Side Pike on Lingmoor Fell

Lingmoor Fell

Route: Lingmoor Fell

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 5th February 2020

Walkers: Andrew 

Distance:  8.5 miles

Ascent: 1,900 feet

Weather: mixture of grey skies and some bright spells

It’s been almost a year since I visited Lingmoor Fell. The fell has two main attractions – a rollercoaster dry stone wall which runs along its undulating ridge, and the views of the Langdale Pikes. This is probably the best place in the district from which to see them

As on the last occasion, I parked in the National Trust car park in Elterwater and crossed the road bridge over Great Langdale Beck, heading towards the slate quarry. Lingmoor Fell is renowned for its beautiful green slate and has been extensively mined for it – evidence of this is abundant on the early section of the walk

I followed an old mining track for a while before leaving it to climb up the open fellside to gain the summit ridge. Just below the ridge, the walk almost came to a premature end at a tall metal gate. In attempting to lift Bonnie, our retriever, over the gate she fell, let out a yelp and lay down with her leg in the air. At first I thought she’d broken it but to my huge relief she got up. After limping around for a minute she was back to her old self, and walking normally. It was a worrying few moments

I continued to the ridge and followed its undulating course to the summit cairn. Up to this point the light was very uninspiring – a flat uniform grey – so I didn’t linger and started out on the descent. Navigation is simple and just involves keeping the dry stone wall beside you. Some of the descent sections are quite steep, and include a rock groove which has been polished to a fine sheen by countless bottoms shuffling down it, but there are no difficulties

Eventually I encountered the rock wall of Side Pike, the top of which is accessible via a narrow path to the left, but this does not provide a way off the fell, and so just before reaching it I descended in the direction of Little Langdale. The light had improved by now and Great Langdale and the Langdale Pikes were looking superb as I contoured around the fellside. Having reached valley level it was an easy walk back into Elterwater along Great Langdale, where I passed through fields and then woodland beside Great Langdale Beck

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