Crinkle Crags

Walk Date – 2nd October 2007

Distance – 5.5 miles

Weather – cool and cloudy

 


Route – out and back

Parking at the Three Shire Stone, which stands at the summit of Wrynose Pass, saves about a thousand feet of climbing and it pays to get there early as the road side parking spaces are very limited. We waited in the car for a good while in the hopes that the very low cloud would move, but it didn’t so we just had to get on with it. There was no point in taking pictures until we reached this point as we walked in fog and the views were non-existent. There’s not much of a view either from the first crinkle on Crinkle Crags but a brief gap in the cloud gave a fleeting glimpse of Eskdale. The cut on the nose, sustained on Slight Side the other day, is healing nicely.

The view down into Great Langdale as the cloud breaks for a short while.

Approaching the second crinkle where there is the choice of routes, to the right, where the dark patch is, the ‘bad step’ which requires a bit of scrambling, to the left, a straightforward bypass round the rocky section and back over to the top. Not having a stepladder handy and being a bit short in the leg department its the bypass for me.

Another brief break in the cloud gives us a view down to Eskdale with the long northern slope of Hard Knott just below us.

Didn’t need the sunglasses in all this cloud today so I took them off and put them down on top of the rocks to put the camera away. I put my rucksack back on and promptly walked off without the sunglasses.

A misty Pike O’Blisco from the path across Crinkle Crags. The cloud continued coming and going all the way along which meant that views were very sporadic today.

A look back on the return leg and the cloud continues to drift around.

Looking ahead to Cold Pike and the cloud isn’t quite so bad in this direction.

We didn’t go over to Cold Pike but continued on down the path towards Red Tarn. On the way down I took a look back for this slightly clearer view of Great Knott and Crinkle Crags. Bowfell over on the right is still cloud covered though.

Finally, the cloud clears and a patch of sunlight lands on one of the crinkles.

As is often the case, the cloud lifts and the sun breaks through just as you get near to the end of the walk. Crinkle Crags and Bowfell now completely cloud free so the views from up there will now be much better. Maybe we should have set off later. It was round about here that I realised that I had left my sunglasses behind, so it was a bit of an unsatisfactory day all round.

Inscription near the Three Shire Stone which reads –
THREE SHIRE STONES
Three stones have traditionally marked the adjoining counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire on this site. The limestone monolith carved in 1816 for the Furness Roadmaster William Field of Cartmel (D. 1860) was set up by friends after his death.
Repaired and re-erected by the National Trust in 1998 with local support.

The Three Shire Stone, as it stands today ,at the summit of Wrynose Pass, 1289 feet above sea level. The counties of Cumberland and Westmorland, together with parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire, were combined in 1974 to form the new administrative county of Cumbria.


Scafell and Slight Side

Walk Date – 30th September 2007

Distance – 8 miles

Weather – sunny start, cloudy and overcast later

 


Route

The first picture taken on this walk after a very steep climb up from Brackenclose. There was very little change in the views on the first section, in front of us our noses were almost touching the steep grassy slopes of Green How, on our right were the steep slopes of Ill Gill Head, and on our left the equally steep slopes of Lingmell. By the time we reached this point I had seen enough steep grassy slopes to keep me going for weeks. In any case I had enough to concentrate on just dragging myself up without attempting to stand upright and take photos. We had a short refreshment break when we reached a more level area around Green How before tackling the last section of the climb up to Scafell summit. It was still steep but the view in front of our noses was now of scree rather than grass, nice!

‘No, I’m not getting up there, this’ll have to do.”

A very welcome sit down on Scafell summit. There were so many people up here it looked like a works outing.

The Mosedale Horseshoe from Scafell summit.

Looking across to Scafell Pike from Scafell. The view is deceiving since it looks as though you can just nip across from one fell to the other, which you can’t as there is great big gap between the two.

“Shall we have a wander over to Slight Side?’

“Might as well since we’re here and its only just over a mile to the right.”

Burnmoor Tarn from Scafell summit.

The view down to Wast Water from Scafell summit.

Smiling on Slight Side summit.

Another smile on Slight Side summit. The smiles disappeared about fifteen minutes later. On the descent across the rough and rocky slope a misplaced step resulted in a fall, a bump on the head and a deep cut to the nose, not mine I hasten to add. Out came the first aid kit and after some patching up with sticking plasters, a couple of paracetamols and a bit of recovery time we were able to continue, with me leading the way this time. That way I could be sure that the descent back down to Brackenclose would be done a whole lot more carefully and slowly, and any attempt to go past me was absolutely forbidden. J was still a bit too shaken up to argue and did as he was told for once.


Scafell Pike

Walk Date – 7th July 2004

Distance – about 6.5 miles

Weather – dry with warm sunny spells

 

I don’t have many photos of the walk up to, and back from, the summit, which is probably just as well since what photos I do have are poor in quality. I cannot remember what camera I was using at the time and I can’t see any evidence on the photos of a camera case, so it may have been one of the cheaper, simple point and shoot digital variety which was small and light enough to fit into a pocket. I remember having a few of these which always ended up dying on me for one reason or another. I do remember being reluctant to splash out on anything very expensive because the technology was changing so quickly at the time. You had no sooner bought one product than another one appeared with the next layer of bells and whistles and I refused to get sucked into the money pit spiral until it seemed as though things had settled down enough to warrant spending a bit more than usual.


Route – mostly out and back

We walked up the pitched path from Brackenclose to Hollow Stones, where we had a short break and a discussion about which path to take from there up to the summit. Taking the left hand path from Hollow Stones would mean more of the same, whereas following the right hand one would add interest by having to get up the stony slopes of Mickledore with some impressive crags on either side of us, even though it involved a bit more effort. Ahead of us was a woman with two young boys and she was carrying a huge back pack which didn’t seem to slow her down very much. When we reached Mickledore she and the boys were already there, but what really surprised us was that she had unpacked and lit a gas burner, on the top of which sat a pan full of what looked like a thick meat and vegetable stew, which was already warming up nicely. Meanwhile she was busy getting out the bowls and spoons and calling for the two boys to come back and have their lunch, so casual was she that they could have been having their lunch on some campsite or other, rather than being perched on a rock outcrop with long drops down either side. Anyway, I digress, here’s a shot of Scafell Pike summit from Mickledore, now there’s just the little matter of a half mile walk over that boulder field.

‘The ridge of Mickledore, gained by a steep scree gully, is the best place in Lakeland for viewing the vertical from the comfort and safety of the horizontal’ – AW

AW’s opinion seemed perfectly reasonable to us so we took a break on Mickledore and, in relative comfort and absolute safety, viewed the surrounding verticals. The woman with the stew was over to the right of the shot. The skyline behind forms part of the Mosedale Horseshoe, with the sunlit slopes of Lingmell just behind me.

We teetered our way across the boulder field, a nightmare walk full of potential for twisted ankles, and arrived at the trig point just below the summit area.

 There’s just a smidge of Wast Water showing over on the left, and my photographer has just about managed to include the top of Seatallan on the centre skyline behind me.

Once you’ve reached the highest rock on England’s highest summit there’s nowhere else to go but down. Before we do, you may be interested to know some of the distances from here to some of the fells on the skyline. On the far left is Skiddaw, 13.75 miles away, on the centre skyline, behind the intrepid summiteer, is Blencathra, 14.5 miles away, and on the far right is Clough Head, 12 miles away. Good thing the cloud wasn’t down or I wouldn’t have been able to include that. I will own up to not doing the measuring , AW had already done it and put the all the details in Book 4, which saved me having to get the ruler out.

The views were worth all the effort but I don’t look too thrilled. This is not my favourite fell, not because of the terrain or the height, its to do with the attitudes you encounter up here. OK, its the highest summit and reaching it is an achievement but it hardly merits the swaggering self-importance you witness when you get up here. Its not an impenetrable peak located somewhere in the back of beyond, and there are paths leading up from all directions, so well trodden and so full of walkers that you barely need to consult a map to reach the top. It is simply a steep walk up a high hill. Perhaps all that goes some way to explaining why its so many years since we came here. Will we return? Perhaps.


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away …..

Further ferreting around in the shoe box turned up a few more photos from times past. Not very good quality I’m afraid, but then they are getting on a bit as they range from the late 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Take no notice of the date of 15th August 2000, that’s only there because a date needs to be entered for this to show up on the diary page.


Whin Rigg & Illgill Head

Helvellyn

Harter Fell

Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales

Whernside, Yorkshire Dales

Annoyingly, I can’t find the shots from Pen-y-Ghent although I know we took one or two. Another trawl through the photo albums then and if they turn up I’ll upload them.