Crinkle Crags from Pike o'Blisco

Pike o’Blisco

Southern Lake District

Route: Pike o’Blisco

Area: Southern Lake District

Date of walk: 28th April 2021

Walkers: Andrew and Gilly

Distance: 5.6 miles

Weather: Cloudy with sunny patches, cold and windy

Pike o’Blisco, described as Pike of Blisco on the Ordnance Survey maps, is a rugged fell near the end of Great Langdale, and its summit cairn can be seen from the valley. As Alfred Wainwwright observes, ‘a mountain has added merit if its highest point can be seen from the valley below, instead of being hidden beyond receding upper slopes, as is often the case’

We parked in the National Trust car park at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and gazed upwards at today’s objective. As we did so, three girls dressed in leisure wear and trainers asked us if we knew the way up any hills with good views ‘Scafell Pike perhaps’. They didn’t know where they were, where they wanted to go, and had no protective clothing, maps or equipment. I politely pointed out that they shouldn’t be venturing onto the fells without a map, that it would be freezing on the tops, and perhaps a valley walk would be better. They were no doubt disappointed with my unhelpful answer to their question, but it wouldn’t have been right to point them up a mountain

After leaving the car park we followed the valley road uphill, leaving it shortly after passing by Wall End. The path bypasses Kettle Crag and is quite easy going in its early stages, mostly thanks to a pitched path which has been laid by Fix the Fells

Near the top of Pike o’Blisco there are 3 steep scrambles up rock chimneys where walking poles become a hindrance and both hands have to be used. They are all short sections, which could prove awkward for canine companions, but are not unduly difficult 

After climbing the final chimney we arrived at the top of the fell and visited both of its summit cairns. The weather had closed in by now and the views, though good, were not seen at their best. We followed the path down towards Red Tarn, which arrives at a col below the path to Crinkle Crags and Bowfell. From here we joined the path into Oxendale, which is steep at times but has been made easier by the addition of another pitched path

Back down at valley level we crossed the wooden footbridge over Oxendale Beck and from here it was a short stroll back to the start

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