We parked at the New Dungeon Gill hotel and walked along the valley to towards the New Hotel. After climbing a short way up the Great Langdale road past Wall End farm, we headed off to the right to follow the left bank of the stream for a direct ascent of Pike O’ Blisco. There is a good pitched path but the going is very steep with two-thousand feet of ascent in just under a mile. Near the top there are four short scrambles. They are supposed to be easy, but I found them difficult. It was definitely, hands on, with three points of contact at all times. Sometimes I think I had seven points of contact. At one stage, Les took my rucksack and with a lot of effort I slithered to the top. Once there it was all worthwhile. The views were incredible, especially looking north. We had Crinkle Crags and Bowfell over to our left and the Langdales straight ahead. In between we could clearly see Skiddaw on the skyline.
We descended to Red Tarn and then picked up the path to Crinkle Crags. It was another steep climb, but on reaching the plateau we turned left to head for Cold Pike. There was no path but we picked our way between boulders heading for the prominent cairn on the summit. Once again the views were fantastic especially looking towards Crinkle Crags.
An easy descent took us to the Three Shires stone at the top of the Wrynose Pass. This stone marked the boundary between the three counties of Cumberland. Westmorland and Lancashire. Now it is all Cumbria.
A mile down the Wrynose Pass we turned left to follow a path towards Blea Tarn. I wanted to get the classic photo of the Langdale Pikes reflected in the waters of Blea Tarn. I had been here several times before but always in poor weather. Today the conditions were perfect with hardly any breeze. However, it is a popular spot and several children were swimming and splashing around in the water creating ripples on the surface. I did get a few reasonable shots, some of which I have been able to stitch together to create a panoramic image.
All we had to do now was to reach the road and then follow the path over the shoulder of Side Pike. It had been a very hot day with the temperature reaching 26 degrees. I was dehydrated and when we reached the hotel I ordered a pint of lemonade, 0.0% vol. I was thirsty.
The walk had only been 9 miles but with almost 3000 feet of ascent it had taken us 7 hours and proved much more difficult that we thought. Cold Pike had been my 99th Wainwright. Which one shall I chose to get my century?