Date: 26 February 2019 Weather: 17’C, sunny, little wind, great visibility
Height gain: 1,752ft Distance: 5.6 miles
Time taken: 4 hours 30 minutes Wainwright count: 62 & 63 of 214
Route: From the Three Shires Stone up to Pike O’Blisco via Red Tarn then back towards the tarn and up the path towards Crinkle Crags turning off left to Cold Pike then back down via Red Tarn again.
It’s February and the sun is shining and, at 17’C, it feels lovely and warm, and in fact S walks in a t-short all day (I keep my mid-layer on although I only just need it). We manage to get S’s car to the Three Shires Stone – we agree we’ll bring mine next time, getting through Little Langdale is always a white knuckle ride in a car which is difficult to manoeuvre backwards on those tiny roads.
It’s busy up here as we expected but we’re lucky enough to find a parking spot not too far from the start of the footpath. Boots on, we trudge the quarter of a mile up the road and then pick up the path towards Red Tarn:
Just look at that February sky!
The path is good and the gradient gentle and we gain height steadily and soon reach the tarn:
The sun is still shining. As we carry on up the path and past the tarn Crinkle Crags and Bowfell come into view ahead of us:
We keep a look out for a path up Pike O’Blisco to our right which we soon find. It gets steeper now as we clamber up the final 600ft to the summit, which sadly I don’t seem to have taken a picture of – too blown away by the views in the beautiful weather.
I did take many photos of the Langdales looking small and compact to the north:
The Crinkles and Bowfell dominate the view to the west:
And looking into the sun there are views from Skiddaw round to the Kentmere fells between north and east:
It’s stunning and after taking loads of photos and looking around us again and again we finally settle ourselves down to enjoy a pasty for lunch. Once we’ve eaten we look around some more before starting the descent back to the Red Tarn path. There are quite a few people about (it’s half term) and everyone we meet is wearing t-shirts and commenting on the glorious weather.
Once back at the path we previously left we carry on up it, it’s a bit steeper now, heading in the direction of Crinkle Crags. S hadn’t considered the Crinkles from the Three Shires Stone – a walk to look forward to in the future which will cut off a fair few miles and feet of ascent compared to our last route from Dungeon Ghyll:
We know we have to turn off left to Cold Pike but no distinct paths are presenting themselves so we eventually decide to leave the path and try to find our own route up the front of the mountain. It’s humpy and bumpy with boulders and rocks strewn around and some boggy patches and we take much longer than we should to make our way up the last 300ft or so, but we eventually make it to the top:
Sky is still blue!! The views here are also spectacular all around us, but again I can’t stop photographing the Crinkles and Bowfell:
The mountains to the north east are looking mean and moody when shooting into the low February sun:
We enjoy ourselves, taking photos and looking around before finally deciding to start the descent. S planned to head north over the top to pick up a path but we didn’t see one on the way up, we only saw people looking lost as they meandered up that side of the mountain. I’m in favour of going back the way we came – the path is distinct and will be straightforward in descent and after some discussion S agrees.
We wander down the way we came, perhaps finding a more direct route than the way we came up and are soon back at the path back down to the Wrynose pass.
We catch up with a family with about half a mile to go – parents, two small boys and Grandad. They came down from a rock face close by and are carrying climbing gear. I stop to say hello to the Dad as we pass them and ask if the boys have been climbing and yes, they have – the little one must have been about five – he’ll be a world class rock climber by the time he’s in his teens!
We reach the car and are taking off our boots when the same family arrives at the car next to ours – the two boys still holding conversations with their parents at the top of their lungs.
Unbelievable weather today and two good mountains with great views – and what looks like an enjoyable ascent of Crinkle Crags to do in the future.