Langdale Pikes

The Walk

9/06/2016


Loft Crag - 680 metres
Pike of Stickle - 709 metres
Harrison Stickle - 736 metres
Pavey Ark - 700 metres
Thunnacar Knott - 723 metres
Sergeant Man - 736 metres


6 Wainwrights completed - 68 in total


The weather forecast looked promising nice temperatures not to hot like earlier in the week and no thunderstorms. Time to work through the Langdale Pikes. I decided on a route following Dungeon Ghyll in the early stages, this would be steep to start with and then flatten out above Raven Crag before the final push to Harrison Combe.
What a surprise at the combe, a huge amphitheatre surrounded by the pinnacles of the pikes, it was crying out for a tarn and would have looked majestic with one, instead there were just marshy areas, I wonder where the water goes.
1st summit of the day, Loft Crag was just a short climb up with superb views over to Side Pike and Blea Tarn. However just a short walk away was the very impressive Pike of Stickle, in the Lake District there are not many summits where you have to scramble to reach the top, this is one of them, the nice path tempts you in then abruptly stops over a gulley into oblivion. The only way is up with a 50 ft climb up the rocks all the while wondering, what's it going to be like coming down, but it is worth it with outstanding views over Mickleden valley. On the summit a chap who it turned out was from Leeds asked if I wanted my photo taken by the cairn which I gladly accepted on such a spectacular summit, he had driven up on the day leaving at 5 am and picking his mate up in Liverpool on the way, I was to meet up with them again on Harrison Stickle. I managed to climb down without incident and was feeling quite pleased with myself because it had been achieved the correct way facing the rock and keeping my body clear. You could imagine my shock when two fell runners a male and female came flying past me with a cheery hello and enjoy your walk, they must have made the summit and come down again while I was descending, all I could say was "well done" it just didn't seem enough.
Next up Harrison Stickle, as I was walking over the combe towards it, I was thinking "this looks steep" and it was, but there was a beautifully engineered path all the way up which was an absolute delight to ascend. The summit view overlooking Pavey Ark and Stickle Tarn was excellent and I got to have a chat with my new best mate from Leeds, as always with me football has to be mentioned and we ageed to disagree which county had the best team Yorkshire or Suffolk.
Pavey Ark was a bit of a pain in the rear end to get to, I followed a faint path but the route was extremely rocky  and the summit area a bit cliff like which is exactly what Pavey Ark is. The last two Wainwrights involved miles of open moorland to get over, Thunacar Knott is a protrusion on the moor about half a boggy mile from Pavey Ark whilst Sergeant Man another mile and a half further on over very damp grass with no path, which would be tricky in mist. I was busy watching the rain clouds approaching from the direction of the Scafell range while trudging over towards Sergeant Man, the rain duly came, jacket went on, luckily it only lasted 20 minutes, by that time I had summited Sergeant Man said hello to some miserable college geek, didn't get a reply and met some people on their way up to High Raise who duly stopped and had a chat. I hated the next bit, a rough path down to Belles Knott, I already had sore feet and this was making them worse so I decided to stop at a point overlooking both Codale and Easedale Tarn and finish my lunch. At least I was on my way back now but still had 1500ft to descend, now the paths down to Stickle Tarn from this ridge are intermittent to say the least, so what I normally do is just blaze a trail close to a stream and hope to pick up a path, sure enough it worked (I wouldn't recommend this in the mist or near sheer drops) however in this area it is fine.
Having now reached Stickle Tarn it was time for paddling my sore feet in the deliciously cool water for 15 minutes while watching some people (who looked like ants) ascending Pavey Ark via Jacks Rake, (the only way I would go up there is roped up, and I'm not easily scared).
All that was left after a fabulous day in the fells was to descend the final 1000ft down the engineered path directly to my B&B.

Summit of Pike of Stickle with Harrison Stickle behind.
Summit of Pike of Stickle with Harrison Stickle behind.