13th January 2012

Using all available daylight - Bow Fell to Allen Crags


Walk Overview
Time 08.00 to 16.45
Duration 8 hr 45 min
Distance 10.8 mile
Ascent 4100 ft
Walking with Richard Ratcliffe
Old Dungeon Ghyll - Stool End - The Band - Climbers Traverse - next to the Great Slab - Bow Fell - Ore Gap - Esk Pike - Esk Hause - Calf Cove - Great End - Esk Hause - Allen Crags - Angle Tarn - Rossett GillMickelden - Old Dungeon Ghyll
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Old Dungeon Gill, Great Langdale

The Langdale Pikes and the Crinkle Crags / Bow Fell ridge remain as popular as ever and this is reflected by the number of cars that cram into this car park, and just how quickly it fills up in the morning.


Route Map

8am outside the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, and after combining our knowledge on the subject, we reckoned we were 20 minutes ahead of the 'official' sunrise. Out main aim was Bow Fell via the Climbers' Traverse, after that we just added bits onto the walk which would keep us out for the whole of the day. As it turned out, we got back to the cars about 20 minutes after the 'official' sunset.
A very rewarding day on the fells making full use of the daylight hours at this time of year.

The moon over Crinkle Crags.

Although we were still walking in the shade, the sun was beginning to light up the fells on the opposite side of Mickleden.

On my previous walk up here just before Christmas, we took a route off to the left towards Three Tarns. Today, we headed right and followed the faint path to the Climbers' Traverse.

A view back down The Band.


Looking across the Climbers' Traverse. The path takes you across and almost to the patches of snow you can see in the shade.

A view back.


In the shade.

This is the water spout found at the foot of Cambridge Crag. On the left side of the picture is the Great Slab. Our route took up the scree between the crag and the slab. Progress was extremely slow up here today due to the icy rocks and the snow (ice) laying on most of the path. It was a case of watching every step and carefully picking our way through the rocks.
It is as steep as it looks by the way.

The Great Slab in front of the Langdale Pikes and most of eastern Lakeland.

The top of the Great Slab.

Bow Fell summit seen from the top of the Great Slab.
Somewhere in among those rocks are our bags. We took them off while we had a wander across to the top of the Great Slab. If thick cloud had suddenly came in we'd still be up there looking for them.

Slight Side, Scafell, Scafell Pike and Ill Crag seen from Bow Fell summit.

The next fell on today's walk was Esk Pike, viewed here from Ore Gap.

Still at Ore Gap and looking over the central fells to Blencathra, Clough Head and Great Dodd.

Esk Pike summit.

A fuel stop was made on some of those rocks on the right of the picture and it was then that we decided to add Great End onto the walk. Great End is the fell to the right of the big patch of snow.

Great End, Great Gable and Green Gable, taken from Esk Hause, , , the proper Esk Hause, not the lower area around the cross shelter below Allen Crags.
On the way up we headed around the top of the patch of snow and on the way back down we more direct route through the scree.

Esk Pike and Bow Fell seen from Calf Cove.

The big patch of snow.
The patterns on this really were quite artistic. If you're up here this summer you might want to take a closer look if you can find it !!

Lots of fells stretching out before us as we stand on Great End..
To name a few: Great Gable, Base Brown, Binsey, Dalehead, Grasmoor, Whiteless Pike and Grisedale Pike. I'll leave you to fill in the gaps.

A close up of Sty Head Tarn

Looking towards the Wasdale Fells from Great End.
Great Gable, Kirk Fell, Pillar, Red Pike, Yewbarrow and Seat Allan.

You're really spoiled for choice up here. In another direction you look down to Borrowdale and beyond. Derwent Water is visible in the centre of the picture.

For no particular reason Allen Crags was the fell I hadn't been on for the longest so we had a quick out and back walk to the summit. Time was sill on our side at this point, it was still in the sunshine and we couldn't think of a reason not to.

Angle Tarn.

A close up of the Langdale Pikes.

Angle Tarn's outflow and stepping stones.

The later afternoon shadows were working their way up from the valley and gradually darkening the sides the Langdale Pikes. Yes, it was time for us to start heading down. Rossett Pike was looked at, debated for a few minutes but in the end we thought better of it and headed down while there was still time.

Looking through Mickleden.

and to finish, a view back up the way we'd came.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks