It was on a Monday that I went up Crinkle Crags. I own Crinkle Crags. Well not the actual crags, but I own the most iconic picture of the mountain which is Alfred Wainwright’s pen and ink drawing that was used in A Second Lakeland Sketchbook (1970). Here’s a scan from the book.
Anyway I’ll have to go back another time and do it properly. Because I rushed out – all I had was 500ml of water and no food – that’s not sensible when you’ve got a six mile walk before you start ascending. So I was pretty hungry and thirsty when I should have been enjoying that great high ridge walk with spectacular views. I took some snaps and here they follow :-
This is the target from the early stages of the ascent.
And this is at the same place, zoomed in a bit and landscape.
This is the south end of the crags looking northwards and it’s not a dissimilar viewpoint to that of Wainwright’s drawing.
The Langdale Pikes from the summit.
From a similar spot looking down Langdale.
And in the other direction across to Scafell and Scafell Pike.
Moving our view to the right we encounter the massif of Bowfell.
With no water left as I came to the end of the Crinkle Crags massif I aimed to head around to a footpath which is known as the Climbers’ Traverse. I couldn’t find a connecting path so just skirted round the col which is the top of the mountainside that is known as the Band. Eventually I connected with the Climbers’ Traverse and promptly bumped into a couple of climbers who had completed their climbing adventures for the day. The traverse is not for those who may get giddy or have balance problems but is good at getting you right in the middle of the spectacular parts of a mountain. I’d remembered the spring in the rocks at the bottom of Bowfell Crag as being a gush, but now it was just trickling out as a small stream. Whether this represents an accurate survey of the water table covering the period from the sixties to now I would not like to say. The water tasted a bit weird at first but my reasoning was that coming straight out of the rock as it did there couldn’t really be anything bad in it.
That was the first day of my holiday in the Lake District. On the last day I had a more dramatic and exhilarating close encounter with a mountain when I ascended Jack’s Rake on Pavey Ark.
Pavey Ark is the crag on the right in the shot above and Jack’s Rake cuts across the crag face from bottom central to top left as you face it. As the photo shows it was misty and while I was climbing the mist had come down even more. I’m not sure if that was a good thing (in that I couldn’t see the drop) or bad (in that it might not have seemed too bad if I could have seen it). Probably it was a good thing. But I discovered that I wasn’t really fit enough to do that ascent especially not in wet conditions. Still I survived and eventually got to the top. I think there was only one bit where I was clinging to the rockface and I didn’t feel I had either one really secure foothold or one really secure handhold. I can confidently assert that I’ll never do that climb again not even in dry conditions.