The Bowfell Scrambler

Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell the Adventurous way!

At the head of the Great Langdale Valley stand the majestic mountains of Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell, who’s summits dominate this part of the skyline. Our objective is to ascend these mountains, along with Esk Pike, by scrambling our way up, staying away from the main footpaths as much as possible, creating a more technical and adventurous challenge than using a standard walking route.

Scrambling as an activity sits between mountain walking and rock climbing. It involves ascending up rocky terrain which requires the use of hands as well as feet. This can range from terrain involving simple short rocky steps requiring nothing more than your normal walking gear, to using harnesses ropes and a selection of climbing equipment at its extreme. The beauty of scrambling is that it opens up a huge range of new and exciting ways to travel through the mountains on the way to summit tops, avoiding the busier main footpaths. 

We use a number of simple scrambling routes thought the day to create our adventure, giving a technical and more interesting way to the top, but still achievable by anyone with some hill walking experience who are confident on their feet, in good physical condition, with a head for heights.

We recommend that in the lead-up to this challenge, participants work on building up their stamina with weekly cardio-vascular exercise of a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to build up their calf + quad muscles. 


Stage 1 - Crinkle Gill

Setting off from the Old Dungeon Ghyll car park at the head of Great Langdale, we head up the Oxendale Valley, following alongside a ghyll, until it splits into three main tributaries. Our path lays up the course of the middle tributary, Crinkle Gill. This takes us directly up under the Crinkle Crags themselves, through ‘the land that time forgot’ of waterfalls and gorge’s, until we exit high up on the mountainside.
300m of scrambling

Stage 2 - Crinkle Crags Buttress

From exiting from the top of Crinkle Gill, a short but steep walk takes us to the bottom of Crinkle Crags Buttress, the next section of scrambling. Zigzagging our way up this rocky nose, takes us to the minor top of Gunson Knott. We now head a short distance south-west uphill on the main path to Long Top, the summit of Crinkle Crags.
150m of scrambling

Stage 3 - Crinkle Crags to Bow Fell, via Pinnacle Rib

From the summit of Crinkle Crags, retracing our steps a short distance, we contiune our journey north to follow the main ridgeline, before descending to the Three tarns. From this point, looking up a Bow Fell, the line of the next scramble can be seen. A traverse across some scree slopes under a rock band know as Bowfell Links, see us to the bottom of Pinnacle Rib. Climbing this to the top, then a short walk up hill, and we’re at the summit of Bow Fell.
70m of scrambling.

Stage 4 - Bowfell to Esk Pike

Leaving Bow Fell behind, we now make use of the paths, following the northerly ridgeline and a decent into Ore Gap leads to the last serious uphill of the day onto Esk Pike.

Stage 5 - Descent

Heading via Esk Hause, we pass the tranquillity of Angle Tarn, before continuing the decent alongside Rosset Gill into the small valley of Mickleden. Following along a stone track takes us back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll and the car park.
Total distance 15km, Total Ascent 1167m, Total Scrambling ascent 520m, Total Descent 1167m, Target Time 7-8hrs

Key Information

  • Maximum ratio: 1 instructor to 6 scramblers
  • Helmets will be used throughout the day
  • Participants must be fit and well, have a good level of hill fitness and head for heights.
  • Bring you own normal hill walking equipment, food and water for the day
  • Everyone MUST be wearing appropriate walking BOOTS (trainers/approach shoes are not adequate.
  • The ascent of Crinkle Gill can sometimes be effected by high water levels after extreme weather. An alternative route may be used in such conditions

Package Includes

  • Days typically consist of around 7-8 hours in the mountains with an instructor
  • Climbing helmet
  • Accommodation for two nights / optional
  • Breakfasts and packed lunch / optional
  • Information about the surrounding areas plus second to none service with passionate staff

Duration: 1 Day

Activities: Walking and Scrambling

Suitable for: Private and corporate groups

Comments: A mixed bag of scrambling grades from beginner to intermediate level and suitable for persons of average fitness with a good head for heights.

Prices from: £100

Call: 017687 75337

Booking Enquiry

Package Prices


From £165

Hostel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £100

Qualified mountain guide
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £195

Guest House – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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