Crinkle Crags via Hell Gill

Name of walk Crinkle Crags via Hell Gill
Date of walk 2013-09-04
Distance walked (miles) 10
Duration of walk 8 hours 20 minutes
Weather Low cloud and then blue skies and sunshine
Peaks on walk Crinkle Crags, Cold Pike, Pike O` Blisco
Walked with Ged and Kas the blind dog
Parking NT car park Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel

Yesterday Ged, Kas and me drove to Great Langdale to climb Crinkle Crags (2816ft) via Hell Gill, Cold Pike (2300ft) and Pike O’Blisco (2313ft). A walk of about 10 miles. There was a thick sea mist on Walney Island this morning when I set off, and the clouds would be down on the hills for the early part of the morning, but this was due to clear, to give a day that was warm and sunny with good visibility. We parked in the NT car park at The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. We started walking at 9am heading for Stool End Farm.


Looking up at The Crinkles and The Band shrouded in cloud.


Having a rest.


Little bits of blue sky behind.


We go through the farm and then head into Oxendale.


We keep to the right side of the beck.


Looking up Crinkle Gill.


We cross the footbridge and head sharp right.


Hell Gill.


View back down the valley.


We pass a few waterfalls on the way.


If we were coming down this way there would be plenty of deep pools to have a dip. Ged tests the perched boulder.


More blue sky now as we head up further.


Crossing the gill. I don't know why this is called Hell Gill, but if Hell is anything like this I am pre-booking.


Looking up one of the adjoining gills.


Heading up the grass. Bowfell ahead still in cloud.


Looking back down Hell Gill. Pike O'Blisco behind.


One of the tarns at Three Tarns.


Scafell and Scafell PIke.


Looking back to Bowfell.


We head up the rocky route on the left.


On the summit of one of the Crinkles. Mist and cloud still in the valleys behind.


View back into Oxendale and Great Langdale from our lunch spot.


Kas and the Scafells.


Pike O'Blisco, Great Knott , Wetherlam, and Cold Pike above Ged and Kas.


Long Top, the highest point on Crinkle Crags. Bowfell behind me.


Looking back to Long Top from the first Crinkle. The Bad Step on the right. We came down on the left. The people on the left side track give some perspective.


Scafell down to Slight Side and the Eskdale Valley.


The mist and cloud are now all gone.


Heading for the viewpoint of Great Knott on the left before we climb up Cold Pike on the right.


The tarn below Great Knott looking back to Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.


The same view from the summit of Great Knott.


We then head up to Cold Pike. View back from the summit.


Heading down the track towards Red Tarn and Pike O' Blisco.


Red Tarn from our climb up Pike O'Blisco. Wet Side Edge, Great Carrs and Swirl How behind.


View back from the summit of Pike O' Blisco to our route over Crinkle Crags.


Summit cairn.


Looking down on our route up via Hell Gill.


View out from the southern cairn.


Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs.


It is a long way down from the summit. This includes three rock steps to negotiate with a blind dog and lots of rocky walking again. Eventually we hit the pitched path. Looking across to the Langdale Pikes and a blue Stickle Tarn. And even more important, the pub on the right. I had run out of water on the summit and it takes about an hour and twenty minutes to get down.


At this stage of the day the path just seems to go on and on and thoughts turn to hitch-hiking!


The Pikes are looking really good in this light.


We finally reach the road and we head for the Old Dungeon Ghyll Pub.


We go wild, I have a Shandy and Ged has an Orange Squash.

This is an excellent walk, but not remotely knee friendly. I had my consultation with the orthopaedic knee surgeon, Dr. Das, on Tuesday, following my recent MRI. Apparently I have complex tears on the medial and lateral menisci, plus a protrusion of the cartilage which is causing all the swelling and pain. I also have advanced arthritis in the joint…..yeah, yeah, I’m getting old, rub it in why don’t you! So I will be having another arthroscopy in about 6 weeks, after that we will be talking knee replacement. What? I was hoping to get another 20 years of Fell Walking in first! Happy days!

I rather fancied seeing the MRI scans so I then gave him my “Trust me I’m a biologist” spiel, and he took me to his office computer and showed me scans of slices though my knee….cool! Even I could spot the protrusion!

The walk took us eight hours and twenty minutes. Nearly two hours longer than the last time!This was the first time I had climbed The Crinkles in this direction and it made a pleasant change. Hell Gill was a big improvement on The Band, which I find a bit dull, but it does take longer to go up.