The Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell above Langdale.

Start. Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.

Route. Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel - Stool End - Oxendale - Brown How - Red Tarn - First Crinkle - Second Crinkle - Third Crinkle - Three Tarns - Bow Fell - Ore Gap - Angle Tarn - Rossett Gill - Mickleden - Old Dungeon Hotel.

Notes. Described by Wainwright as "the best ridge mile in the whole of Lakeland" the traverse of Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell certainly has everything the fell walker strives to find, exciting scrambles, airy ridge walking, stunning views in all directions and if you set off as early as I did solitude, at least for a while.

Today I was out before sun rise, a warm golden glow welcomed me as I wandered down the lane to Stool End farm. After passing through this last outpost of civilization my route followed a well trod path into the valley of Oxendale, here a footbridge carried me over the boulder strewn stream bed of Oxendale Beck before starting my ascent. With the formidable cliffs of Pike of Blisco to my left I ascended steep ground on a good path crossing the summit of Brown How before the gradient eased. With the deep ravine of Browney Gill immediately to my right the path crossed the rock and scree of the Black Wars cliffs before fording Red Tarn Gill, eventually reaching a path junction on the coll holding Red Tarn, I turned right, with the main ascent over it was a gradual climb on a rather loose path to reach the first Crinkle.

Traversing over, around and between various Crinkles I made my way north across this airy ridge, pausing to soak up views down numerous gullies and from rocky tops, eventually I descend to the coll at Three Tarns. Sitting having a brew it was tempting to descend the long shoulder of The Band, call it a day and head for the bar in the Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, but why miss out on the rocky ramparts and shattered rock of noble Bow Fell, I couldn't think of a good enough reason so up I went. The path was loose and steep but got me up quickly, although the views were stunning as always the summit was crowded with people forcing me to descend to Ore Gap for a little solitude, before further descending to Angle Tarn. These days a good path leaves Angle Tarn ascending in the direction of Rossett Pike before swinging south away from the pike and Rossett Gill, after winding it's way down the fell side the path conveyed me back to the banks of the gill. On easier ground I descended to the valley floor, the hard work for today over, all that remained was the long walk through Mickleden back to civilization.

view route map.


En route to Stool End with a wonderful golden glow drawing me into the hills, Bow Fell with The Band in shadow to the left.

The Crinkle Crags lit by the golden glow of a perfect morning.

Morning sunlight dances across the cliffs of White Crag and Raven Crag.

The boulder strewn stream bed of the Oxendale Beck, testament to the power of this small Lakeland stream, the view, sunrise over Great Langdale.

A stunning view from the banks of the Oxendale Beck, the cliffs of Swine Knott, Whitegill Crag and Broad Crag plunge down to the green pastures of Great Langdale.

Standing on Brown How soaking up this wonderful view over Great Langdale.

Seen over the deep cut ravine of Browney Gill, in sunlight the lower slopes of The Band backed by the Langdale Pikes, Pike of Stickle, Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle, in the foreground the shadowed cliffs of Pike of Blisco.

Red Tarn shines like a diamond from the moss of the same name, backed by a stunning view over Lakeland lowlands to the south.

When you get up here they don't look anywhere near as challenging and they're not, the Crinkle Crags.

Seen over the impressive rock scenery of the Langdale Pikes the Helvellyn skyline and the Fairfield massif.

From the first Crinkle views to Little Stand.

Mighty Bow Fell it's been a long time coming and is still a way off yet.

The coll at Three Tarns provides a fine platform to view the Sca Fell massif, it's also a great spot to stop for a well earned brew.

Bow Fell seen from Three Tarns.

Taking a breather on the ascent of Bow Fell, looking back to Pike of Blisco with the dark mass of Wetherlam behind, Red Tarn still shines like a beacon in the night.

Looking up to the formidable field of boulders that guards the summit of Bow Fell.

In a landscape of shattered rock and boulders one feature stands out, the Great Slab on Flat Crag tilts gently towards the valley floor, I stood here for ages admiring the views, I lost count of the amount of walkers that passed me without looking back, their sights set only on the rocky summit ahead.

Looking to the Ore Gap where iron stained clay meets grey Lakeland rock, the path leads to the summit of Esk Pike off route today.

A wonderful scene of rocky splender, Scafell and Slight Side seen over Pike de Bield with Sca Fell Pike rising to the right.

Dappled light on Glaramara, a strange name for a Lakeland fell.

Dropping down to the dark waters of Angle Tarn with the Langdale Pikes visible over Rossett Pike.

Seen from the banks of Rossett Gill, Lingmoor Fell.

Pike of Stickle over Mickleden with Lingmoor Fell in the distance.

The light's certainly changed from my walk in this morning but the fells are just the same, the Crinkle Crags seen over The Band.

There's a lot of climbers on White Crag and Raven Crag, I can here the shouts but I'm unable to see any of them.

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