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Saturday, 7 June 2014

The Langdale Pikes 31-5-2014

Well another last minute decision led me north and a venture into a great area of the lake District, the Langdale Valley and the Langdale Pikes. The last time I was in this area was about three years ago camping at the NT Campsite where we had a good walk across the otherside of the valley over Bowfel and the Crinckle Crags. This time was just a day visit as I had wanted to see what was on offer across the valley. I wasn't disappointed.
My route for the day
An early start saw me parked up at the NT car park next to the Sticletarn Pub and ready to go at 8.15am. I followed the Stickle Ghyll all the way up to Stickle Tarn where the imposing Pavey Ark with the infamous Jakes rake looms large. There was also one or two wild campers about taking advantage of the warm and calm conditions.
First of many small waterfalls along the way
Looking back down the valley with a distant Windermere
Pavey Ark across Stickle Tarn. Jakes Rake goes diagonally across the centre of the Ark
Harrison Stckle, Pavey Ark & wild campers at Stickle Tarn
The weather at this time was quite overcast but warm with little wind, quite ideal really as upto now it was a fairly steep ascent right from the car park to the tarn. After a rest I took a faint path that leads over to the crags of Blea Rigg. This way takes you away from most other people, although apart from the campers and a few people who looked like they were going to tackle Jakes Rake, I was on my own for most of this walk. My second objective was Sergeant Man, a rocky summit on the way to High Raise, the highest point in the central fells of Lakeland.
Cloudy conditions over the fells
Looking down on Codale Tarn & Easdale Tarn from the Blea Rigg path
On the path to the distant Sergeant Man
Look back down to Stickle Tarn
Sergeant Man summit on the right with a distant Windermere
High Raise summit trig & shelter
Low White Stones summit with High Raise in the background
 After a bite to eat at High Raise it was off across the grassy plateau back towards Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and the other peaks that make up the Langdale Pikes. This plateau is quite wide, grassy and quite boggy in the peat areas, although at this time was quite dry as not much rain had fallen in recent weeks. The path is eratic at times but basically follows a line straight to the Pikes. Ok in clear weather but I guess quite difficult in misty claggy weather. There is a small cairn about to thirds of the way on Thunacar Knott that I missed by about 20 yards as I made my way along the track. It is the highest point on the plateau but is easily missed. As you approach the Pikes the ground becomes more rocky and starts to resemble a more mountain feel to the place. The views had become more clear at this stage as the sun was beginning to burn of all the low lingering clouds. It was also becoming a lot warmer.
I left High Raise summit as the sun and sky became more clear
Path across the plateau to the Pikes
Long grassy plateau
Pavey ark on the left & Harrison Stickle on the right
View from Pavey Ark Summit of Stickle Tarn
View back to high raise with Thunacar Knott in the foreground on the left
Rocky top of Pavey Ark
Harrison Stickle
Harrison Stickle Summit
Next summit, Pike of Stickle
Pike of Stickle or a cherry topped muffin ;-)
Summit view back to Harrison Stickle and Loft Crag
View across the valley to the big fells of, Bowfel, The Scafells and the Gables
Next and final summit was Loft Crag before I headed off down the path besides Dungeon Ghyll and back to the car. A nice refreshing drink in the Stickletarn before I headed off home in now bright and very warm sunshine with a quick stop off in Ambleside for an ice-cream and one last look at the boats in the marina. A nice end to a great day
Loft Crag summit with Harrison Stickle as a backdrop
View down to the Langdale Campsite
View backup the Ghyll to Loft Crag and Pike of Stickle
On the decent path with Windermere in the distance
Langdale campsite in the trees
A view of my ascent path earlier in the day
Stickletarn pub with the Langdale Pikes as the backdrop
Ambleside Marina
Ambleside Marina
Another great day out in great weather in this popular but not too popular corner f the Lake District. Thanks go out to Richard off the WALKERS FORUM for the heads up on the route and another place that is certainly worth another visit in the future.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like I have to do the Langdale Pikes now, dunnit? :-)