Bow Fell and Rossett Pike

Bow Fell
2959 feet
Rossett Pike
2132 feet

Date                    7/3/2010

Walk done by:  Susan, Jed, Paul and Troy

Weather:            Glorious Blue skies, Warm in the sun, cold in the shade, frozen snow under foot above the 1400 ft line

Distance             8.5 miles. 2900ft of ascent

Started at:          Old Dungeon Ghyll car park


An early start for this very tough walk as parking at our intended spot of the Old Dungeon Ghyll (ODG) is difficult. Jed drove, and picked Susan up and then Paul. We were on the Motorway by 7.45. After an uneventful journey up the M6 (Susan said she was scared because I was doing 80 mph) we pulled in to the garage north of Windermere for some items we needed for the walk. A pair of light up tweezers were not needed but Susan bought some anyway, at the bargain price (to her) of 1.99.

As we entered Ambleside Susan opened her Tweezer box only to find that there were no tweezers in the case provided. A tad disconsolate, Paul tried to perk Susan up with a philosophical reasoning that although there were no tweezers, the case and packaging was worth a 1 so really she had only lost 99p. Susan, meanwhile was determined to call back at the garage to get what she had paid for. Shortly after this we arrived at the ODG and took the last space available.

Booted up and everyone ready, we marched forth. Stool End Farm was soon reached and then the long climb up the Band began. For the first half of the climb the path is on the Oxendale side . Later it changes and the Mickledon valley comes in to view and there are some splendid views of the Langdale Pikes. Onwards we climbed and a few hundred feet short of Three Tarns Susan and Paul put on some footwear that was geared to snow and ice (not crampons) to help with the ever increasing snow. The hard slog is worth it as we reached the col at Three Tarns. However, due to the cold and snow , not a single tarn was visible and we probably walked across one or more of them. About 300 ft were left to climb before we reached the summit. In all this time the weather was getting better and better, and warmer too. However, Paul soon realised he had lost one of his crampon style footwear doings abob, and took a detour back to see if he could find it. Whilst he was away Susan and I came up with a few philosophical reasonings as to why he had not lost all he had paid for them eg still has one foot left - only needs to buy one more saving himself 5.50. We still aren't sure whether he appreciated them

Anyway the final assault of Bow Fell began and after half an hour we reached the summit. Spectacular views had been available for a while, but the 360 degree views from the summit was something to behold.

After leaving the top we ruled out an assault in Esk Pike and chose, because of the daylight left to descend Ore Gap. After initially taking the wrong track, down a ghyll to Angle tarn, we retraced our steps and took the correct line of descent. From the tarn we made the short climb to the col below Rossett Gill. It's only a short climb to Rossette Pike from the col, but it took a bit of persuasion to get Susan to do it. So we began the climb in the last minutes of sunshine. On the summit Paul had a moments meditation (may have been a power nap) whilst Susan and I took in the view down Mickleden.

It's probably better to say nothing about the next hour or so as Susan hated every inch of the tricky and icy descent. However, she perked up as soon as we reached the car.

Next stop was The Wainwright Inn for a superb pint and a descent meal - though a little over priced I thought.

On the way home Susan pointed out the garage and in she went to sort out her tweezer problem. The garage owner willingly gave her a new set, which she tried out on the unlit A590. The inside of the car lit up like lighthouse.

A superb day in the lakes. One that will live long in our memories for all the right reasons.

 


 

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Shortly after leaving the ODG we took the track to Stool End Farm which stands at the foot of The Band

 

Approaching the farm this is the view up the valley of Mickleden

 

Soon after starting the ascent of The Band, Crinkle Crags appears through the cloud

 

 

This bench is positioned in a superb spot withy unobstructed views down Langdale valley

 

The bench was built to remember SH Hamer, the National Trust secretary from 1911 - 1934.

 

Pike o' Stickle and Loft Crag from the Band

 

Looking back down Langdale

 

Zooming in on the Pike o' Stickle. The ancient axe factory was found on the scree slope

 

The path up The Band

 

The Crinkles are beginning to show through the cloud

 

Paul and Susan climbing the Band

 

Now the Crinkles are clearly visible

 

Troy waits for us to catch up

 

The might bulk of the Langdale Pikes

 

...and still we climb the Band

 

At last, a level section. Susan and Paul, high above the valley, probably discussing the advantages of "light up" tweezers

 

Paul and Susan.

 

Troy admires the view, as we all did.

 

Still on The Band, the Crinkles are getting ever closer, as is the snow line.

 

Troy waits yet again, we humans are slow!

 

At last, nearing the top of the Band, Bow Fell comes into view

 

Now in the snow this is the view back along the path we took. Pike o' Blisco

 

Pike o' Bliscoe

 

Susan, Paul and Troy on Earing Crag and enjoying the brief respite after climbing The Band.

 

Taken from the same spot, the mass of Bow Fell is clearly highlighted by the two specks that are walkers in the distance (middle of picture)

 

Beyond Pike o' Blisco are the Coniston Fells

 

Not sure what Paul is doing!! Note the frosted grass. The magnificent Pike o' Blisco provides the back drop

 

The Langdales taken from Earing Crags

 

Susan and Paul pose on the path to Three Tarns

 

Suddenly the loud drone of an RAF Sea King helicopter was heard and here it is below us, and Pike o' Stickle.

 

At last - Three Tarns is reached, though we never saw them as snow covered them all. In the distance, Scafell and Scafell Pike appear. To the right is Bowfell Links.

 

Scafell (l) and Scafell Pike (r) tower above Three Tarns

 

Then the Sea King re-appeared above Bowfell Links

 

It's been a while since any of us had seen a chopper this close!

 

We are still at Three Tarns but this is the view towards Crinkle Crags. It looks like a moonscape

 

Scafell and Scafell Pike

 

Bowfell Links from Three Tarns

 

In a line, Troy, Paul and Susan at Three Tarns.

 

Still at Three Tarns

 

... because Susan had a call make

 

Paul had at this point had decided to retrace his steps to look for his foot thingy mi bob. Susan and I wait patiently.

 

Susan and Troy wait for Paul to return. I was too!

 

We are now on the final ascent to the summit and in this spectacular view, Paul and Troy trudge up the slope with the magnificent backdrop of the Langdale Pikes behind them

 

The snow is getting deeper as Troy roams across the slope

 

... and Paul ascends with some determination

 

Susan - with the Crinkle Crags and Pike o' Blisco behind her. These are lovely wintry conditions

 

And again

 

Now way above the Langale Pikes (Harrison Stickle being the highest at 2403')

 

Looking into the sun, Susan and Paul take a rest whilst Troy comes to say hello

 

A frozen landscape

 

Superb views are opening up

 

... as we approach the final climb to the top

 

The view from Cambridge Crag (see Wainwrights Bowfell page 18 - almost identical) .

 

Esk Pike and Ore Gap from Bow Fell

 

Susan and Paul (and my shadow) on Bow Fell top

 

About to leave the summit, note the height by the surrounding fells way below.

 

Paul minces

 

Troy gingerly treads on the frozen snow

 

Susan and Paul in the gully we should not have entered, but note the number of footprints, many had done so previously too

Having found the correct path to descend, the sun is setting and shadows are lengthening. Rossett Pike is the first pike in sunshine.

 

Angle Tarn is snow covered and in shade.

 

Rossett Pike from col above Mickleden

 

Troy on Rossett Pike

 

The view from Rossett Pike down Mickleden to Side Pike

 

Paul, on Rossett Pike summit cairn. It actually is not the highest point on the top.

 

Side Pike from Rossett Pike

 

Troy atop Rossett Pike. He's a tad tired now.

 

Shadows are being cast over Mickleden valley

 

Looking into the valley, Side Pike looks superb in the last rays of sunshine

 

Finally we have made the tricky descent into the valley. The sun has gone and it is cold. This is Rossett Pike from the valley of Mickleden

 

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