The Langdale Pikes, 13th April 1985

Easter 1985, and I'm on a short holiday in Ambleside with two companions, Graham and Keith. On the first day we decide to tackle the Langdale Pikes from the Dungeon Ghyll hotel.
Stickle Ghyll

Graham, Keith and I have started off from Dungeon Ghyll and have ascended via the repaired footpath on the right side of Stickle Ghyll. We're nearing the top of the ghyll here and the tops of the Pikes are coming into view. 

Stickle Tarn

Stickle Tarn is 1500ft above sea level and is mysteriously full of brown trout. Harrison Stickle (2403ft), the highest of the Langdale Pikes, directly overlooks the tan.

Stickle Tarn (2)

Adjacent to Harrison Stickle is Pavey Ark, afforded the status of a separate fell by Wainwright but actually just a top of Thunacar Knott. Pavey Ark, the highest sheer face in the area, is crossed by the notorious scrambles of Jack's Rake and Easy Gully.

Stickle Tarn (3)

Looking out past Stickle Tarn's tiny dam towards Crinkle Crags and Bowfell.

Stickle Tarn (4)

Another view of the dam. Harrison Stickle rises to the right.

Pavey Ark

Keith is tackling Easy Gully but Graham and I have gone for the easy option of North Rake to reach the top of Pavey Ark (2288ft), This is the view northeastwards towards Helvellyn, Dollywaggon Pike, St Sunday Crag and Fairfield.

Pavey Ark (2)

From the same point this is the view to the southeast. The prominent body of water is Windermere. The weather is too poor today but in good visibility the main felltops of the Yorkshire Dales (most notably Ingleborough) are well seen from here.

Harrison Stickle

Beautiful lighting on the summit of Harrison Stickle gave is this splendid view of Bowfell, Esk Pike, the Scafells and Great Gable.

Harrison Stickle (2)

A magnificent view of the Coniston fells.

Pike O'Stickle

Pike O'Stickle (2323 ft) is a shapely topknott of a summit and its ascent is a mild scramble. Keith and I climbed it but Graham declined. Here we're looking due east back towards Harrison Stickle.

Pike O'Stickle (2)

This is a view of the third and lowest of the Langdale Pikes, Loft Crag (2270ft), We didn't climb Loft Crag on this occasion and it wasn't to be until 8 years later that I finally visited the summit. 

Pike O'Stickle (3)

A gully to the side of Pike O'Stickle's summit dome. This is not a recommended descent route.

Martcrag Moor

We chose to make our descent by the easy route of Stake Pass, which first involves this crossing of the drab and juicy Martcrag Moor. Thunacar Knott rises to the right. The valley ahead, north of the Stake Pass col, is Langstrath. Skiddaw can just be seen in the distance. Before we reached the col we were hit by a hailstorm. The weather remained foul through most of the summer.

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This page last updated 2nd June 2001