Stickle Barn - Loft Crag - Pike O'Stickle - Harrison Stickle - Pavey Ark - Thunacar Knott - High Raise - Sergeant Man - Blea Rigg - Stickle Tarn - Stickle Barn
It's been quite a while since I was last up the Langdale Pikes (approx 20 years maybe since I was up there with my parents refusing to climb to the pinacle of Pike O'Stickle in icy conditions).
I have a painting of the Langdales that has been on all my living room walls in at least 3 houses since about that time and so planned a bit of a tribute march up there trying to cover the Pikes and a further 6 Wainwrights to celebrate reaching my 100th bagged fell since I re-started with Damson in March last year (On 91 at start of day).
The weather forecast was for an indifferent day with the posibility of a very good day if the sun managed to break through the thin cloud lining. So at 9:30, we (myself, my mate Andy & my Dad) met up at the Stickle Barn Car Park and donned our boots.
We made the usual excuses about not having walked for a while and we're going to take it at our own pace and off we set up the path and immediately left on the trail to Loft Crag. We found a nice pace for the ascent upto the tops and hopped straight up onto Loft Crag for the first of the day.
From here we headed the short distance across to the bell shaped hump of Pike O'Stickle and the small rock climb onto the summit. My Dad refused this last bit but as he's probably done it dozens of times before so we left him on the steps with our packs and were up and down in 5 mins after photos on the top.
From here we turned round 180 degrees and back along the foot of Loft Crag and onto Harrison Stickle up the right hand path whilst my Dad opted for the slightly easier left hand path upto the col below the summit rock, planning to meet us there before heading to Pavey Ark.
When myself and Andy got down from Harrison however, he wasn't there so we scouted round for 10 mins before following completely the wrong person (fortunately in roughly the right direction) before realising our mistake and headed to Pavey Ark where we spotted him just reaching the summit.
NB for my Dad : Next time stay where you were meant to be OR at least don't wear a stone coloured jacket (he camouflaged into the fellside quite nicely even though he claimed to have been waving at us for ages.)
From Pavey we crossed the bog to Thunacar Knott and grabbed a bite to eat behind a small wall just to the right of the top. The wind was picking up at this point and made the long trudge upto High Raise harder that it should have been.
From High Raise we double back to pick up the path heading left down onto Sergeant Man. For such a small effort onto this peak, the views are extraordinary as the southern flank drops off dramatically with great views on towards Blea Rigg & Silver How.
It was now decison time as the original plan had been to press on to Tarn Crag on the left hand side of the Coledale Bowl. We decided this was probably a little bit too much for today and went for plan B heading directly for Blea Rigg instead.
On the descent it started to rain slightly and my Dad decided he'd had enough and wanted to take the descent from Stickle Tarn in his own time so we split at the base of Sergeant Man and myself and Andy crossed the ridge to Blea Rigg whilst my Dad headed down.
The ridge was very boggy on the way back form Blea Rigg as we skirted round lump after lump and headed back to Stickle Tarn ourselves before following the left hand side of the stream back down to the valley floor crossing to the right bank over the bridge by one of the ghylls waterfalls and dropping back to our start position.
A quick change out of the wet, swampy boots at the car and we met up with my Dad at the Stickle Barn over a nice pint of Hobgoblin.
A great walk in good company and although I fell 1 short of the 100, at least I've left the one which has a lovely walk up Sour Milk Ghyll from Grasmere for another time.
Which only leaves the question as to which I tackle as my 100th or maybe I try for another 8 in a row to claim both 100th and the half way point together. This probably leaves Skiddaw and surrounding summits based on my eclectic method of bagging so far.
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