Cold Pike is
a fell in the English Lake District standing above the Upper Duddon
Valley and is a satellite of Crinkle Crags.
When travelling clockwise, Crinkle Crags is the last of the high
circle of fells forming the head of upper Eskdale. It sends out a trio
of ridges to the south, running parallel like the prongs of a trident.
Working from the west these ridges culminate in Hard Knott, Little Stand
and Cold Pike.
The Cold Pike ridge begins indistinctly in an area
of rocky knolls and small tarns beneath the Fifth Crinkle. Gradually
gaining definition it descends to a broad grassy saddle before rising
again to the summit plateau of Cold Pike.
To the north of the
saddle is Great How (2,283 ft) considered by most guidebooks to be a
subsidiary of Crinkle Crags rather than the nearer Cold Pike.
Beyond the summit, the ridge continues for another half mile south
eastward before falling steeply over the many tiered crags of Wrynose
Wrynose Breast stands
above the Duddon and the Wrynose Pass road which provides the only
vehicular link between central Lakeland and the Duddon Valley. Together
with Hardknott Pass to the west, Wrynose is the latest incarnation of
the Roman road from Ambleside to the port of Ravenglass.
west of Cold Pike is the Gaitscale Beck, a watercourse separating it
from Little Stand. To the east across a wide low col is Pike of Blisco,
a conical fell with its footing firmly in Langdale. The source of the
River Duddon flows south from this col, curving westward around the foot
of Wrynose Breast.
To the north is Red Tarn, a feeder via
Oxendale of Great Langdale Beck. Red Tarn is an elongated pool whose
stony bed can be seen through clear shallow waters. Reputed to hold
trout, it forms a focal point for walkers as the wide path from the
summit of Wrynose Pass down to Stool End runs beside it, a further path
branching off across the outflow to Crinkle Crags.
The summit plateau of Cold Pike has three widely separated summits,
all of which are listed as nuttalls. The lower two are unnamed on
Ordnance Survey maps but are generally referred to as Cold Pike West Top
and Cold Pike Far West Top
The true summit is itself one of a
series of three outcrops in a mild echoing of Crinkle Crags. Each has a
cairn, the highest being a fine example. The top is an excellent place
from which to survey Crinkle Crags, the Langdale Pikes and the northern
end of the Coniston Fells across Wrynose Bottom.
There is a fine
distant view of the Pennines above Windermere and Morecambe Bay above
the Duddon Valley.
Cold Pike can be reached easily via Red Tarn from the carpark at the
summit of Wrynose Pass. It can also be climbed (less easily) from Great
More "honest" walkers beginning in the south may wish
to start from Little Langdale or Wrynose Bottom, first ascending Wrynose
A direct route from Wrynose Bottom is also possible
although pathless, skirting around the left of the crags. A
consideration here is that the Duddon will need to be forded when
Cold Pike is often seen as a worthwhile detour en
route to Crinkle Crags.
routes near Cold Pike