We started our walk from the National Trust car park close to the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Great Langdale. We followed the main tourist route up to Stickle Tarn, pausing frequently to catch our breath and to take photos.
The path seemed much steeper than the last time I did it, perhaps I am just getting old!
At Stickle Tarn we stopped for a rest and to admire the view across the tarn to Pavey Ark and the Langdales.
We crossed the dam and walked along the path to the right of the tarn. To our left was Jack’s Rake, one of the ways up Pavey Ark, but this is classed as a rock climb and not for me. We followed the path round the eastern side of the cliff and after crossing two streams we started to climb towards North Rake. This leads directly to the top of Pavey Ark and is classed as easy but it still involved a bit of scrambling and we had to use our hands.
After admiring the view from the summit we picked up the path heading south-west towards Harrison Stickle.
A steep climb took us to the summit of Harrison Stickle which at 2403 ft is the highest of the Langdale Pikes. The cloud had broken up and visibility was superb. Below us was Stickle Tarn and Lake Windermere was in the middle distance. On the horizon we could see Ingleborough, one of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.
From the summit we headed north for a short distance to pick up a path descending steeply to a depression between the pikes. Here we were out of the wind and decided to stop for lunch. I was gazing across to the little cairn on the summit of Thorn Crag. Previously when I have been up here I have bypassed this and headed straight for Pile o’Stickle but today as we were in no hurry we decided to go for it. It only added on half an hour but was well worth it for the views.
We then followed the path over Loft Crag to link up with the main path to Pike o’Stickle.The final section to the summit was a scramble on rock. I decided to stay at the bottom and mind the rucksacks. I had done it before.
Our route now headed north across Martcrag Moor to reach the Pile of Stones at the head of Stake Pass. We thought the main part was done but actually we were at the furthest point from our car. Our way back was along the Cumbria Way, descending the clear path beside Stake Gill down to Mickleden.
We then had to walk along the valley and it seemed never-ending. After nearly 8 hours walking we were back and ready for some refreshments. We called in at the Stickle Barn where they served excellent coffee and cake. I had a pint of Doom Bar, just in case I was dehydrated.
Another great day in the hills.
Distance – 12 Kilometres. Height ascended – 800 metres