Sunday, 19 February 2012

"A rose by any other name..."

Crinkle Crags in a puddle
Today was one of those days when we started out intending to do one route and ended up doing a completely different one.  Not that we have anything against Pike of Blisco, but this is the second time we've planned to climb it only to veer off at the last moment, well, technically, the second and third times as we didn't climb it twice today.  Our original plan was simple, park at Dungeon Ghyll National Trust car park, head up Blisco via Brown Howe and back down via Wrynose Pass and Blea Tarn.  Problem was, just as we started up Brown Howe we spotted another path that looked a lot more fun and took us up over Crinkle Crags, so we took that instead, promising to try and squeeze in Blisco on the way back, but it wasn't to be.

Anyway, back to the start, because one of the things that has struck me today is how appropriate, or not, some of the names in the Lake District are, so let's do this walk and evaluate the names along the way.  At the time of writing this I haven't researched any names locally, so if you can shed any light on any of them, please let me know.

ScaFell & friends. (c) Steve Pipe
We started at Dungeon Ghyll.  First of all there was no Dungeon there and secondly, why is it sometimes "Gill" and other times "Ghyll"? I'm guessing we probably have the Vikings to thank for that.  We followed the road, then the track to Stool End, I can't even begin to imagine where that got it's name from as the nearest loos are a mile away back in the National Trust car park.  After our aborted attempt at Brown Howe, we made our way past the splendid Whorneyside Force, which was most definitely forceful, and then across the bottom of the most inappropriately named Hell Gill; inappropriate because it's an absolutely beautiful little gully with a fabulous waterfall tucked into the back of it.

We slid our way up Buscoe to reach the most appropriately named spot of the day; "Three Tarns" where there were indeed, three tarns.  Or at least the frozen remains of them anyway.  I was a little disappointed not to find a pub there because a) it's a great name for a pub and b) I could really have done with a pie and a pint around about then.  I should also report that it was mind numbingly cold at this point and what little breath I had left was taken by the views.

Next we picked our way up and along the Crinkle Crags ridge and both commented on how crinkly and craggy they were as we slipped and slithered over crests and cols.  Lurking behind us in the distance was Bow Fell and each time I hear that name I have images of a Bond villain stood at the top stroking a white cat telling me he's been expecting me.  I was most disappointed when we climbed it a couple of years back not to find him there.  Perhaps he was in his lair that day.

Bow Fell & one of the 3 Tarns (c) Steve Pipe
By now we were headed downwards past Cold Pike (perfectly named, been past it twice, both times it was freezing), and down towards Red Tarn and I can vouch for the fact that it is surrounded by lovely red rocks and so is most deserving of its name.  It was now gone 4pm and as we drank coffee and munched on Snickers (Marathons!) we decided it was best to head down via Brown Howe (rather more white than Brown today) and give Pike of Blisco a miss for the second time in one day.  And is it "Pike o Blisco" or "Pike of Blisco"?  And who, or what, was Blisco?  Sounds like a brand of blister plasters to me, so probably appropriate.  "Sore feet?  Try new Blisco they'll help you walk more when you're sore."

Anyway, we made it back to Delores just as it was getting dark (she's our main transport since our car died; the name comes from her air of faded grandeur and is utterly appropriate).  Apologies Blisco, no hard feelings, I promise we'll be back to visit you and your infamous cairn soon, let's face it we're fast running out of excuses and other fells in your vicinity to distract us, so maybe next time, eh?

Beautiful frozen waterfall. (c) Steve Pipe