Yet again, my ankle had made it up and down the hills with no problems at all, but caused a long slow hobble back to the car as soon as I hit the horizontal. But it had all been worth it and we had a few pints and good food to look forward to as well!!
For a lot more photos from this walk, please go to the gallery here.