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Lake District Walks

Crinkle Crags

Crinkle Crags

Date: 28th April 2007
Distance: 9.6 miles
Ascent: 3766 feet
Time: 7 hours 25 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY285060

Walk Summary:
An exhilarating walk visiting the fantastic Crinkle Crags ridge along with the fine summit of Pike O'Blisco.

Route Summary: Old Dungeon Ghyll - Redacre Gill - Pike O'Blisco - Great Knott - Cold Pike - Little Stand - Crinkle Crags - Shelter Crags - Three Tarns - The Band - Stool End - Old Dungeon Ghyll.


1. Pike O'Stickle

Pike O'Stickle

2. Swirl How and Great Carrs

Swirl How and Great Carrs

3. The top of Pike O'Blisco looking to Bow Fell

The top of Pike O'Blisco looking to Bow Fell

4. Cold Pike

Cold Pike

5. Great Knott

Great Knott

6. On Great Knott with Great Langdale below

On Great Knott with Great Langdale below

7. Crinkle Crags from Great Knott

Crinkle Crags from Great Knott

8. The top of Cold Pike

The top of Cold Pike

9. Harter Fell and the Duddon Valley

Harter Fell and the Duddon Valley

10. Little Stand from Cold Pike's West Top

Little Stand from Cold Pike's West Top

11. The top of Little Stand

The top of Little Stand

12. Scafell from Little Stand

Scafell from Little Stand

13. Crinkle Crags

Crinkle Crags

14. Approaching the 'Bad Step'

Approaching the 'Bad Step'

15. Bow Fell

Bow Fell

16. Great Langdale from the top of the middle Crinkle

Great Langdale from the top of the middle Crinkle

17. The Scafells from Crinkle Crags

The Scafells from Crinkle Crags

18. Bow Fell from Three Tarns

Bow Fell from Three Tarns

19. Pike O'Blisco

Pike O'Blisco

Walk Detail: Thankfully, and unlike the previous week, the weather forecasters didn’t get it wrong again and it was a bright, clear, sunny day. I first tackled Pike O’Blisco; it was ultimately an enjoyable climb though the section between crossing the gill and reaching the plateau at about 1500ft was really tough. As always when there is no breeze to help I found it quite energy sapping.

After this unpleasant section the remains of the climb was very enjoyable and there were some nice little scrambles. Even better I reached the neat little top to find I had it completely to myself. Had it been later in the day and had I not so many other summits to visit I could quite easily have stayed longer as it is one of the best fell tops I’ve been to.

The descent down to Red Tarn was not as rough as I expected and thankfully the gradient of the climb up to Great Knott was fairly easy though I lost patience with the loose stony path and decided to walk on the grass instead. From Great Knott there were some good views down into Great Langdale and across to Pike O’Blisco. From there I headed south for Cold Pike across a somewhat damp, grassy area eventually following an electric fence before the final scramble to what was another neat little top which once again I had to myself.

By this time the wind had picked up a bit so I took shelter behind some rock and ate the first portion of my lunch before crossing the electric fence and heading for the western top of Cold Pike which had a nice view of the Duddon Valley flanked by Harter Fell. The far western top had up until now looked completely insignificant but the 50 feet of climbing was fairly steep.

After crossing some more marshy ground at the head of Gaitscale Gill I slanted up on to the Little Stand ridge with good views back to the three tops of Cold Pike. Little Stand itself proved to be a fascinating ridge of pools and rocky outcrops. It also brought into view Scafell and Scafell Pike.

Once again I probably would have been happy exploring the area a bit more but it was time to head north and on to the main aim of the walk – Crinkle Crags. After crossing another wide grassy area the surroundings change quite dramatically at the southern most Crinkle. It was all rock and crag and the following traverse of the five Crinkles was hugely enjoyable.

The South Top was a good place for assessing Long Top and I was able to pick out the Bad Step quite clearly. Up close it looked even more formidable and I’m glad to say on my third attempt I managed to scramble up the side of it which gave me a certain amount of satisfaction. Surprisingly I had the top of Crinkle Crags to myself as well. I didn’t hang around too long as it was quite breezy and in quick succession I climbed the next three Crinkles.

I expected Shelter Crags to be significantly lower than the Crinkles but they are really a continuation and this caused me a bit of confusion but when I climbed to the top of Shelter Crags it became obvious where I was when I checked Wainwright and the Nuttalls book I had brought with me. The final top proved to be AW’s prominent rocky tor which was easily attained.

Down at Three Tarns I was able to see the area where I had almost taken a wrong turn in mist the week before. In fact Three Tarns proved to be a very picturesque place with numerous areas for walkers to seek solitude in what was easily the busiest spot of the whole walk. The view of Bowfell Links with one of the tarns in the foreground was especially memorable and I had to really resist the temptation to visit Bow Fell’s summit again.

Eventually I decscended via The Band which took me much longer than anticipated mainly because I couldn’t stop taking pictures with my camera and also because in the latter stages my right knee started aching. When I got back to ODG I treated myself to a swift lemonade before heading home very pleased with myself. This had been a fantastic walk and the Crinkles ridge really was memorable, Pike O’Blisco has one of the best summits while Cold Pike and especially Little Stand were fascinating places in their own right.

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