Bowfell

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Bowfell
Bowfell.jpg
Bowfell from Shelter Crags, about a
mile south along the ridge
Highest point
Elevation 902 m (2,959 ft)
Prominence 146 m (479 ft)
Parent peak Scafell Pike
Listing Hewitt, Nuttall, Wainwright, Sub-Marilyn
Coordinates 54°26′51″N3°09′57″W / 54.44737°N 3.16582°W / 54.44737; -3.16582 Coordinates: 54°26′51″N3°09′57″W / 54.44737°N 3.16582°W / 54.44737; -3.16582
Geography
Lake District National Park UK relief location map.png
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Bowfell
Location in the Lake District
Location relief map Borough of Copeland.svg
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Bowfell
Location in Copeland Borough
Location relief map United Kingdom South Lakeland.svg
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Bowfell
Location in South Lakeland
Location Cumbria, England
Parent range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY245064
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90 Explorer OL6
Listed summits of Bowfell
NameGrid refHeightStatus
Bowfell North Top NY244070 866 m (2,840 ft) Nuttall

Bowfell (named Bow Fell on Ordnance Survey maps) is a pyramid-shaped mountain lying at the heart of the English Lake District, in the Southern Fells area. It is the sixth-highest mountain in the Lake District and one of the most popular of the Lake District fells for walkers. It is listed in Alfred Wainwright's 'best half dozen' Lake District fells.

Contents

Topography

The Southern Fells include the highest ground in England, a horseshoe which begins with Scafell and Scafell Pike in the west and then curves around the north of Upper Eskdale to take in Great End, Esk Pike, Bowfell and Crinkle Crags.

In addition to Eskdale, Bowfell has a footing in two other well known valleys. It stands at the head of Great Langdale — its east ridge dividing the two branches of Mickleden and Oxendale — while to the north is the Langstrath branch of Borrowdale. From all of these valleys Bowfell presents a striking profile with a conical top resting upon a wider summit plateau.

To the north-west of Bowfell the main ridge drops to the depression of Ore Gap, named after its reddish soil, rich in haematite. Below the col on the northern side is Angle Tarn. This round waterbody occupies a corrie beneath Hanging Knotts, small trout lurking in its 50 ft depths. Its outflow is a tributary of the Langstrath Beck, making for Stonethwaite. [1] To the south of Ore Gap runs Yeastyrigg Gill, the main headwater of Lingcove Beck, flowing into the fastness of upper Eskdale. Beyond the Gap the ridge makes the stony three-tiered climb to the white-rocked summit of Esk Pike.

Southward of Bowfell the ridge falls steeply to Three Tarns, the col separating it from Crinkle Crags. The depression takes its name from a number of small pools, often two, but sometimes more after rain. [1] Busco Sike flowing to the east is the longest feeder of Oxendale Beck in Great Langdale.

Bowfell sends out two subsidiary ridges to the east. The Band is a descending rigg starting from the southern end of the summit plateau. It is this ridge which divides Oxendale from Mickleden, making straight for Stool End Farm on the valley floor. The Band has a minor top about halfway down named White Stones, [2] although most guidebooks do not consider it notable. The second ridge begins at the northern end of the summit plateau and crosses Rossett Hause, a sharp depression at the head of Rossett Gill, to make for Rossett Pike. The continuation of this ridge provides the connection to the Central Fells, forming the northern wall of Great Langdale as it crosses Martcrag Moor, bound for the Langdale Pikes.

Geology

The predominant rocks on Bowfell are the volcaniclastic sandstones of the Seathwaite Fell Formation, with interbeds of andesite outcropping near the summit. The pebbly sandstone and breccias of the Pavey Ark Member also cross the fell. [3]

Summit

The summit area is a ridge running north–south with the final pyramid near the south-west corner and crags on three sides. The southern face is formed by Bowfell Links, a wall of rock scarred by nine vertical gullies and with corresponding tongues of scree at its foot, all of which are loose rock channels. The eastern face includes Flat Crag, Cambridge Crag and the Bowfell Buttress, the latter two providing good climbing. Flat Crag includes the Great Slab, a tilted sheet of rock. At the base of Great Slab a spring gushes forth from the bare rock: Wainwright claims, "And no water anywhere else tastes better." [4] Below these faces runs the Climber's Traverse, a narrow path providing a high-level walking route to the summit from the highest point of The Band. This largely horizontal line contours around beneath many of Bowfell's steeper crags, finally reaching the summit via a rocky route known as the River of Boulders, running parallel to the Great Slab. Finally on the north- east corner of the summit ridge is Hanging Knotts, a complex series of faces and outcrops looking down upon Angle Tarn.

The highest point carries not so much a cairn as a rearrangement of some loose rock at the apex of the pyramid. Every major group of fells in Lakeland is seen from this vantage-point — the Helvellyn range from end to end and the Langdale Pikes across Langdale — according to Wainwright, the piece of the view is Scafell Pike towering above Eskdale. [4]

Ascents

The Band provides the most popular means of ascent. Other routes from Langdale climb via Rossett Gill and Three Tarns. Bowfell can be reached from Stonethwaite via Angle Tarn although the way is long. Equally time-consuming although perhaps more picturesque is the long march up Eskdale from Brotherikeld, gaining the ridge at either Ore Gap or Three Tarns. [5] Indirect climbs can also be made via Crinkle Crags, Esk Pike or Rossett Pike. The summit can also be reached from the top of Wrynose Pass by following the Right of Way starting close to the Three Shire Stone and heading in a northwesterly direction. The route takes in the summits of Cold Pike and Long Top.

Related Research Articles

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Scafell Mountain in the English Lake District, Cumbria, England

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Crinkle Crags

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Esk Pike Fell in the Lake District, Cumbria, England

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Great Langdale

Great Langdale is a valley in the Lake District National Park in North West England, the epithet Great distinguishing it from the neighbouring valley of Little Langdale. Langdale is also the name of a valley in the Howgill Fells, elsewhere in Cumbria.

Pike of Stickle Mountain in the English Lake District, Cumbria, England

Pike of Stickle, also known as Pike o’ Stickle, is a fell in the English Lake District. It reaches a height of 709 metres (2,326 feet) and is situated in the central part of the national park in the valley of Great Langdale. The fell is one of three fells which make up the picturesque Langdale Pikes, one of the best-known areas in Lakeland. A "stickle" is a hill with a steep prominent rocky top, while a "pike" is a hill with a peaked summit, the name being therefore partly tautological.

Pike of Blisco

Pike of Blisco, or Pike o' Blisco, is a mountain in the Lake District in Cumbria, England. Located between the valleys of Great Langdale and Little Langdale, its relative isolation from neighbouring fells together with slopes falling away immediately from the summit in all directions mean it has excellent views: the view of the Langdale Pikes across Great Langdale is particularly arresting.

Thunacar Knott

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Ullscarf Fell in England

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Sergeants Crag

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Allen Crags

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Slight Side

Slight Side is a fell in the English Lake District it stands 25 kilometres east southeast of the town of Whitehaven and reaches a height of 762 m (2,499 ft). Slight Side lies at the south western edge of the Scafell Massif, a four-kilometre-long crescent of high ground which includes the highest ground in England. The fells names derives from the Old Norse language and means "The mountain shieling with the level pastures", it is a combination of the Norse words "sletta" and "saetr". With a shieling meaning a shepherds hut or a mountain pasture used in the summer.

Rossett Pike

Rossett Pike is a fell in the English Lake District. It is located at the head of Mickleden, one of two tributary valleys of Great Langdale.

Green Crag

Green Crag is a fell in the English Lake District. It stands between Eskdale and the Duddon valley in the Southern Fells.

Southern Fells

The Southern Fells are a group of hills in the English Lake District. Including Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, they occupy a broad area to the south of Great Langdale, Borrowdale and Wasdale. High and rocky towards the centre of the Lake District, the Southern Fells progressively take on a moorland character toward the south-west. In the south-east are the well-known Furness Fells, their heavily quarried flanks rising above Coniston Water.

References

  1. 1 2 Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN   0-9543904-1-5
  2. Birkett, Bill: Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN   0-00-218406-0
  3. British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheet 38: BGS (1998)
  4. 1 2 Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells , Book 4: ISBN   0-7112-2457-9
  5. Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN   0-00-711368-4