BB1333 : Who (or What) Was Blisco?

Friday 27th September 2013

Who was Blisco?

He after whom a Pike was named?

This is no ordinary Pike but one of the very best.

It is not as fashionable as Harrison or Stickle, probably as it lacks the dramatic impact from the valley.  

However, I find it to be much more fun and it provides stunning views all round the valley.

Furthermore, you can check that you car is still ok in the car park way below.

Keep an eye on your car!

But who was he?

Whoever he was, he should be proud to have this fine specimen named after him.

  • Or perhaps the question should be what is a Blisco?  
  • A type of mineral found in the stone (the western side being the Red Brick Road
  • Maybe the old name for a type of buzzard that nested there?
  • Perhaps a spirit that haunted its early visitors?

Wainwright thought the name "swashbuckling"!  Was it the hiding place of a Whitehaven Pirate?  A pal of John Paul Jones?

Who knows?  Even the Googoracle is silent.

Whatever, there are boring ways to get there but there is one that is excellent, that directly from the valley below.

Excepting the view of the scruffy farmyard.

The lower stages are simple; these days the path is clear and mostly paved.  But the upper stretch involves a number of short scrambles up rock gullies.  No exposure and totally safe unless you do something daft but the sort that makes you feel a real man of the mountains.  Or at least a sense of what being a real man of the mountains must feel like.

Click on scruffy farm to put it in perspective!

Harrison Stickle centre, Side Pike to the right

Not all made the top!

Comitibus :  Pike o'Blisco

Crinkles and Bowfell peeping

Once conquered, it is a difficult decision where to go next.  The exciting next stage would be the Crinkles and maybe on to Bowfell but if time (and legs) don't permit, then Cold Pike presents an alternative, albeit rather mundane in comparison.  That was our route today.

From there, it was an easy stroll down to the Three Counties Stone at the top of Wrynose Pass.  

This is the meeting place of Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland although today it seemed more like Westmorland, Cheshire and East Gippsland.

In case you were not aware, Gippsland is in the state of Victoria which James claims to be the home of the most sophisticated  Aussies.

I know what you are thinking!!!

Three Counties Stone.  But which?

Back to homeland matters, it is difficult to imagine how the Tour of Britain cyclists managed the climb at ferocious speed.  The cyclists we saw were game but struggling.

The descent of Wrynose Pass, Little Langdale Tarn in distance

After a dropping down by the road for a while, a paths leads off around Hollin Crag and across Blea Moss to the head of Blea Tarn.  The south shore offers one of the most iconic views in the lake district- across the water to those better known (and recognised) pikes.

Langdales across Blea Tarn

From the tarn it is a fairly gentle descent to the ODG (Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel) where magnanimous John, who had shouldered the driving burden, insisted on buying us beer to celebrate his birthday of  three days earlier.

The final descent to the valley and the ODG

It was a grand walk on an increasingly glorious day.  However we still don't know who or what was Blisco.  Any suggestions?

Don, 27th September 2013

Plaques Please

Steve G ( BB1217 ) has recently knocked off another Wainwright bringing the total outstanding down to four.  He is going for the record of longest period from start to finish- currently 42 years!!

The peak conquered was Hart Side following which he has posed us an interesting question.

He observed that Birkett Fell has a summit cairn with a plaque naming the hill and asks how many more such plaques are there?

Andrew Leaney states that he can't think of any other except Skiddaw Dodd (which, like Birkett Fell is not a Wainwright).  

Other lesser peaks having a plaque include Orrest Head and Heversham Head.

What about Wainwrights?  

Steve thought that Black Fell had a National Trust summit plaque naming the fell and the photo evidence in BB0810 proves him to be correct.

But, how many more Wainwright summits have a plaque naming it?

I have to confess, I can't think  of any.

Can you?

Stan with Black Fell plaque




Friday 27th September 2013

Distance in miles:

8.5 (Garmin GPS)

Height climbed in feet:

2,944 (Memory Map / OS)


Pike o'Blisco, Cold Pike


Don, James, John Hn, Martin


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1333 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.



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