Route: Bowfell

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 5th October 2017

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance:  8.9 miles

Ascent: 2,900 feet

Weather: Mixed cloud and sun, very windy on tops

Bowfell is a noble mountain, the sixth highest of the lakeland fells standing at 2,960 feet, and set in a wonderful position at the head of the Langdale valley. Looking forward to a grand day out on the fells, I parked in the National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and after crossing the bridge over Great Langdale Beck I headed along the track to Stool End at the foot of The Band, a long ascending ridge which leads directly to the top of Bowfell

Eventually I reached the upper section of The Band where the going becomes much rockier, though there are never any difficulties, and after clambering up through a boulder field I was on the summit enjoying some spectacular views in all directions. A very strong wind brought with it a significant wind chill factor so I didn’t linger there and picked my way down through the boulders, with route finding being assisted by a line of cairns as I headed towards Ore Gap. At this point Esk Pike was temptingly close but I still had a long way to go, so at the gap I turned right to follow a stony path down to Angle Tarn

Just beyond the tarn the lies the direct route down Rossett Gill which can only be recommended to walkers of a masochistic disposition. Luckily it can be avoided by a more circuitous path known as the old pony route, and this is way I went today. The gradient is relatively easy, though I can’t see how a pony could possibly use this path as there are some very rocky sections. The path has superb views along Mickleden, and eventually meets up with Rossett Gill lower down

On reaching Mickleden, the path merges into the Cumbria Way and from here it’s an easy descent to the valley floor and along the valley back to the start of a wonderful walk – one of the very best 

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