Bowfell is a high mountain on the far western side of Great Langdale. It is most often climbed from Great Langdale although routes are available from Borrowdale to the north and Eskdale to the south west (these routes are longer). More often than not the mountain is climbed along with Crinkle Crags (which is just to the south) as this makes up the ‘best ridge mile in Lakeland’ – A. Wainwright. If the fell is to be climbed on its own then the most common route is along the Band to the east.
The view from almost 3000ft is spectacular. Scafell and Scafell Pike to the west looks amazing and Great Langdale to the east stretches round to Lake Windermere.
One of the great natural features of the Lake District is located on Bowfell. it is known as The Great Slab and is a huge smooth piece of rock at a 40 degree angle which is free from any boulders.
The closest car park is owned by the National Trust at Old Dungeon Ghyll at the western end of Great Langdale. To get to Great Langdale from Ambleside follow the B5343 to the west past Elterwater and Chapel Stile and to Old Dungeon Ghyll.
Ambleside is located along the A591 about 12 miles south of Keswick and about 8 miles north west of Kendal. Kendal is just off the M6 which runs north-south down the west side of the country. Keswick is just on the A66 which can be taken from the M6 at Penrith (about 15 miles south of Carlisle).
Route 1 - Blue route
This is the most common route of ascent if Bowfell is the only target in the walk. Starting off at Old Dungeon Ghyll the route heads down the track to Stool End Farm and then off to the right up the Band. The path is simple and easy to follow all the way to Three Tarns which are nestled in the col south of Bowfell. From Three Tarns the route is loose under foot until you reach the top but is not difficult.
Route 2 - Green Route
This is a longer and quieter variation on the blue route and starts at Old Dungeon Ghyll. It follows the Cumbria Way to the north west and up the pony track to Rossett Pass near Angle Tarn. After heading around Angle Tarn the route heads south to Ore Gap and continues along the ridge to Bowfell.
Route 3 - Red Route
This shows the route over Crinkle Crags from the south. For route information see the Crinkle Crags page on S/P.
The Climbers Traverse - Purple Route
Although not marked on the Ordnance Survey Map it is recommended by Wainwright and is an exciting easy scramble to the favours spot for Rock Climbers. The route is a walk so you dont need any climbing gear. The route from the Bottom of Bowfell Buttress heads up along the Great Slab to the south.
No Red Tape.
When to Climb
Bowfell can be climbed year round as is the perfect playground to try out Winter Mountaineering or experience climbing the higher peaks in Great Britain.
The nearest campsite is the National Trust site at Old Dungeon Ghyll a couple of miles to the east. This site is open all year round.