Bow Fell through Mickleden.

Start. Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Route. Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - Mickleden - Rossett Gill - Angle Tarn - Tongue Head - Ore Gap - Bowfell Buttress - Bow Fell - Three Tarns - Earing Crag - White Stones - The Band - Stool End - Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Notes. Great Langdale just over 12,000 acres of classic Lakeland scenery, stretching from the tourist honey pot of Ambleside to wild and lonely Mickledon hemmed in by walls of rock rising on three sides. Man lived and worked this valley over 5,000 years ago. High on the slopes of Pike of Stickle can be found (by the adventurous walker), what is today known as the Langdale Stone Axe Factories, flint from this tiny corner of Cumbria has been found across Europe. Today I ignore the workings of Neolithic man, even if his escapades in these hills were impressive. I headed for ever popular Bow Fell, on the other side of the valley, by way of ancient packhorse routes, motorways of their day, artery's linking Great Langdale to Wasdale, Borrowdale and the Cumbria coast, dating back to a time before the motor vehicle robbed us of the use of our legs.

The National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel marked my starting point, a tarmac path passes behind the hotel, this I followed west, after passing through a gate the tarmac ended to be replaced by a stoney track. Under the cliffs of Gimmer Crag and Loft Crag I wandered, the track swung north passing Pike of Stickle all the time aiming for the wall of rock closing the head of the valley, Rossett Crag guarding the cairned summit of Rossett Pike No 165 on the Wainwright list.

At the head of the valley, marked by a sheep fold a path junction confronted me, white lettering on grey slate invited me to Stake Pass or Esk Hause, it was the latter for me. This ancient path guided me along the edge of Rossett Gill before skirting low cliffs, safely depositing me in the vast bowl containing Angle Tarn. After resting a while I continued climbing, once the initial steep pull was over, with Esk Hause on view I swung left, a narrow path then ushered me over the lower slopes of Esk Pike depositing me on an obvious coll, or if you're local The Obvious Coll, Ore Gap where iron stained clay meets grey Lakeland rock and a cairned path guides lucky walkers over the boulder fields guarding the summit of Bow Fell.

From Bow Fells boulder strewn summit I descended to the coll at Three Tarns. From this Lakeland crossroads it's possible to wander over Crinkle Crags, and many walkers do, but for me on this occasion it was the long descent over The Band. I always feel this is a bit of a trudge, much preferring the descent through Buscoe via Hell Gill and Whorneside Force, but today it was The Band. One advantage descending this way, you stay high longer, giving yourself time to enjoy stunning views.

Stool End Farm marked the end of the descent, after passing through the farm yard the access lane guided me back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. The walkers Bar oozes atmosphere and history and is always full of like minded people, stone floors and a blazing fire, good food if you fancy a bite to eat, a great way to end the day.

view route map.


Bow Fell seen over the green fields of Mickleden.

Viewing Side Pike from the track through Mickleden.

Looking to the Rossett Gill ascent, with Bow Fell to the left and Rossett Pike the right.

Lingmoor Fell as seen over the lower slopes of Pike of Stickle.

Rising above Great Langdale, Pike of Stickle.

A gem nestled in a deep hollow, Angle Tarn.

Traversing the slopes of Esk Pike viewing Rossett Pike backed by the Langdale Pikes.

An ankle breaker approach to Bow Fell, photo taken from Ore Gap.

Looking quite imposing rising above Pike de Bield, Sca Fell and it's slightly bigger brother, the roof of England Scafell Pike.

Above Bowfell Buttress enjoying grey but stunning views down Great Langdale.

The summit Bow Fell with hazy views to Windermere Lake.

One of Bow Fell's famous features the Great Slab.

From the coll at Three Tarns the Sca Fell skyline.

Taking a breather at Three Tarns looking to Bow Fell Links with the Sca Fell massif across the horizon.

Viewing the rock architecture of Pike of Stickle and Loft Crag from low on The Band.

The Band with the saw tooth skyline of Crinkle Crags to the left.

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