Sunday, 16 June 2019

Lingmoor Fell

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Route: ODG Hotel, Red Acre Gill, Side Pike, Lingmoor Fell, Lingmoor Quarry, Banks Quarry, Yew Crags, Chapel Stile, New Bridge, Great Langdale, Oak Howe, Side House, Rossett, Kirk Howe. ODG Hotel

Date: 16/06/2019
From: Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel

Parking: ODG Hotel
Start Point: ODG Hotel
Region: Southern Fells

Route length: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)
Time taken: 05:05
Average speed: 1.98 mph
Ascent: 643m
Descent: 627m

Wainwrights on this walkLingmoor Fell (469m)

Additional summits: Side Pike (362m)

Other points of interest: Langdale Beck

This is a superb walk with great rewards for relatively little effort. While Lingmoor Fell isn't one of the Lake District's 'big ones', it has a great character and some stunning views to go with it. In addition to this, we could start the walk right from the campsite in Langdale so no driving or agonising over parking - which is always a bonus.

We left the campsite along the steep, snaking road that leads towards Blea Tarn and across the pass into Little Langdale. A short climb along the road reaches a small hause between Wrynose Fell and Side Pike, Lingmoor's dramatic subsidiary summit. There is a path here signed 'Side Pike' which starts the climb towards the top.
The Langdale Pikes
Mickleden
Pike O'Stickle
Blea Tarn
It wasn't long after starting our climb that it started raining. Light drizzle at first but becoming heavier as we followed the path towards the top of Side Pike. Fortunately, it's a short climb up to the summit and one that's well worth the modest efforts required - the views of the Langdale Pikes are stunning - at least on a good day (no views today!).
Side Pike and Lingmoor Fell
Rain approaches Great Langdale
Side Pike
Side Pike itself is no boring lump and has a character all of its own. It's only accessible from the south and the west, as we found out trying to descend. It's guarded around the north and east by vertical crags that are pretty much impassable. It's a bit of a detour to reach the base of the crags in order to get around them but it does lead you to one of Side Pike's most appealing features.

The path passes through a narrow gap between a detached flake of rock and its parent crag. I'm not sure if it has a proper name, I've seen it referred to as 'The Squeeze', 'The Squeeze Rock', 'Fat Man's Dilemma' and 'Fat Mans Agony' (not to be confused with Fat Mans Agony on Broad Stand). Either way, we managed to shuffle through without getting stuck. It does require removing your pack and the detour looks a little sketchy so worth bearing in mind if you had a baby carrier for instance.
Rain shrouds the Langdale Pikes
The Squeeze
The Squeeze is hidden behind the rock in the centre of the photo
Lingmoor Fell
It had stopped raining by the time we had all made it across Side Pike and through the squeeze, and some small patches of blue sky were beginning to make an appearance. It was quite the spectacle watching the cloud and mist swirling away from the Side Pike ridge - a rich reward for enduring an hour or so of heavy rain.
Leaving the squueze
Harrison Stickle pokes through the mist
Pike Howe and Pavey Ark
Mist clears the ridge
Heading along the spine of Lingmoor Fell, a short, steeper section follows the wall southeast before it levels out again as it reaches the main ridge. Views of the Langdale Pikes are now replaced with views of Pike O'Blisco and Wetherlam as the path crosses the short distance towards the summit.
Looking back along the ridge towards Side Pike
Lingmoor Fell
Lingmoor Tarn and Oak Howe as the clouds part
Blea Tarn and Pike O'Blisco
Wetherlam, Swirl How and Great Carrs
The route to the summit
A small cairn marks the top and has excellent views including the Langdale Pikes, Wetherlam and across to a distant Windermere, all looking wonderful in the sunshine that had replaced the morning rain. The entire fell forms a crescent shape as it sweeps round towards Elterwater with a path running right along the top.
Lingmoor Fell's summit
Pavey Ark
The Langdale Pikes
Wet Side Edge, Great Carrs and Swirl How
Heading along the top of the ridge we made our way to a gate with a very improvised stile which leads to a commanding viewpoint above the quarries overlooking the village of Chapel Stile. A path leads down the fellside to an old quarry road which skirts the base of a few large spoil tips of the disused Banks Quarry.
The undulating ridge of Lingmoor Fell
Holme Fell
Black Fell
The impromptu gate crossing
Chapel Stile and Silver How
Great Langdale
Banks Quarry
The road led us into the shady Sawrey's Wood, past Yew Crags and into the dusty quarry yard of Burlington Stone. Much work has been done recently to protect the right of way through the yard from passing work traffic with new fencing and signs guiding the way.
The yard at Burington Stone
The path descends further through the woods, emerging at a footbridge over Langdale Beck close to the Wainwright Inn. Here it joins the Cumbria Way, a long-distance path which runs across the Lake District from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north. The bridleway would lead us right back to the campsite, though it was still a few miles away.
Langdale Beck
Thrang Crag
The Cumbria Way
The path first passes through the Basybrown campsite before cutting across to the lowest slopes of Lingmoor Fell below Oakhowe Crag. After a short climb, which gives a fine view of the Langdale Pikes, the path finds its way back to Langdale Beck a short distance from the Sticklebarn Pub. Crossing the fields at Kirk Howe led us back to the cars at the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.
The Langdale Pikes
Looking along Stickle Gill

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