Story of an image – Path to Crinkle Crags


I had left the National Trust car park of Blea Tarn, having filmed an earlier vlog and photography session from Lingmoor Fell. I headed South then joined Wrynose Pass, heading West. I arrived at the Three Shire Stone, rather tired but in hope of coming away with at least one good composition, a goal which all landscape photographers should aim for rather than a multitude of mediocre shots.

Parking at Three Shires was a case of precision parking, half car on the verge, half car on the edges of the Pass, which is a very narrow and winding road. Like all respectful drivers, I intentionally avoided parking on a section designed to allow passing cars to pull over and fellow drivers to continue on. A slight angry urge of speaking my mind hit me as I later saw a group of younger people fail to share my respect and parked exactly where my car would have fit but not allow passing cars to continue on. Kids today, I’m getting old.

I set off hiking to my intended destination of Cold Pike, at 701 metres not the smallest and not the tallest but my journey had been helped from a start that was at an altitude of 393 metres. I did however have the weight of my backpack, although slightly lighter than normal. I had made the decision to restrict myself to taking one lens and leave behind my 16-35 and nifty fifty. This left me with one lens and without that lens, I strongly believed my chances of bagging anything worthy would be difficult. I had brought my faithful and favourite landscape photography lens, my 70-200 f4L.

I spent some time at Red Tarn, managing to capture the wonderfully characterful Bow Fell, a mountain I had climbed 3 times. I hit the grassy path that lead to Cold Pike, climbed the wonderfully shaped array of rock formations and finally tapped my walking poles on the top of the cairn of Cold Pike, another Wainwright bagged. The wind was ferocious and was constantly attacking my face as I glared at the view that unfolded in front of me. Sometimes landscape photographers don’t have to work for a good composition. Sometimes leading lines, a focal point of interest and fabulous contrasting patches present themselves. This was a simple case of planting my tripod on a flat, hard surface, focusing on infinity and clicking away until a pattern of light that pleased me the most hit the fells. Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell on the upper third, a path lit up leading to the point of interest. Life was good.

4 thoughts on “Story of an image – Path to Crinkle Crags

  1. Stupendous read, filled with definition, I felt I was there. Did you wave you walking stick at the younglings shouting get of my land? 😂 you keep on keeping on with those wainwrights you’ll be starting them all again soon. Or better start your own, The Burns – walks with a camera . Wonderful story James. Catch you soon…


    1. Bloody kids, not a care in the world. I used to be one! 😄 To be honest Mali, this vlogging game has slowed my Wainwright conquest right down. I’m just over half way there with a hundred to go. It will be done though. Thank you👍


  2. Wonderful read James. I enjoyed the vlog as well. How long has it taken to get half way through the climbs? Just curious as I know that you will complete the list and then start over! Is there one in particular that you have been “saving” and are looking forward to or do you just take them as they come? I suspect you could take just the telephoto most of the time and be pretty happy. As I have followed you, I can say that I look to use my own telephoto much more than I used to. Thanks for that. Cheers, Jeff


    1. Thank you Jeff. I started intentionally to walk the Wainwrights around 2 and a half years ago. I started off with a good pace of ticking them but since the vlogging started I have slowed down in getting through them. This is due to obviously the time taken up with creating the vlog. I’m not sure how long it will take to complete the list but I try to get as many fells in as possible. My aim is to leave Blencathra to the end. It seems fitting as Skiddaw was my first big one which sits at the side so represents a full circle. I have often thought I only need one lens but then again the wide angle is very useful for capturing the small tarns spread around some of the fells. Thank you for commenting Jeff, take care for now


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