24th May 2014

Bow Fell to Pike O'Blisco


Walk Overview
Time 8am to 2:55pm
Duration 6 hr 5 min
Distance 9.4 mile
Ascent 4100 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
ODG - Stool End - The Band - Climbers Traverse - next to the Great Slab - Bow Fell - Three Tarns - Crinkle Crags - Great Knott - Cold Pike - Pike O'Blisco - Redacre Gill - road to ODG
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.


Weather Readings

The Gadget
All readings were taken using a Kestrel 2000 Weather Meter
Live temperature recorded at the time I press the hold key
Maximum Wind Speed Maximum wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location Average Wind Speed
Average wind speed since the weather meter was turned on at each location
Wind Chill
Combination of wind speed and temperature. The gadget does the calculations not me.

Route Map


It was 8am when we left the car park at the ODG Hotel this morning where there were only a few cars and even less people. It may not have been the earliest of early starts but it was soon enough to give us a head start on the forecasted bad weather and also the expected bank holiday crowds. Thankfully we managed to beat the bad weather and as for the crowds, well they didn't seem to turn up or if they did, not many of them ventured onto these particular fells today.

In stark contrast to the low cloud and rain I'd driven through to get here this morning, it was sunny and warm in Great Langdale. The first section of the walk took us along the track to Stool End Farm before we headed onto The Band which can be seen here on the right of the picture.

Over on our right hand side are the Langdale Pikes although for the time being they'd remain topped with cloud.

Blimey, you look like you've just got up; hair all over the place and haven't had time to shave yet.

We pass through Stool End farmyard to reach The Band. It's still reasonably early, the sun was warm on our backs and the place was very peaceful. The only sign of life were the two horses and of course the birds, which were darting in and out of the farm buildings.
"Is that one a swallow or a swift"
"I think it's a swallow"
"Well it may be a swallow but the way it was flying about it was certainly swift"

We reach the gate found a little way up from the valley and once through this, we're onto the fellside proper.

Excellent; Crinkle Crags are now clear of cloud and would remain so until we'd walked over them later in the walk.

A view up The Band towards Bow Fell.

Looking back down The Band. This picture was taken shortly after we left the Three Tarns path and headed for the Climbers Traverse.

And here it is, working it's way across the side of the fell below some very impressive crags indeed.

Even though I wouldn't want to trip up and fall over the edge, the walk across here really isn't as precarious as it may look.

Now we take the steep and rocky route up the side of the Great Slab. The slab itself isn't in this picture but you can't really miss it. Just look on your left, , , ,

, , , , and there it is.

You can actually walk straight up the slab, although today, parts of it looked a bit too wet. And, because we're not as daft as we might look, we stuck to the very edge which we were absolutely sure was bone dry.

If I'd slipped when taking this, I'd have a sore back and you'd have a picture of the sky.

The top of the slab is reached and Bow Fell summit comes into view. It's not very far, but people with an allergy to big stones might want to think twice before coming here.

From Bow Fell summit you get a great view across to the Scafells Ill Crag, Great End and Esk Pike.


Our route from Bow Fell passed by the Great Slab again so it seemed only right that I should take another picture. This time the Langdales are seen behind.

Three Tarns is seen here in front of Slight Side, Scafell and Scafell Pike. Okay folks I admit don't have a degree in maths, but even I can only count one tarn, however, while I was here I counted another two one tarns, and two ones + one = three.

Looking back to Bow Fell.

The smoother side of Crinkle Crags.

As the name would suggest there are lots of downs and ups on the route across Crinkle Crags.

A close up of Scafell Pike, Little Narrowcove and Ill Crag.
I can never remember if it's written as Littlenarrow Cove, Little Narrow Cove or as the above, which after investigation is correct.


Despite this being a bank holiday weekend Crinkle Crags summit was free of people when we were here.

A crinkle.

The Bad Step, with a couple of people adding scale at the bottom of the picture.

Crinkle Crags.

Standing on Great Knott with a view back across to a very Crinkly looking Crinkle Crags. The high fell on the right is Bow Fell.

As seen as thought the rain hadn't arrived yet, we decided to include Cold Pike after all.

Lunch with a view.

Cold Pike summit in front of Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs.

A close up of Crinkle Crags high way, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell and Great Knott.

The final steep up hill of the day was onto Pike O'Blisco. From the bottom of the climb I took this picture of Red Tarn in front of Swirl How and Great Carrs.

Pike O'Blisco summit.

From the top you get this view down to Great Langdale, although on a clear day it's greater than this.

Looks like the car park has a few more cars than it did when we set out this morning.

Cold Pike from Pike O'Blisco summit cairn.

A final picture before we leave Pike O'Blisco. It was here that I suggested walking 'around' the summit area to avoid the rocky bit on the proper path. It seemed a good idea at the time, but

we ended up walking down a section which was steeper and slipperyer than the bit we were trying to avoid in the first place. (you might have noticed a word I've just invented)

Looking back up to Pike O'Blisco.

Well, we'd been expecting it for hours but it wasn't until somewhere along here that we felt the first few drops of rain. Thankfully they didn't amount to much while we were out walking.

Rain passes over Mickleden and the fells beyond.

Despite the fells behind being much higher, The Band still dominates the head of the valley. I suspect there are lots of people on Bow Fell that wish they'd checked the forecast and (or) set off earlier.

Okay, who turned the tap off.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks