Friday, 17 April 2009

Langdale Pikes and Pavey Ark - Summer 2008

I started this walk from the New Dungeon Inn in Great Langdale. Driving into the valley earlier in the morning, I could see a cloud hanging over the Langdale Pikes just below Stickle Tarn. By the time I had parked and set off walking, this had dispersed and the previously wet sky was now relatively clear.

I followed the path up beside Mill Gill, crossing over to the eastern bank part way up. The path was steep and became rocky the further up I got. Eventually I decided to cross over again to the western bank stepping over the rocks in the stream. I was near the top now, and could see the dam that contained Stickle Tarn in the hanging valley above.

Arriving at the top of the climb, I caught my first glimpse (on this walk at least) of Pavey Ark. It was an amazing view across Stickle Tarn, something that, in the words of Wainwright "...bursts upon the eye with dramatic effect". I sat on the east bank of Stickle Tarn for a while admiring the view as I rested from the climb.

Reluctantly I set off for my next destination which was Sergeant Man. This involved walking alongside the east bank to the far end of the tarn where I started the ascent out of Stickle Tarns hanging valley. I passed the turn off for Pavey Ark's North Rake which I was very much tempted to take. It looked like rather an exciting climb to its summit. I carried on, however, across the grassy slopes as they took me closer to the ridge that joined Blea Rigg with Sergeant Man. When I reached this point it was just a short climb to the west to reach Sergeant Man's summit. This is quite a facinating area of raised rock surrounded by grassy flat land. I sat there for a while looking across Pavey Ark and the Langdale Pikes towards the Coniston Fells. It was an inspiring view.

High Raise was my next destination. So I set off across the flat moorland that gradually sloped upward towards the summit shelf. It didn't take long to reach High White Stones which was one of the summit areas. The view across to Honister Pass was quite dramatic. There was also a great view over towards Bow Fell to the south. I walked a little further north easterly to reach the main summit of High Raise which wasn't quite as summit-like as High White Stones, but did provide excellent views over towards the Helvellyn Range.

Next I headed south towards the Langdale Pikes. The ground dropped down before rising to Thunacar Knott which I passed on the north side to reach the summit of Pavey Ark where I stopped to have lunch overlooking Stickle Tarn. I then followed the path which skirted the top of the ridge that led to Harrison Stickle. As I approached the climb to this fell, I looked back to the rock face of Pavey Ark. It was an awe inspiring being there between these two classic Wainwright fells. They just seemed so gigantic. It was an amazing experience.

I made the climb to Harrison Stickle summit where I admired the views all around. As I looked back to Pavey Ark I could just make out people ascending by Jack's Rake as well as climbers on the crags. After a while I descended to the mashy land where the path crosses the Dungeon Gill before it makes its descent down the ravine between Thorn Crag and Harrison Stickle. I headed over to the Pike of Stickle, the second highest of the Langdale Pikes. This involved a scramble to reached the top, but wasn't too difficult. The view across to Bow Fell and up the valley towards Great End was fantastic.

Reluctantly I came back down and headed back towards Thorn Crag where I was going to make the descent to the valley below. I would leave Loft Crag for another day. I remember that the descent back down the New Dungeon Gill provided great views of the Pike of Blisco. It was a fantastic day.

No comments:

Post a Comment