Bowfell and the Langdale Pikes
Saturday 22nd November 2008, 7:30 in the morning, twilight and the weather shaping up for a cold and clear day. The weather was extremely cold and windy, 35~45mph (about -20DegC wind chill) but it was promised to be clear and cloud free.
So a decision was made to at least to take a look at the unfamiliar territory east of Angle Tarn towards High Raise. This section forms part of the Lakes 3000’s that we’re planning to do next year. Coming after the slog up and down Scafell and Scafell Pike it is likely that will have to be done mid afternoon before we get to Helvellyn. It is a somewhat bleak and rounded group of fell and while we’re expecting to do it all in reasonable weather it’s obviously advantageous that we’re as familiar as possible to make the journey as easy as can be.
In order to make it a bit more of a walk I decided to start from Langdale and ascent up to Esk Hause via the Band, Bowfell and Esk Pike. Esk Hause is the turning point on the route for this section. The track from Esk Hause down to Angle Tarn is very familiar ground and I’ve covered this at least twice in the last few months. At the point where the path crosses the outflow from the Tarn the path diverges, continuing south west to Rossett Gill and roughly north east to Stake Pass where it crosses the Cumbrian Way.
I followed the Cumbrian Way path for a short while before dropping down into Stake Beck and headed straight up the hill towards the summit of High Raise. The effort to cross the mile or so from the pass to The summit ridge seemed all out of proportion to the 300 or so metres the map suggested it was. The boggy ground, the number of small false summits and what I can only described as heather and moss moguls made the going very tough indeed.
Having got to the top of High Raise, managed to get some food and coffee inside of me the remainder of the walk across Thuncarr Knott, and the Langdale Pikes, (Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Pike O’Stickle and Loft Crag) was done in rapid order. The wind and the cold made it almost impossible to stop without freezing almost immediately. The path down over Raven Crags to the New Dungeon Gill pub is just long and hard on the knees.
In total the day was about 14 Miles, the GPS missed a bit, and about 4900′ of ascent in about 7 hours.
The evening was spent winding down at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Catherine Destivelle’s film was very inspiring. Followed by a excellent meal at Deja-Vu a small French Bistro in Kendal with friends.