|Pike of Blisco
|705 m (2,313 ft)
|177 m (581 ft)
|Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
|Lake District, Southern Fells
|OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6
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.
The name Pike of Blisco is the form used on Ordnance Survey maps. The influential guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright preferred Pike o' Blisco (he refers to Pike of Blisco as its "Sunday name"), and wrote, "the man has no blood in his veins who does not respond eagerly to its fine-sounding, swashbuckling name".
Pike of Blisco stands on the complex ridge of high ground descending south-eastward from the Scafell massif. The ridge incorporates Esk Pike, Bow Fell, Crinkle Crags and Cold Pike before turning sharply north-eastward to Pike of Blisco; it then makes a further abrupt northerly diversion around Blea Tarn to connect to Lingmoor Fell. To the north of Pike of Blisco is the Oxendale branch of Great Langdale, while Little Langdale stands to the south east. The two valleys drain eastward, joining beyond Lingmoor Fell. To the south of Pike of Blisco is the 393-metre (1,289-foot) summit of Wrynose Pass, which links Little Langdale with the Duddon Valley, and beyond the pass lies Swirl How and the Coniston Fells.
Between Cold Pike and Pike of Blisco is a wide grassy depression at 528 metres (1,730 ft). On the southern side is the source of the River Duddon, while to the north is Red Tarn, a feeder of Great Langdale Beck. Red Tarn is an elongated pool whose stony bed can be seen through clear shallow waters, reputed to hold trout. Its name comes from the colour of the surrounding soil rather than the water itself. The tarn forms a focal point for walkers, as the wide path from the summit of Wrynose Pass to Great Langdale runs beside it, with a further path branching off across its outflow towards Crinkle Crags. The main path was originally made to serve Red Crag Mine, which now consists of a series of pits and trial borings for iron ore, concentrated about 300 metres (980 ft) north of the tarn. The mine was worked from 1860 to 1875 but never achieved commercial success.
Pike of Blisco itself consists of the steep, conical summit area above Red Tarn along with a swathe of hilly country spreading out to the south and east. The summit is defended by Kettle Crag to the north and Black Wars to the west, with Black Crag abreast the ridge descending southward to Wrynose Pass. The eastern part of the fell is centred upon the subsidiary top of Blake Rigg at around 530 metres (1,740 ft) in an area of rocky outcrops and small tarns. From Blake Rigg a ridge runs north east to cross the summit of the Blea Tarn road at 224 metres (735 ft). This pass, narrow and steep even by Lakeland standards, links the two Langdales and is named for the large tarn which sits beneath the eastern crags of Blake Rigg. Its waters hold trout, perch and pike, and the easily accessible shoreline features in many a photograph of the Langdale Pikes.
The interbedded volcaniclastic sandstone, tuff and lapilli-tuff of the Blisco Member predominate, with an intrusion of rhyolite running across the eastern slopes.
Unusually for Lake District fells, Pike of Blisco's summit is clearly visible from the valley below, in this case Great Langdale. (Consequently, a good view of the valley may be obtained from the summit.) Before 1959 the summit was crowned with a tall, conical cairn which could be seen from the valley, but between 1958 and 1959 it was apparently vandalised.It has subsequently been rebuilt, although it does not appear as tall today as it does in Wainwright's 1958 drawing.
There are two distinct routes to the summit from the popular walkers' resort of Dungeon Ghyll at the head of Great Langdale. One goes via Stool End farm at the foot of Bowfell; from here it follows the public footpath over the Oxendale Beck and up to Red Tarn, at around 525 metres (1,720 ft) above sea level, before ascending Pike of Blisco's steep west face. The other route, which takes a generally more even gradient, climbs the mountain's east face using a path that starts from the Little Langdale road.
It is also possible to climb Pike of Blisco from Little Langdale, via a public footpath from Wrynose Bridge on the road to Wrynose Pass, about 2 km (1+1⁄4 mi) from the head of the valley. An alternative route from this direction, recommended by Wainwright, involves scrambling up a gully in the crags above the valley head, then walking across pathless terrain to the summit. The easiest route of ascent, however, is from the Three Shire Stone at the head of the Wrynose Pass, where vehicles may be parked at 393 metres (1,290 ft).
Pike of Blisco is often climbed as a circuit around the head of Great Langdale incorporating Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, sometimes extended to include Rossett Pike and even the Langdale Pikes.
Bowfell 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.
Crinkle Crags is a fell in the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria. It forms part of two major rings of mountains, surrounding the valleys of Great Langdale and Upper Eskdale. The name reflects the fell's physical appearance as its summit ridge is a series of five rises and depressions (crinkles) that are very distinctive from the valley floor. In Old English, cringol means twisted or wrinkled.
Cold Pike is a fell in the English Lake District. It is a satellite of Crinkle Crags and stands above the Upper Duddon Valley.
High Raise is a fell in the Central Fells of the English Lake District, not to be confused with another High Raise situated in the Far Eastern Fells. High Raise is one of the most spectacular mountains in the district; with a height of 762 metres (2,500 ft) it is the highest point in the central fells of Lakeland.
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, also known as Pike o’ Stickle, is a fell in the English Lake District. It reaches a height of 709 metres (2,326 ft) 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.
Thunacar Knott is a fell in the central part of the English Lake District in the county of Cumbria.
Sergeant Man is a fell in the English Lake District. It is properly a secondary summit of High Raise, but is given a separate chapter by Alfred Wainwright in his third Pictorial Guide nonetheless, as it "is so prominent an object and offers so compelling a challenge". Its rocky cone is indeed in great contrast to the grassy dome of High Raise.
Dow Crag is a fell in the English Lake District near Coniston, Cumbria. The eastern face is one of the many rock faces in the Lake District used for rock climbing.
Ullscarf is a fell in the English Lake District close to the geographical centre of the Cumbrian hills. It forms part of the watershed between the Derwentwater and Thirlmere catchments, a ridge running broadly north-south.
Blea Rigg is a fell in the English Lake District, lying between the valleys of Easedale and Great Langdale. One of the Central Fells, it is a broad plateau with a succession of rocky tops. Many routes of ascent are possible, beginning either from Grasmere or Great Langdale, though the paths are often poorly marked and hard to follow.
Silver How is a fell in the English Lake District, standing over the village of Grasmere. How, derived from the Old Norse word haugr, is a common local term for a hill or mound.
Lingmoor Fell is a fell in the English Lake District, situated eight kilometres west of Ambleside. The fell reaches a height of 469 m (1,540 ft) and divides the valleys of Great Langdale and Little Langdale. The fell's name originates from the Old Norse word lyng meaning “heather covered”. The actual summit of the fell is named as Brown How on Ordnance Survey maps.
Swirl How is a fell in the English Lake District. It stands between Coniston and the Duddon Valley in the southern part of the District. It rivals the Old Man of Coniston as the highest point within the traditional County Palatine of Lancashire.
Great Carrs is a fell in the English Lake District. It stands above Wrynose Pass in the southern part of the District.
The Central Fells are a group of hills in the English Lake District. Reaching their highest point at High Raise, they occupy a broad area to the east of Borrowdale. The Central Fells are generally lower than the surrounding hills, the Lake District's dome-like structure having a slight dip in the middle. The range extends from the boggy ridge between Derwentwater and Thirlmere in the north, to the rock peaks of the Langdale Pikes in the south.