Crinkle Crags, Cold Pike and Pike O’Blisco

Walk Date – 29th August 2016

Distance – 8 miles

Weather – dry, sunny and very windy


Walks during the past two weeks have been non-existent because ‘stuff’ prevented us getting out and about. Its been one of those times when the mundane gets in the way of the enjoyable, where you have to deal with MOT’s, waiting in for deliveries, dental appointments, having the chimney swept, the boiler serviced, and cleaning up the garden havoc wrought by an overnight gale. All that took place on days that were warm and sunny of course, and on the few days when nothing was happening and we could have gone out the weather turned its back on us. However, today the weather is set fair, despite the fact that its a Bank Holiday Monday, so we took ourselves over to the top of Wrynose Pass, managed to find somewhere to park and booted up in readiness for a wander over to Crinkle Crags.



01 Lookig towards Cold Pike and Pike O'Blisco from the top of Wrynose Pass

This is the view of the path from the roadside where I was almost blown over by the strength of the chilly wind coming up the pass to my left.

02 A view of Harter Fell as we begin the walk

Once on the path we had some shelter from the wind and the walking became a whole lot easier. Over to our left we had this view of Harter Fell as we head up to Red Tarn.

03 Red Tarn with Cold Pike behind it

Red Tarn, looking anything but red, with Cold Pike behind it. The tarn contains rocks of a reddish colour due to their iron content, hence its name, but you have to be at the water’s edge to be able to see them.

04 Close up of Bowfell

A close up of the awe inspiring Bowfell from the tarn area. Wonder what the wind speed and wind chill was up on the top of there today?

05 Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

From the path junction just beyond the tarn we take a left turn and follow the path which runs alongside Great Knott, which is on the left nearest the camera. Bowfell is in the middle and between the two are some of the crinkles on Crinkle Crags.

06 The Langdale Pikes

On the way we had this great view of the Langdale Pikes so I took a close up. The air quality was good today so all the detail was standing out clearly.

07 The Pikes again

A longer view of the Pikes with The Band just in front of it on the left. The Band is one of several routes up to Bowfell.

08 Looking ahead to Crinkle Crags

We’re making good progress along the path and here we’re looking ahead towards Crinkle Crags. We more or less had the place to ourselves all the way along, there was no-one ahead of us and just two walkers some distance behind us.

09 Approaching the first Crinkle

Five individual crinkles make up Crinkle Crags and here we are approaching the first one. Its still windy although not enough to impede progress but it is keeping the temperature down.

10 Looking across to Harter Fell from the path to the first Crinkle

Below us on our left, as we make our way over to the first crinkle, is the flattish, tarn filled area just above Stonesty Pike.

13 The Langdale Pikes behind The Band

The view on the other side is of The Band and the Langdale Pikes, with some of the eastern fells on the skyline.

14 The Scafells from the first Crinkle

On the first crinkle and a breath-taking view of the Scafells. It doesn’t make any difference how often you see them they always make you stop, stare and simply wonder.

15 The second Crinkle

We pick our way over the rocks on the first crinkle with the second crinkle directly ahead of us. This is Long Top and is the highest point along Crinkle Crags.

16 Another view down Great Langdale

A lovely view along the green fields of Great Langdale from the first crinkle. The Band on the left stands at the head of Great Langdale and creates two more valleys. Oxendale, which you can see below, to its right, and Mickleden, which you can’t see, on its left.

17 Making our way towards the second Crinkle

Fells everywhere you look as we continue across the first crinkle.

18 Approaching the 'Bad Step'

We’ve reached the end of the first crinkle so we now have to drop down to gain the path up to the second one. The path you can see in the middle, leading to the dark patch, named by AW as ‘the bad step’, is one way of getting to the summit. Its a bit on the steep side as scrambles go and you can see a couple of walkers above it who have just scrambled over it.

19 Close up of the 'Bad Step'

When we reached it I had a wander over and took this shot of it. Its a tricky 10′ or so vertical climb and it just isn’t an option for me and my little legs because they don’t have the necessary reach. This doesn’t mean that access to the summit is denied because behind me and around to the left is another path which skirts around the base and then leads up to the top. So back we go and take that one instead.

20 Bowfell with Esk Pike behind from the second Crinkle

The by-pass route brings you out onto this flattish area just below the summit from where the views are simply magnificent. Straight across from us is Bowfell with Esk Pike just behind it on the left.

21 The Scafells from the second Crinkle

A little to the left and we have a grandstand view of the Scafells, Scafell on the left and Scafell Pike to its right.

22 The Scafells in close up

As a special treat for you I took a close up of them. You may not be able to pick them out but there were already a few ant sized walkers up on Scafell Pike.

23 A view of Eskdale from the second Crinkle

Further to the left from the Scafells is this view along Eskdale, and the fell with the beck winding its way around to the right of it is Hard Knott.

24 Slight Side and Scafell from the second Crinkle

Scafell in close up.

25 Scafell Pike in close up

Scafell Pike in close up.

26 Long Top cairn, the summit of Crinkle Crags

One of the two cairns on the summit of Long Top. It was a tad nippy up here in the wind so we stepped down to the right for a bit of shelter and to get the hot coffee out. There was another couple there having a break too, so well wrapped up that they could have endured polar conditions. No chance of them getting hypothermia, and I thought I was nesh.

27 Looking back at Long Top summit as the cloud boils up

A look back at the summit cairn as we begin to make our way down just as a huge bank of cloud begins to boil over us.

28 Ahead the cloud is coming up to meet us

Here’s what it looked like in front of us, rising up so rapidly that …..

29 Within seconds we are engulfed

….. within seconds all we could see was grey. Now where the heck did all that come from so suddenly?

30 The Scafells and Bowfell are obliterated

Remember that view of Bowfell we had earlier? This is what it looks like now.

31 As suddenly as it came it began to disperse

As suddenly as it arrived it dispersed just as rapidly and we are beginning to get the views again from the tarn just below Long Top summit. Its only a very small tarn but I think its just about the highest one in England at around 2803′.

32 There goes the last of it

There goes the last of the cloud, drifting away between us and Bowfell.

34 The rough track which avoids the Bad Step'

We didn’t carry on to crinkles three, four and five as we wanted to go over to Cold Pike and Pike O’Blisco, so here we are making our way back towards the first crinkle using the rough path which avoids ‘the bad step’.

35 Pike O'Blisco and Cold Pike ahead as we make our way back

The view ahead of us as we leave Crinkle Crags behind. Over on the left is Pike O’Blisco, then Red Tarn and to the right of the tarn is Cold Pike. The other tarn over to the left is just below the summit of Great Knott, named, unsurprisingly, Great Knott Tarn. We began to meet lots more people as we walked back down the path.

36 From left to right on the skyline - Wetherlam, Swirl How, Coniston Old Man, Grey Friar and Dow Crag

A view of the fells on our right as we make our way down to Cold Pike. On the skyline from left to right they are – Wetherlam, Swirl How, Coniston Old Man, Grey Friar and Dow Crag.

37 Approaching the summit of Cold Pike

A man on a mission approaching the summit cairn on Cold Pike.

38 Cold Pike summit with Pike O'Blisco on the right

Cold Pike lived up to its name today and my jumper and windproof went on after this shot was taken. We found a sheltered spot out of the wind and settled down to a spot of lunch.

39 Pike O'Blisco from Cold Pike

From Cold Pike a view of our next fell, Pike O’Blisco. We took the path you can see going straight up the middle.

40 Crinkle Crags and Bowfell from Cold Pike

Crinkle Crags and Bowfell from Cold Pike. For much of the time we were here all of them were in deep shadow so I was lucky enough to hit on a brief sunny spell for this shot.

42 Bowfell in close up

The mighty Bowfell in close up from Cold Pike, and that is one very steep and slithery path over there.

44 Ditto

From Cold PIke summit a view of the route over to Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

45 Making our way to Pike O'Blisco

We’re down from Cold Pike now and making our way back to the path junction by Red Tarn to pick up the Pike O’Blisco path.

47 Ditto

A slightly different view of Crinkle Crags and Bowfell as we make our way up Pike O’Blisco. They’re all nicely sunlit too, now that the clouds have dispersed.

48 Great Langdale from Pike O'Blisco

The view down to Great Langdale from Pike O’Blisco. On the left skyline is the Helvellyn range while over on the right is part of the Fairfield Horseshoe.

49 The west top of Pike O'Blisco

The north west summit cairn on Pike O’Blisco with a view of the south east cairn over to the right. As you can see from the hair its still very windy although the chill factor has lessened and the temperature has improved.

50 The east top with Wetherlam behind it

A closer look at the south east top with Wetherlam behind it.

51 The cairn on the east top of Pike O'Blisco

On the south east top where I never got round to taking off the windproof. No good reason not to so I think I just forgot about it.

52 The west top and Bowfell

I took a look back at Bowfell and the north east cairn from the south east top. Its now a beautiful sunny afternoon.

54 The eastern and far eastern fells on the skyline

Another look across Great Langdale over to the eastern fells.

55 Making our way down from Pike O'Blisco

We’re dropping down from Pike O’Blisco now and making our way back to the car. Ahead of us on the skyline from left to right are Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Dow Crag and Grey Friar.

57 Cold Pike from the descent path

Over on our right we have a good view of Cold Pike as we descend.

58 Almost back at the top of Wrynose Pass

Down below is our journey’s end where the car is parked on the flat area between the light coloured car on the left and the darker coloured one to the right. A very enjoyable walk in lovely weather and it was great to get out again, especially to get up to Crinkle Crags which we haven’t been to for a few years. We won’t leave it so long next time.