It' the school holidays in the East Midlands, but up in Pieland the lollipop peeps were out this morning. I was a bit relieved about this since it meant that the Lake District wouldn't be quite as busy as it had been during the bank holiday when , by all reports, it went a bit mad.
I was charged with providing some entertainment and exercise for two of the grandchildren currently on temporary lodging at Pietowers and, looking for something mildly scrambly but not specially dangerous, I chose Crinkle Crags and the climbers traverse on Bowfell. This, I thought, would provide a modicum of thrill, a bunch of health-giving and closely arranged contours and a quiet following night when they'd be too tired to fight (like wot brothers do)
However, on entering the National Trust car park, we were faced with a car parking charge of eight (yes, folks that's EIGHT) whole pounds sterling and a limited option of how to pay - cash only, in fact for non-members. So, instead, we went to the New Dungeon Gill car park which was only a fiver, AND the ticket provided a 10% discount off meals in the pub afterwards. This was Much More Like It,
The most striking view from the NDG car park is of the Langdale Pikes and not Crinkle Crags which is a long way over there -------> and in the haze. So, we decided to have a walk around the Langdales.
Our first objective was Angle Tarn where many moons ago, me and daughter #1 spent an entertaining night wild camping, searching for monsters and feeding the little fishes in the tarn on the debris from our dehydrated spag boll. I think #1 daughter was probably 5 or 6 or something.
Next up was an unsuccessful search in the scree beneath Pavey Ark for a howff which I'd found, probably fifty years ago, but could never find again. (A howff is an informal bivi place - this one is underground beneath some large boulders - I suppose that it's possible that the boulders have moved - hopefully not with anybody inside. That would be a really bad dream, innit?
So, we bashed our way up Pavey Ark, then over to Thunacar Knott, back to Harrison Stickle, some intervening knobbles, Loft Crag, Pike of Stickle and Martcrag Moor (the least impressive of our bag) Any rocky bits on the way were climbed on and we descended Stake Pass for a paddle in Stake Beck.
All those contours and craggy parts took it's toll on the once energetic and enthusiastic sproglings and the last couple of kilometres were marked by enquiries as to how far there was to go. There was a brief period of celebration at the NDG and the childer slept the eighty mile drive back to Pietowers. Happily, neither are permanently broken and would probably do it again.