Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Bowfell to Great End~

13th January 2012

60 days since my last Lakeland walk and finally a change after a period of quite awful weather. Wind and rain aplenty and less than one hour of sunshine over the Christmas break. It may be Friday 13th, but I was not in the mood to pass up this opportunity for a classic fellwalk on a favourite fell.


View from Bowfell

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Old Dungeon Ghyll

The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel

Start time of 08:08hrs from the ODG car park. David Hall joined me and we are aiming for Bowfell.

The Band

The Band

The ascent route was up The Band, the popular walkers' highroad for a direct ascent of Bowfell.

The Band

Crinkle Crags from Bowfell

This time yesterday it was blowing a gale, what a difference a day makes!


Sunrise over Pike O'Blisco



Our route takes the indistinct path to the right, aiming for the "Climbers' Traverse".



I discovered that of all my ascents of Bowfell, none had been direct, so this is a first.

Langdale Pikes

The Langdale Pikes

One small problem of this ascent is that the walkers do not see Bowfell as a mountain form, it's too direct and too close. But we did see many other mountains. Not far off all of them as the whole of Lakeland was cloud free and crystal clear.

Climbers Traverse Stake Pass
The Climbers' Traverse
Stake Pass
Bowfell Buttress Rossett Pike
Bowfell Buttress
Rossett Pike

Walk Views

Climbers Travers Bowfell

The Climbers' Traverse

David negotiates icy rocks on our way to Cambridge Crag.


Cambridge Crag

The waterspout emerging under Cambridge Crag, what kind of reservoir is hidden within the crag?

Bowfell Buttress

Bowwfell Buttress

From the waterspout it is a sharp turn left and up to the Great Slab. This is the view back towards Bowfell Buttress.

Great Slab

The Great Slab on Bowfell


To Bowfell Summit

Scafell Pikes

Scafell Pikes from Bowfell

A familiar sight greets the successful Bowfell climber.

Arrow on Bowfell

Arrow on Bowfell

Is this an arrow or a benchmark? Found on Bowfell summit.

David Hall

David at Bowfell Summit 2960ft

When David considered my proposal for a hike up Bowfell, he said "Why not? I haven't been there up since last year" Indeed, about three weeks ago, but in rather less favourable weather conditions.

Esk Pike

Great End (l) and Esk Pike

Our next target is Esk Pike. Great End is further away to the left with Great Gable seen behind and between the two.

Esk Pike Summit

Esk Pike Summit 2903ft

Shortly after our second summit and on the way to Esk Hause, we said "Hello" to a passing lady walker. Apart from our obvious gentlemanly behaviour it was also our first greeting, 4hrs and 20mins into the walk.

Great End Allen Crags
Great End
Allen Crags

Next up is Great End, after crossing Esk Hause.

Calf Cove

Calf Cove

Nature's handiwork in Calf Cove. We walked around the cove and headed for the summit area of Great End.

Great Gable

Great Gable from Great End

The shadow on the left has been thrown by Lingmell. The water is Styhead Tarn.

Great End Summit

Great End Summit 2984ft

Cave on Great End

Room for 1

On the southern slopes of Great End is a little shelter with room for one, laying down. Not sure if it is watertight.

Allen Crags

Allen Crags

There is time for another one and we have Allen Crags in our sights. It's the fell on the right with shadowed crags on the northern slope; Glaramara is further away along the ridge.

Allen Crags Summit

Allen Crags Summit 2572ft

And after this it's time to find a way back to the cars. It will use up the rest of the daylight hours.



Rossett Gill is our chosen route back to valley bottom.


The Last of The Day's Sunshine

The timing has been good. As the sun goes down, or maybe the earth goes up, available light will diminish; we're on the home run...

Walkers: David Hall & Me.

Time taken: 8hrs 45mins over a distance of about 11 miles.

Route: Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, The Band, Climbers' Traverse, Bowfell Summit, Ore Gap, Esk Pike, Calf Cove, Great End, Esk Hause, Allen Crags, Angle Tarn, Rossett Gill, Mickleden, ODG Hotel

Weather and Conditions: Sunny, cool, no wind - perfect!

Greetings Count: Very few others on the fells today, maybe three by Esk Hause and then a few others on the way down.

Worth It? 143 mile round trip; 1hr 45mins from home to car park, slightly longer return journey time; fuel cost approx £25. Car park free to NT members.

Richard's Refreshment Review: I offered David a brew at the car using my camping stove, but the burner wasn't working properly, so we went into the ODG for two cups of tea. The barman clearly didn't want to serve tea, but he did. Stone floor and hard benches suit tough fellwalkers and their dogs. A smile doesn't cost a penny, Mr.Frumpy should cheer up!

Stake Pass

"Basket of Eggs" Topology at Stake Pass

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2012 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....