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Lake District Walk
The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Southern Fells

Wainwrights - Crinkle Crags

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 2850 feet / 864 metres

Time - 6 hours 20 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

Start - OS grid reference NY286060
Lat 54.444365 // Long -3.102509
Postcode LA22 9JY (approx. location only)
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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale Photo from the walk - The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale
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Despite its obvious popularity this remains one of Lakeland's great walks. Sufficiently challenging yet not too arduous it provides walkers with great scenery supplemented with that unique mountain "feel". Like many walks in the area it starts from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel in Langdale (grid ref. NY 286060) where parking can be hard to find if you arrive too late on a fine day!

To start this Lake District walk, exit the car park and return to the lane and head west taking the track to Stool End farm. Go through the farm and keep left at two footpath junctions to join the path that heads into spectacular Oxendale. Cross the first footbridge on your left and head steeply upwards towards Red Tarn. This climb appears to be a hard work but with ever improving views and a good path it is surprisingly easy and arrival at the small tarn is accomplished quite quickly.

Turn right at the Tarn and climb steadily on a wide path to cross the head of Browney Gill (an alternative and infinitely more difficult approach to the Crinkle Crags!). Continue with the broad path as its skirts Great Knott, which is a perfect short diversion with a superb view. The onward route is obvious and one soon reaches rockier ground as the first summit of the Crinkle Crags is reached.

This is a mountain to enjoy at leisure being a complex series of six summits (including Shelter Crags) which offer ever changing panoramas in all directions. In addition there are some spectacular views down into the upper reaches of Oxendale which more than justify the effort expended in the ascent. Apart from the "bad step" on the approach to the second Crinkle (which can be avoided by taking the path that heads left) there are no technical problems to be overcome at any point on the ridge. Navigation is fairly simple in good weather although it could be a confusing area if visibility is poor (I would argue it deserves to be traversed in sunshine). Continue along the ridge choosing the path that keeps to the highest ground.

Descent to Three Tarns is something of anti-climax although the sight of Bowfell directly ahead will help dispel any negative thoughts! Reaching the small tarns turn right to follow the recently upgraded path that descends over the Band to Stool End Farm from where it is an easy level stroll back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1157 Bowfell and Esk Pike from Old Dungeon Ghyll - hard - 8.8 miles/14.2 km

Walk 2037 Bowfell & Rosset Pike via the Climber's Traverse - hard - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 2818 Bowfell Circular from Great Langdale - mod/hard - 7.0 miles/11.4 km

Walk 1739 Crinkle Crags and Bowfell (Oxendale Horseshoe) - hard - 7.8 miles/12.7 km

Walk 1207 Great & Little Langdales - moderate - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 2042 The Langdale Pikes with an ascent of Jack's Rake - very hard - 6.3 miles/10.2 km

Walk 2073 Harrison Stickle, Pike o'Stickle & Rosset Pike - moderate - 8.3 miles/13.4 km

Walk 1736 The Langdale Pikes and High Raise - mod/hard - 6.1 miles/9.9 km

Walk 1144 Lingmoor Fell from Blea Tarn, Langdale - moderate - 8.0 miles/13 km

Walk 1171 Pike o' Blisco from Blea Tarn, Langdale - moderate - 5.0 miles/8.1 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

Great Mountain Days in the Lake District

Great Mountain Days in the Lake DistrictAn inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging walks on the high fells of the Lake District. The graded circular routes, between 4 and 14 miles in length, cover classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Blencathra, to the lesser-known High Spy, King's How and Brund Fell.
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Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

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