Sunday, 16 February 2014

Pike O' Blisco and Cold Pike

If it's been a while since we had a couple of days in Ambleside, it's been even longer since we visited Great Langdale. Taking advantage of a day pass on the buses for the Central Lakes area meant travelling at leisure, not having to worry about finding a parking space and best of all on this occasion it meant being able to sample a pint at the Hiker's Bar at the The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, which is definitely one of the "must do's" in the Lakes.

This route takes in Pike O' Blisco and Cold Pike, exploring the southern fells of Great Langdale and offering fantastic views of the Langdale Pikes across Mickleden as we made our way up.

We took the route up Pike O' Blisco, via Wall End farm. This is an excellent route, a steady climb, along the Blea Tarn road and then a good path.

The scenery is varied meaning it stays interesting all the way. Not far from the summit are a couple of small scrambles which are fairly simple and fun to go up. Once we were on the summit, the wind picked up as usual.

There is a decent sized summit shelter, but a few people had settled in there and were looking very cosy and they didn't look like they were about to budge up and let us in, so after enjoying the views for a short time, we moved off the picturesque summit.

I sometimes wonder about fell etiquette - people who faff on taking endless pictures of the summit cairn or trig point, oblivious to any others patiently waiting to take a quick snap, or shelter hogs such as the crew we had just encountered.

Oh well, it was too windy for a picnic on high ground anyway, so we soon set off on the steep descent towards Red Tarn. The summit of Cold Pike had been shrouded in cloud for much of the walk so far but this was constantly shifting so we were hoping to to time the walk up to Cold Pike with a break in the cloud. From here we had some good views southwards towards the Coniston Fells.

Following the map and pictorial guide we somehow found ourselves on a path that was clearly non-existent, and headed across the marshy ground at the head of the tarn. We followed the wet ground straight up the side of Cold Pike and I am might suggest that on the forthcoming revision of the Pictorial Guides, that this fictional path be omitted!

We hit the high ground of Cold Pike and the cloud closed in again which made navigating this rocky summit fairly tricky. With three high points to choose from, I scrambled up a rock which I thought would be a summit, but soon realised there was plenty of higher ground around, so  - although fun - and we soon made our way onto the "real" summits.

The cloud and cold meant once again this wasn't a summit to linger on, but fortunately the path heading over to Crinkle Crags is unmissable.

We followed this good path to an obvious junction and headed back down to Red Tarn with good views back across to Pike O' Blisco, and rejoined the route down from Pike O' Blisco which passes Stool End farm. We stopped at a lovely spot for a bite to eat alongside the gushing waters of Browney Gill before continuing the steep descent.

The descent was enjoyable, as the views of Great Langdale are stunning, and each step offered a new reward.

Even on the valley bottom there were rivers, bridges, stone walls and even a couple of deer grazing in a field for us to enjoy. Our timing was perfect with the bus due in an hour, so we headed into the legendary Hiker's Bar for a pint and a reflection on a wonderful Winter walk.

No comments:

Post a Comment