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... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.


Postby trailmasher » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:44 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pavey Ark, Pike o'Stickle, Thunacar Knott

Hewitts included on this walk: Harrison Stickle, Pike o' Stickle

Date walked: 15/11/2017

Time taken: 4.33

Distance: 14.76 km

Ascent: 911m

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After Chris's easy walk in the Howgills last Saturday he wanted something a bit more demanding so I suggested that he himself choose the walk, he chose to do the Langdale Pikes, a great choice, with the chance of maybe bagging a couple of Birkett's on the edge of Rossett Crag and Black Crags that are Buck Pike and Black Crag respectively.

We drew into the National Trust car park by the Old Dungeon Ghyll to join another two vehicles, one of them being a small Vauxhall van from which two lads emerged having spent the night in it and who proceeded to unload various bits of equipment ready for their day out in the mountains. As we were getting ready Chris did his usual thing and had a sandwich and a quick drink as he had already been up and about on the road since 5:30am this morning.

It was a gloriously sunny day; a great day for walking, but in spite of this the temperature was a low 1°c requiring the use of a warm top layer until we got warmed up on the climb up Stickle Ghyll as we made our way to the magnificent Langdale Pikes, the first one on this trip being Pavey Ark sitting behind Stickle Tarn.

Leaving the car park we walked back to the ODG access lane and almost immediately turned first right along the path that sits in between the ODG and Middle Fell Farm. Going through another small gate at the other end of the path put us onto the long path that would take us to the start of the climb alongside Stickle Ghyll that runs from its source at Stickle Tarn.

The path follows the wall and is good throughout and allowed us good views along the valley as it follows the line of the ridge to our left all the way along until it drops down slightly at the Red Bank road before climbing again on its way to the summit of Loughrigg.

ImageThe sweeping ridge from Stickle Ghyll to near Loughrigg Fell

We soon passed the old barn that comes in handy when stuck for somewhere to get your head down and reached the gate just before the path begins to drop down to Stickle Ghyll, and not wanting to lose height turned to the north to follow the path alongside the wall to arrive at the side of the rock strewn bed of Dungeon Ghyll as it runs out of the narrow, tree lined defile from its source in Harrison Combe and makes its way down between Harrison Stickle and Loft Crag.

ImagePike Howe and Harrison Stickle

So far the path from the gate has been a steady climb but from the ghyll, and as we approached Miller Crag - from where we had a decent view into Langdale - …

ImageSoutheast along Langdale

it begins to get considerably steeper, especially so as we left the wall behind, but the path is good and has been laid with stone pitching for a fair amount of its length making it a lot easier on the steeper parts. It was also from near here where we got a good look at the waterfalls and of Tarn Crag towering on the skyline.

ImageThe waterfalls on Stickle Ghyll

As we climbed ever higher the fells to the south across Langdale came more into view with Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike becoming more prominent with a bank of low cloud hanging just above ground level at the far end of Langdale itself.

ImageLangdale and Lingmoor Fell from below Tarn Crag

It was very warm in the confines of Stickle Ghyll and we had shed a layer well before we had reached this point and was now looking like another one would be going into the bag. We were the only ones climbing on the west side of the ghyll but there were quite a few climbing up on the opposite bank and like us stopping for a look back now and again. Opposite Tarn Crag is where the path eases off a lot before starting the last and final pull up to Stickle Tarn and the massive south wall of Pavey Ark with the famed route of Jack's Rake seen like a thin grassy scar running diagonally up it from right to left.

ImagePavey Ark across Stickle Tarn

The tarn was as smooth as glass as we walked over the last bit of path to arrive at the outlet that we had to cross by the many convenient stones lying in the water at that point and it was on the east side that we decided to take a break and enjoy a drink before embarking on the next bit of climbing up to the summit of Pavey Ark by the North Rake.

We sat and chatted to a fellow walker as a couple with their dog arrived to join us, the dog all but pulling the lady over as they crossed the tarns outlet. Whilst we were resting I took the opportunity to take some photos of Harrison Stickle as well as Pavey Ark.

ImageHarrison Stickle

ImagePavey Ark reflection in Stickle Tarn

Suitably watered and rested we then set off for the North Rake by way of the path around the east side of the tarn to reach a large area of bog that had to be circled around at a fair distance…

ImageBoggy on the Pavey Ark path at Stickle Tarn

but from where a decent view of both Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark could be seen.

ImagePavey Ark and Harrison Stickle

At this point and as happened in the Howgills I'm not too happy about the quality of photos as the camera doesn't appear to be focusing correctly. I usually take two shots of the same scene to compare quality and have seen that one shot may be alright but the next one taken immediately afterwards is altogether different and some of the shots don't appear to be clear enough, looking rather flat and slightly hazy, sometimes burnt out in the lighter areas. I've been persevering for the last 12 months so maybe time to execute the threat of buying a new camera PDQ.

We started the climb up the North Rake that is quite rough in places and well marked with cairns with scree and some mild scrambling to make it interesting and with Sonny being a little younger and having four legs always seemed to be in the lead.

ImageCmon you two

As we passed the top of Easy Gully we had a great view over to Windermere and across the fells towards Silver Howe but we waited until we got to the summit before taking any pictures of the great scene around us.

ImageThe wet top of Pavey Ark

The top of Pavey Ark is very big and knobbly with a scattering of short dry stone walls that help to give the sheep some shelter when it's needed.

ImageStickle Tarn-Lingmoor Fell-Langdale-Windermere

ImageHarrison Stickle from Pavey Ark

From Pavey Ark we were going to make our way across to the northwest and Thunacar Knot.

ImageThunacar Knott ahead with Esk Pike to the left

We left Pavey Ark by a path that runs along the edge of the cliff face before turning to the northwest to cross over some wet ground before starting the short but easy climb that initially passes through a rocky area before taking to the more grassy slopes of Thunacar Knott. Fifteen minutes later we were standing at the summit cairn where Chris was in summit posing mood again after missing out on one from the last summit. On the way and looking to the north High Raise and Sergeant Man was in full view.

ImageHigh Raise and Sergeant Man

The view from the summit of Thunacar Knott is nothing short of amazing with unrestricted views in all directions, except perhaps north where the haze and distance kept a view from the far fells at bay.

ImageSouth view towards Harrison Stickle-Pike of Blisco- Bow Fell and more

ImageChris on Thunacar Knott with Pavey Ark behind

ImageSouth towards Pike of Stickle and Loft Crag

Thunacar Knott was not one of Wainwright's best choices for a mountain summit even though the views from there are magnificent as it's really just a grass and rock covered hump that lies between High Raise and the Langdale Pikes and I'm sure that many of you could name a few worthier tops and in some ways is hardly worth the effort in taking a diversion from Pavey Ark instead of continuing straight on to Harrison Stickle. Okay, it's got an altitude of 723 metres but it's still only a hump on the long fellside between the two aforementioned tops.

Leaving Thunacar Knott behind we left to walk south along a grassy path and within 10 minutes we had reached Harrison Stickle, a great mound of rock and boulders with a fair covering of grass on its lower slopes. There is a wettish patch of ground to pass over on the way but mostly walking on the path soon had us climbing up the stony path to the summit where there was a couple of other walkers enjoying the views. The summit is mostly rock with patches of grass scattered about and plenty of water lying in the small rocky hollows.

ImageBow Fell etc behind Pike of Stickle

ImageHarrison Stickle with Windermere behind

ImageThe large expanse of Harrison Stickle summit

ImageGreat Gable-Great End and neighbours from Harrison Stickle

We left by the rough path that is partly paved in its lower reaches down its west side down to Harrison Combe and once down there we then turned south along some vague paths to make our way to Loft Crag.

ImageA view across Harrison Combe to Loft Crag-Pike of Stickle and Bow Fell

Once across the Combe we made for the scree slope at the base of the crag on the east face whereupon Chris did nothing but whinge all the way up saying that he hated this sort of stuff.

ImageRough path on the east side of Loft Crag

Right enough, it's a bit rough but after all, it is the Lake District Mountains. Anyway despite his constant moaning we soon arrived at the summit of this one after finishing the stroll up on grass where there is a fair sized cairn tumbling over one of the summit outcrops of rock.

ImageChris with Sonny in hand on Loft Crag

At some point between Pavey Ark and Thunacar Knott the sun had been replaced by cloud with the temperature dropping to suit, and with a high of only 6°c when we got back to the ODG it was now fairly cool on the Langdales but until now we had been warm enough with the walking and climbing onto the summits. Here at Loft Crag summit there was a cold wind and I felt really chilled whilst on there, cold enough to put my Primaloft back on for comfort against the cold air.

Needless to say the views from here are no less dramatic than from the other tops that we have been on today despite the cloud haze that has diminished the longer views.

ImageHarrison Stickle from Loft Crag

ImageSoutheast over Lingmoor Fell-Side Pike and Blea Tarn

We left Loft Crag by the northwest face walking down a decent enough path to follow it all the way in the same direction to Pike of Stickle, that large dome of rock that is so recognisable from many places in the mountains and would be the last summit of the day for us.

ImagePike of Stickle-Rossett Gill and Rossett Pike

We passed the easy way up by the path on the left and continued to the foot of the scramble where we met a young couple who were having a problem finding their way back down but after a bit of guidance from below they both arrived safely at the bottom, the girl on hers.

Before we went up the short scramble Chris voiced his concerns as to whether Sonny would be able to get up the rocks and me being a very concerning sort of person said to just leave him and he would find his own way up just as my dog did on his first visit to here. We dropped our bags and started the climb up with Sonny making a fuss about being left behind and then with no more ado he set off and passed the pair of us to reach the summit before us, con artist.

The sun had gone, the wind was cold, and there was a haze spoiling the far distant views. O for a bright and clear sunny day that would make this scene even more majestic than it is just now.

ImageLoft Crag from Pike of Stickle

A small cairn adorns the highest rocky outcrop with a handy wind shelter just to one side and the top is much larger than it appears from a distance, not massive but big enough for a bit of a stroll about.

ImageChris on Pike of Stickle

ImageHarrison Stickle and Loft Crag from Pike of Stickle

As we left the summit Chris elected to use the easy path down with Sonny whilst I chose the proper man's way down and upon meeting again settled down for a bite to eat and in my case, a warm drink, this being our first proper break of the day so far.

Whilst taking the break we discussed how we were going to leave these mountains behind, either by one of the paths leaving Loft Crag or a bit further back by Thorn Crag both of which would put us back at the foot of Dungeon Ghyll and was the shortest way to go. The alternative that was on the original itinerary was to cross Martcrag Moor to the top of Stake Pass and continue along the ridge towards Rossett Pike collecting the couple of Birkett's on the way and then descending by way of the path that runs below Black Crags to pick up Stake Pass as it descends into Langdale.

ImageScattered tarns on Martcrag Moor

To make the walk a little longer and to give Chris more value for his time travelling from the Northeast we elected to take the route across the Moor but omitting the two Birkett's as they can be done on another day in the future. Leaving Pike of Stickle by the way we had arrived at the summit we then took the good path as it swung around to roughly north passing more or less over the highest point of the large expanse of reddish brown grass with a look back at the summit we had just left hanging onto the edge of the fellside.

ImagePike of Stickle across Martcrag Moor

As we had decided not to cross over to the opposite ridge of Rossett Crag etc we left the path at more or less its highest point and picked up the Stake Pass/Cumbria Way path in Langdale Combe opposite Mansey Pike from where we had a steady walk down the mixture of pitched stone and just stony path into Mickleden at the head of the Langdale Valley.

ImageMickleden from Stake Gill

Once we were down at the footbridge over Mickleden Beck it was but an easy meander down the Cumbria Way back to the car park and bar of the ODG collecting this last photo of the Pike of Stickle on our way back.

ImagePike of Stickle from the bottom of Stake Pass

A walk in the Langdale Pikes is always a good day out and this was no exception to that and although I have been amongst them in all weathers from fog to blizzards a clear sunny day is the best time to catch them. Today was a good day even though the views were a little restricted by the haze and probably my camera lens that I can't seem to sort out. A cold and sunny start that didn't last much longer than it took to get to Thunacar Knott but all in all not a bad day out at all despite the very cold wind that blew over Loft Crag. These hills have been busy today, not in your face busy, as most of the other walkers were only seen from a distance. We met one lady near the ODG that was waiting for her husband whom she had dropped off at Grasmere and was now waiting to collect him as he came off the fells in Langdale.

We've done almost 15 kilometres, Sonny around 30, but he is still bouncing about as though he has just started his walk and was more than pleased to meet several other dogs in the bar of the ODG where other walkers had likewise ideas of depleting the stocks of ale currently held in the cellars.
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trailmasher
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:10 pm

Been far too long since I've done the Langdale Pikes, a great day out as your pics show. Really like the shot of the falls in Stickle Gill.
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby thefallwalker » Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:11 pm

Ha Ha! :lol: "Chris did nothing but whinge all the way up saying that he hated this sort of stuff"
Well I would rather have no path than loose scree & taking 2 steps back for every 1 up :crazy:
Definitely up there amongst my favourite days out this 1 bud :D
Decent weather, decent company, & a nice pint at the end :)
The view upon getting to Stickle Tarn is amazing & a must do for all who haven't had the privilege to get up there yet.
For me the best part of the day was being passed by the blur (Sonny) on the scramble to the top of Pike o' Stickle after I said he couldn't do it, how wrong I was :lol:
"We've done almost 15 kilometres, Sonny around 30, but he is still bouncing about as though he has just started his walk and was more than pleased to meet several other dogs in the bar of the ODG"
I really need to get him a tracker to see how far he does actually do, because in the ODG you would of thought he hadn't been out :lol: however he slept when we got home! :o
cheers TM! :clap:
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby dav2930 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:15 pm

Looked a grand day out in nice November sunshine TM - Langdale Pikes are always good for a bit of excitement. Some great shots too; I like the one of Pavey Ark reflected in a mirror-calm Stickle Tarn. Great stuff :clap:
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:42 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:Been far too long since I've done the Langdale Pikes, a great day out as your pics show. Really like the shot of the falls in Stickle Gill.


It's a fair old drive Anthony but well worth it :) and it was a splendid day out :D Thanks for your comments much appreciated :D and my waterfall isn't a patch on yours of Scale Force, it's a cracker :clap:
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:46 pm

dav2930 wrote:Looked a grand day out in nice November sunshine TM - Langdale Pikes are always good for a bit of excitement. Some great shots too; I like the one of Pavey Ark reflected in a mirror-calm Stickle Tarn. Great stuff :clap:


Thanks very much dav :D and it was a great day for a walk :thumbup: re the Pavey Ark reflection shot, the wife wanted me to bin it :-P have they no idea :?
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby trailmasher » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:50 pm

thefallwalker wrote:Ha Ha! :lol: "Chris did nothing but whinge all the way up saying that he hated this sort of stuff"
Well I would rather have no path than loose scree & taking 2 steps back for every 1 up :crazy:
Definitely up there amongst my favourite days out this 1 bud :D
Decent weather, decent company, & a nice pint at the end :)
The view upon getting to Stickle Tarn is amazing & a must do for all who haven't had the privilege to get up there yet.
For me the best part of the day was being passed by the blur (Sonny) on the scramble to the top of Pike o' Stickle after I said he couldn't do it, how wrong I was :lol:
"We've done almost 15 kilometres, Sonny around 30, but he is still bouncing about as though he has just started his walk and was more than pleased to meet several other dogs in the bar of the ODG"
I really need to get him a tracker to see how far he does actually do, because in the ODG you would of thought he hadn't been out :lol: however he slept when we got home! :o
cheers TM! :clap:


Next time out with you mate I'm taking ear defenders :lol: :lol: on a good note I'm pleased that you enjoyed the day :clap: and from what I can gather Sonny won't be able to run very fast at all next time you're on shore, poor little pup :thumbdown: Thanks for your comments much appreciated :D
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby Alteknacker » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:31 am

Nice to see these beauties in green!

I've only "seen" them in clag-shrouded white!

IMG_0151 resized.jpg


Not quite as good as your pic from more or less the same point :) - (which I really like, BTW)
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby trailmasher » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:07 pm

Alteknacker wrote:Nice to see these beauties in green!

I've only "seen" them in clag-shrouded white!

IMG_0151 resized.jpg


Not quite as good as your pic from more or less the same point :) - (which I really like, BTW)


First couple of times for me was similar Alte with clag on one and snow on the 2nd :( :( but it is worth the effort to get up there on a good day which I've had on my last few visits :)

Thanks very much for your kind comments re the photo :clap: , much appreciated :D makes it all worthwhile trying :)
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby martin.h » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:51 am

A good day like this just has to be topped off in the ODG, one of the best pubs in Lakeland, great report and some really nice photo's.
Re the new camera idea, have you thought of buying second hand? I've just got a Panny lumix GF1 (a CSC) and lens in very good cond for £100 so you don't have to spend a fortune, it's an oldish design but the image quality is great :D
Cheers.
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Re: ... and afterwards, a drink in the ODG.

Postby trailmasher » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:46 pm

martin.h wrote:A good day like this just has to be topped off in the ODG, one of the best pubs in Lakeland, great report and some really nice photo's.
Re the new camera idea, have you thought of buying second hand? I've just got a Panny lumix GF1 (a CSC) and lens in very good cond for £100 so you don't have to spend a fortune, it's an oldish design but the image quality is great :D
Cheers.


I've stayed overnight at the ODG and makes for a long night and a hard day on the hills tomorrow :lol: :lol:
I had a Panny Lumix and the lens motor packed in so now a bit wary of them :? but thanks for the advice and will look around :)
Thanks very much for your comments, most welcome :D
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