Walk 1132 - printer friendly version
The Crinkle Crags from Great Langdale Walk
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km
Ascent - 2850 feet / 864 metres
Grade - mod/hard
Start - OS grid reference NY286060
Lat 54.444365 + Long -3.1025093
Postcode LA22 9JY (approx. location only)
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.