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Crinkle Crags and Bowfell

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  • A rocky panorama around the head of Langdale
  • As much scrambling as you want
  • Views of all the Lakeland giants


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Langdale is probably the best known Lake District valley and certainly one of my favourites. It has been created for walkers, the valley bottom has only a few farms, two hotels and a campsite whereas the valley itself is ringed by a spectacular set of steep sided mountains. The Band splits the valley down the middle creating the one and only realtively steady ascent in to the mountain ring. I like this route as it is not unremittingly steep like say Rosett Gill, has ever improving views but also as it gives the only straightforward access to the Climbers Traverse under the cliffs of Bowfell. This spectacular path led me under the Great Slab which for geologists is a masterpiece and for non geologists just good to look at and imagining if you could stop yourself if you fell at the top! Crinkle Crags has always been one of my favourite fells in the Lake District. It is a 2 mile highway of rocky outcrops on a wide ridge, difficult to follow in the mist, but great fun in all conditions. I enjoy scrambling as much as possible on a walk and keeping to the crest on the Crinkles offered me this opportunity. I have visited the Crinkles in the snow, high winds and this time glorious sunshine and enjoyed them all. I have also suggested carrying on to the rocky peak of Pike O Blisco on this wal, it just seems a shame to leave it out and it is ‘almost’ on the return journey and offers fabulous views back over the Crinkles and Bowfell but also across the valley to the Langdale Pikes.

Recommend: Poke around the Crinkles, there are some perfect little spots to stop and admire the wonderful views

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OS Map: O/S 1.25,000. OL6 The English Lakes South West. Buy Map
Start Point: NY 293065. The parking is expensive (£6 for the day) so bring change and then head for the farm at Stool End
Height to Climb: 880ms (2,886 feet)
Terrain: Hard on the feet the terrain particularly on Bowfell and over the Crinkles is rocky and sometimes loose. There is nearly 4,000 foot of climbing across the circuit. The path off Pike O Blisco is a masterclass in erosion control.
Eating & Drinking: Climber bars are available at both the New and Old Dungeon Ghyll and after this walk it is probably not worth the effort to travel the extra 2 miles to the better pub in Chapel Stile
Similar Walks Nearby: Great Carrs & Wetherlam
The Langdale Pikes
Pike O’Blisco from the New Dungeon Ghyll
Places to Stay: Smallwood House Hotel, Ambleside