Thank you, Marilyn in Minneapolis, for your kind comments.
|Langdale Pikes from the Crinkles|
After a dampish start, our week in Langdale was marked by uncharacteristic very hot weather. The local shop, which had been displaying a sign offering waterproofs, changed it for one offering sunscreen.
We planned a Big Walk to Crinkle Crags - number 17 on Wainwight's list of 214 fells - and possibly on to Bowfell - 6 on the list.
First, we had to drive up the valley and on to the Wrynose road to the Three Shires Stone. This was less like something by Tolkein than it sounds. We found ourselves following a convoy of Mountain Goats - minibuses for tourists - which pulled off at a viewpoint to disgorge trippers with cameras all over the road.
The Stone marks the former intersection of the counties of Cumberland, Westmorland and Lancashire - it's all Cumbria now. It also marks the start of a very useful path leading to Red Tarn and on to the Crinkles. Turn right before the tarn and you reach Pike o'Blisco, which we climbed last year.
The names of tops are often misleading. The word "Crinkle", for example, suggests some small, barely- there fold, of a jolly nature. Wainwright, in his guide, states that this is an easy one for the non-mountaineering motorist. We had been warned about the "Bad Step" of course, but we are not masochists and saw no reason to take that particular route. The regular route over this seemingly endless series of rocky outcrops was quite bad enough as the sun beat down on us.
Usually, in a high place, the view from the lunch stop is dramatic and awe-inspiring. But here, for some reason, we found ourselves plagued by black flies of a biting tendency. We hurried lunch and moved on.
In the back of our minds all the time was the thought that clambering over these boulders was not just a one-way business - we had to take the same route on the return.
Eventually, we reached the final Crinkle from which we could see Bowfell and the steep, eroded access path to its summit. That would have been a further three miles there and back. We decided to leave that pleasure for another day.
On the way down we detoured to Cold Pike, which was anything but cold on this occasion. Later, I discovered that slathering on the sunscreen and wearing the obligatory peaked cap still left the tips of my ears out to burn. I'll know for next time.