Fellwalking – Crinkle Crags

Crinkle Crags 1

“Bowfell’s companion at the head of Great Langdale was given the name of Crinkle Crags by the dalesfolk of that valley because of the succession of abrupt undulations on its log summit ridge. Seen from a distance these seem minor and of little consequence but on closer acquaintance are found to be not merely crinkly but exceedingly rough…”

Wainwright’s Favourite Lakeland Mountains

Parking by the side of the Wrynose pass just east of Three Shire Stone, I walked briefly along the pass and then turned north, following the well-worn footpath past Red Tarn, and turning left at the crossroad of paths a little further on to follow the trail past Great Knott to the Crinkle Crags. There are five summits (although the track doesn’t traverse them all). A quick lunch was had at the last crag, before rapidly deteriorating weather forced a hasty retreat back to my car.

My rating: B+
Map: OL6 – The English Lakes: South Western Area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: Book four, The Southern Fells
Access: The track starts at the Wrynose path just west of Three Shire Stones.

Fellwalking – Helvellyn

Looking back over Striding Edge

“Legend and poetry, a lovely name and a lofty altitude combine to encompass Helvellyn in an aura of romance; and thousands of pilgrims, aided by its easy accessibility, are attracted to its summit each year”

The Eastern Fells (Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells)

On both my ascents of Helvellyn, I approached from Glenridding on the eastern side, walking towards Patterdale on the permissive path by the side of the road, crossing Grisedale Bridge and then turning right into a lane and then picking up a path to Hole-in-the-Wall and ultimately ascending via Striding Edge. Wainwright describes Striding Edge as the finest way of all to the top of Helvellyn, a judgment that few would disagree with. After lunch at the top, I descended via Red Tarn and Swirral Edge, making a particularly fine circuit walk. The Pathfinder Guide to Lake District Walks describes a good route that follows this basic idea.

My rating: A+. Justifiably one of the most popular walks in the Lake District.
Map: OL 5 – The English Lakes: North Eastern Area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: The Eastern Fells (Anniversary Edition): Book One (Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells)

Striding Edge from Swirral Edge Red Tarn On the track back to Glenridding

Fellwalking – Scafell

Sca Fell

A beautiful and very warm Saturday for another classic Lakeland walk:

“The most thrilling walk in Lakeland reaches the top of Scafell by way of an ingenious passage that penetrates the rocks of Scafell Crag … A struggle up this unfriendly ladder of rock debris … leads to the foot of Scafell Pinnacle in most impressive surroundings, the Pinnacle soaring above in a tower 500 feet in height. To the right at this point rises a steep narrow channel between rocks, and choked by stones and boulders. This is Lord’s Rake…”

Wainwright’s Favourite Lakeland Mountains

Parking at Wasdale Head we took the public footpath that leads south-east and then south to Lingmell Gill, then following the path as it proceeds upwards through Brown Tongue. Eventually the trail branches into two; following the southerly branch we proceeded to the bottom of Lord’s Rake.

We continued upwards for the traverse up Lords Rake and thus straight through Scafell Crag, before eventually (after a couple more up and down sections) reaching the high ground and a gentle stroll to the summit. Another option if you’d prefer not to climb Lords Rake would be to continue on the path and then take the gully up to Foxes Tarn. Don’t try going up Broad Stand – this is for roped climbers only!

Following lunch we took the path down through Green How to join a bridleway heading north to return to Wasdale Head and a beer (of course).

My rating: A+. Magnificent, but definitely for experienced walkers only
Map: OL6 – The English Lakes: South Western Area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: Book four, The Southern Fells

[nggallery id=96]

Fellwalking – Great Gable

Towards Great Gable

“Great Gable is everbody’s favourite. The very name is a compelling magnet, the aspect of the mountain on all sides is challenging and its ascent a highlight in the itineraries of all active walkers in Lakeland.”

Wainwright’s Favourite Lakeland Mountains

We parked at Seathwaite, then took the path straight up Sourmilk Gill, rather hardwork so soon after breakfast, before following the path between Gillercomb and Base Brown, to ascend Green Gable and then Great Gable itself. The descent was down to Styhead Tarn and back along the Styhead Pass over Stockley bridge and back to Seathwaite.

My rating: A. A Lakeland classic.
Map: OL4 – The English Lakes: North Western area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: The Western Fells (50th Anniversary Edition): Book Seven (A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells)

Fellwalking – Blencathra

Hall’s Fell towards Blencathra

“Blencathra is a grand mountain standing aloof, independent, masculine, owing allegiance to no other, aware of its strategic importance as the cornerstone of Lakeland in the north-east, a sentinel charged with the duty of watching all who travel on the popular approach from Penrith”

Wainwright’s Favourite Lakeland Mountains

We approached Blencathra via Hall’s Fell, recommended by Wainwright as “positively the best way up Blencathra”. Parking at a small parking area north-west of Threlkeld, we took the public footpath north, and then turned east to meet the waterfall at the base of Hall’s fell. From this point – straight up the ridge! A great way to approach the fell tops, but not for nervous walkers. From Hallsfell Top we followed Scales Fell east and then looped back west to the base of Hall’s fell, dropping down the bridleway to join the old alignment of the A66, taking this into Threlkeld for a well deserved beer.

My rating: A. An exhilarating day’s walking, and highly recommended.
Map: OL5 – The English Lakes: North-Eastern area (1:25,000)
Wainwright’s guides: The Northern Fells (Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells): Book 5