Thursday, 20 October 2011

Cold Pike and Crinkle Crags (2816 ft / 859m)

After the introductory walk from the previous post (Loughrigg Fell), I was ready to do something a bit more serious with the above image showing some of this walk's targets from near the start. The undulating Crinkle Crags at the centre with Great Knott protruding from the horizon on the left. The ascent was diagonally to the far left with the descent route down the green rounded ridge of "The Band" in the right hand side of the photo.

Even though this clockwise walk at the head of Langdale valley was based on a one I did back in July 1996 when I climbed all of the Wainwright Mountains and Hills in a 10 year period, the motivation for this walk was to cover the unconquered lesser known tops of Great Knott and some of the sub summits of Cold Pike.

On leaving the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park, it is always a joy to take in the sights  ......

.... and sounds of the Langdale valley. The unconventional view of The Langdale Pikes is always prominent in the background.

A working farm ... Stool End

... and some bits that don't work !!

It was time to leave civilisation behind and head for the mountains. The route up was right to left in front of the dark crag heading for the horizon at the left hand side of the photo. First objective was the top of Great Knott on the left of the photo.

The view from there looking back to where the last photo was taken and The Langdale valley. The Helvellyn and Fairfield mountain ranges are on the horizon towards the left and centre respectively.

Crinkle Crags from Great Knott
Crinkle crags is made up of five individual rocky crinkles that become a mountain range on their own that stretch between Cold Pike and Bowfell. Wainwright describes them as ".... too good to be missed. For the mountaineer who prefers his mountains rough, who likes to see steep craggy slopes towering before him into the sky, who enjoys an up and down ridge walk full of interesting nooks and corners, who has an appreciative eye for  magnificent views, this is a climb deserving of high priority. .... Crinkle Crags merits respect and should be treated with respect. "

Firstly though, I had an appointment to keep with Cold Pike and I endeavoured to keep my boots dry in this a generally pathless terrain from the main footpath.

Having failed at that task with my right boot anyway ( I need a new pair !), I had some of the locals either looking or smiling at my misfortune !

I met a family had struggled to the top of Wrynose pass with their car and climbed the shorter route to the top. Apart from the father, most of the family didn't want to walk any further which included their dog. Mind you at this point in the day, Crinkle Crags in the distance doesn't look too appealing !

The weather was kind to me as I reached the main summit although the cloud to the left was never very far away. There are two routes from the south side, one is the walkers route that you can see skirting around and up to the summit on the extreme left and the other is a classic scrambling and aspirational rock climbers route called ... The Bad Step.

Not so classic ascent !!

After a lunch break and traversing the rest of the Crinkles, I had 15 minutes to take in one of my favourite mountain locations at Three Tarns with Scafell Pike and Scafell providing the eerie backdrop. As the weather didn't look promising at this point, I retreated from the mountain tops down The Band to the gentleness and calm of Langdale...

Farmer's rest at Stool End
"Peace in the valley"
"The Band"

After the long and seemingly unending walk, The pub of Old Dungeon Ghyll was a welcome sight beside the car park where I could relax for a bit, but I would have much preferred to take it a step further !!! .....

(Have a great weekend, I'm away for five to six days, I'll start catching up with your blogs at the end of next week)


  1. A lovely brings back so many memories from the early eighties. I used to spend a weekend at Langdale about once a month. Not often the weather was this good though.

  2. Stunning photos, all of them. It looks like the weather was iffy but that made for some great use of light and shadow in your photos... wow.

  3. Very comfortable place, I would like to have a walk there!
    Only some route are a bit difficult for me, because have a long time I didn't hiking...

  4. Very nice countryside, J_on _tour! I like especially the dog, the flowers, the horse:) Even if it is not a spectacular height, those hills look like real mountains.

  5. Very interesting post.Beautiful pictures.Greetings Andrzej.

  6. Lovely hike, I love mountains and nature and ...well, everything:)
    Have a great time whenever you go, and take photos:)

  7. Another great post of a super area....I've been backpacking in the area on numerous occasions and your pictures helped to bring it all back for me....


  8. You bring out the atmosphere of your hiking route..
    Very good and sharp photographed.
    Thank you, dear J., for sharing!!!

  9. Lovely view over the valley!And the sheep look so satisfied with their living!:)

  10. Crinkle Crags - what a name for a mountain range, and what a pleasant challenge for mountaineers in this area!

    The animals in the above pictures (sheep, horse, dog) look lovely!

  11. Wonderful scenery. That sounds like a really good walk and it reminds me I should get out walking again soon :-)

  12. What beautiful scenery! And you don't have to drive 18 hours to find it. The Langdale Valley is now on my list of must-see. Thanks for the sheep photos. What breed of sheep are those in the first sheep photo? The weather may not have been great (photo 15), but it made a gorgeous photo. P.S. None of those high passes sound like fun to me. I prefer staying in the valley and looking up. :-)

  13. A very good post!!
    One can imagine the clean air and the beautiful atmosphere in this area..
    After all that climbing and walking I would have drop dead like the dog in your last photo, e?

    Wish you a great weekend, dear J...


Related Posts with Thumbnails