Wrinklies on Crinklies and the Return to Hell!
Not a Week for a Vista
30th August 2007
weather forecast went off as the week progressed and
we were threatened with valley fog and low cloud. Our
objectives were Pike o’Blisco and Crinkle Crags, both
fells concerning which AW raves about the vista. But
we could not rely on any vista satisfaction today. However,
that just about summed up my week, only in my case it
was Microsoft Vista which was giving me no satisfaction
and about which all I will say, for now, is if
you can avoid it- avoid it like the plague and stick
with XP if that works for you. There, I’ve got
that off my chest!
Great Langdale Valley; mist gathering over the Crinkles
setting off I reread the last BB visits
to these hills- BB0505
had described Pike o’Blisco as a “brute
of a climb” and we had nearly come to grief
on the ice scrambles.
did not do Crinkle Crags last time so was
somewhat apprehensive about the Bad Step-
especially as AW describes it as the most
difficult obstacle to be overcome on regular
walkers’ paths in Lakeland. So there
was a degree of trepidation in me as we
left the ODG car park.
o'Blisco from the car park
the weather seemed good. But it soon started to
close in. The climb up to the road past Wall End
and then onto the fell was unrelenting. Stan set
a cracking pace. He complained that he was not
feeling too good and didn’t want to hold anyone up.
was only just hanging on to his boot heels and was in
no position to call his bluff.
gathering on the Crinkles
we approached the summit, the fun started.
A succession of gullies which provided
great, safe, scrambling this time and then
out onto the top, which was in mist although
there were glimpses of views down Great
Langdale and across to the Crinkles.
a coffee stop we decided to take in a bonus
peak- Cold Pike which was relatively easily
attained (Stan had slowed down rather by
here we headed for the Crinkle motorway and set off
into the mist. For some reason, possibly associated
with Wrinklies, I kept thinking of them as Crinklies
which in turn reminded me of the Bumblies in the early
days of television- strange creatures from outer space
that slept on Michael Bentine’s ceiling and were known
by their number. Bumblie 3 was always my favourite.
this sort of weather it is easy to lose
track of how many Crinklies, sorry, Crinkles,
you have been up but there was no mistaking
Crinkle Number 2.
the way down off the first, all of a sudden
a massive (and I mean massive) shape suddenly
loomed out of the mist.
immediate thoughts were “Oh my God, we’re
not going up there are we?”
the foot were several people queuing to
attempt the bad step.
have to say I think its reputation is over
Great Step in Mist
thankfully, there is no exposure. Secondly, whilst it
is an awkward scramble, two steps and a heave and you
are past the worst part. Gordale Scar presents
a more challenging obstacle.-see BB0621.
the top of Crinkle Two (the highest) we took a diversion
along towards Long Top. However when I observed
that there was a little tarn, Stan realised that there
ought not be one on our route so out came the maps.
And compasses. And a BootBoy first- we actually
checked the GPS reading against the map. Back
on track we knocked off the remaining Crinkles and then,
at 2 p.m., stopped for lunch. The “Tony” award
for the last person not to complain of being hungry
goes, inevitably, to Bryan.
lunch, the mist was starting to lift and a decision
was called for. To head off home or to take in
Bowfell which was looking remarkably enticing? As
we did not need it for our W tally and it was already
quite a long outing, we decided on the descent.
Langdale Pikes, Great Langdale Valley and Pike o'Blisco
made our way down over what was really a Crinklette
and then direttissimo to the path on Buscoe Sike, thereby
cutting off a corner. At this point Stan chided
me for going too slow and then explained, sotto voce,
that there were a couple of guys in running shoes that
had tried to burn us off but we had taken them by surprise
with the short cut. They were pig sick about this but
they must not be allowed to pull back the advantage
we had gained. So off we set at a half run until
we had secured our lead. I can’t believe we still
do things like that. I’m an old man with an arthritic
hip, for heaven's sake!
the stream drops into a deep and long ravine and I was
fearful that Stan was going to do the same as he refused
to use the beautifully laid (if somewhat too sloping
forward) stone path and insisted on staying on the slippery
grass where he was having trouble keeping upright. Bryan
observed that it was the sort of path where it was advantageous
to use two poles. One to carry your bag, the other
to pour you a drink.
Gill with Pike o'Blisco behind
Gill plunge pool
ravine is known as Hell Gill and you can understand
why. It is emerges by waterfall into a lovely
plunge pool where for a moment we thought Julia Bradbury
might be taking a dip but sadly for John L., if she
were there I was unable to see her to take her photo
for him. Graham would have liked it however. Straight
in, no bother.
back up to the Crinkles
o'Stickle and Harrison Stickle
we reached the valley bottom, the cloud had very much
burned off and it was a glorious summer afternoon, the
Langdales, in particular, gleaming in the sun. The
flowers at Stool End Farm (with washing!) looked magnificent
but what morose farmers we encountered. Most farmers,
we find, are pleased to give you the time of day but
these guys could not raise a single flutter of recognition
End Farm with washing!
End Farm garden
I was glad we had opted out of adding Bowfell as this
was just about enough for me but then Bryan revealed
that it was actually his favourite mountain. Sorry,
think Pike o'Blisco is a contender for mine.
30th August 2007
Distance: 8.3 miles (Harveys
climbed: 3,678 feet (Harveys / Anquet)
Pike o'Blisco, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags
For the latest totals
of the Lakeland Fell Books see: Wainwrights.
By a strange coincidence, Stan and I both have
exactly 100 left to do. Tony 124 and Bryan just
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which Bootboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on