BB2133 : Back On Track?

Tuesday 7th September 2021

Stan reckoned that, thanks to Covid, it was over two years since we last reduced our number of outstanding Wainwrights.  He was right.  BB1923. July 2019.

Meanwhile others, notably TV Mike and Brian in their separate non-BOOTboys ways, have been making huge strides towards finishing the list and are both now well ahead of us.

Today we intended to get back on track.  

The target was Esk Pike which we both needed.  It was perhaps not the best day for a big walk.  It was hot when we set off from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and the day would only get hotter under the cloudless sky.  

It’s a long stroll along the valley followed by a long climb up to Angle Tarn.  I have moaned in the past about the quality of some of the man-made stone paths but this one is amongst the best I have seen.  A real help when ascending.

Long-time readers of BOOTboys reports may remember that Angle Tarn is where Graham went skinny-dipping.  BB0407.  Despite today’s warmth, we saw no such antics and Stan and I were certainly not intending to emulate him.  Perhaps Terry might, had he been with us, but it is a long time since he got his kit off for a wild swim.

It was around here that Stan started querying why we weren’t doing Great End as well and didn’t we need it?  I was doubly sure that I didn’t.  Firstly, I had already been there.  Secondly I had decided that, given its name, it was the appropriate place to finish this round of Wainwrights.  As such, I should disregard the previous qualifying visit and not return until The Great End.  Stan was less than convinced and decreed that we should first go there to make sure.  It would only add 500 feet climbing to our total for the day.

So we did.  He further insisted that we should go direttissimo from Esk Hause which no doubt gave us a shorter route but as it was up a boulder field I was far from convinced it was the better.

At the top are two summits and we weren’t sure which was the higher.  

We decided (correctly as it was later proved) that the more southerly one was the real top but the other had the better views. To the south-west we could see the queue of people waiting their turn to summit Scafell Pike.

To the north-west was the bulk and the screes of Great Gable.

To the north were glimpses of Derwent Water with Skiddaw behind.

It was of course much cooler up here than in the valley.  A pleasant temperature and a good place to have lunch.

I insisted that the descent to the Hause should be by the far easier regular path. The climb from there to Esk Pike was quite steep and through rocky terrain but not difficult.  

Job done, we were not tempted to carry on to Bowfell but instead took the Ore Gap route down to Angle Tarn.  I had not previously been that way and confess I had been a bit anxious as to how steep and exposed it might be.  Actually it turned out very safe and pleasant, enlivened by the red rocks that lined the path.  Hence its name.

There were plenty of people at Angle Tarn but still no skinny-dippers as far as we could tell.  Our legs were now tiring but we had to climb out of the basin in order to return down the stone staircase and along the valley path to the car.  They seemed much longer than in the morning on fresh legs.

Back home, I checked the BOOTboys Log.  Stan had been half right.  He had needed Great End.  I hadn’t.  That moves him two ahead of me in the countdown. He needs 24 more, I need 26.  Will we finish them this year?  Unlikely but at least we are back on track.

Don, Tuesday 7th September 2021

Comitibus: Don, Stan


Route:  Map: OS 1:50k



BB2133 : Back On Track?


7th September 2021


Great End, Esk Pike


Don, Stan

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track


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