Sunday, 27th July 2008

             

            

 

Walk: Langdale - Spedding Crag,  Silver How, Blea Rigg, Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Harrison Stickle, Pike O' Stickle, Loft Crag, Mark Gate, New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, Elterwater
Start Point: Walthwaite Bottom, Elterwater Grid Reference: NY 329 051
Distance: 12 miles Ascent: 3,377 feet
Time: 8.5 hours    
Weather: A bright and very sunny day with hardly any breeze - the hottest day of the year so far
Comments: The forecast was excellent and we were sure that the early morning mist encountered en route to Elterwater would burn off before too long. Sure enough, as we climbed Huntingstile Crag the mist disappeared and we had great views for the rest of the day - causing much discussion as to which top was which. However, about halfway between Silver How and Blea Rigg we encountered a view we did not expect - three bare topped fell runners (male, of course!) coming in the opposite direction, but on a path some distance from ours! Concentrating on our way forwards we encountered a couple of ladies (not bare topped!) seeking help in finding their path. Ray drew on his vast knowledge and pointed them in the right direction - ably supported by John who checked out the path for them. The elusive summit of Blea Rigg was finally tracked down before making our way towards Stickle Tarn where we spotted rock climbers just to the right of Jack's Rake. We opted for the less precarious route up North Rake - still a hard climb in the 'burning' sunshine.
Lunch was taken on Pavey Ark where Ray played 'King of the Castle' on a large boulder, whilst demonstrating the versatility of a large umbrella. After a short detour to Thunacar Knott (one for the Wainwright baggers) we made our way to Harrison Stickle and descended by the partly stepped path. With Pike O' Stickle now facing us the group pointed out to the leader that every time she brought them down from a Wainwright summit there was another climb waiting for them - she called it an 'undulating walk'! A short, sharp climb and scramble later, the views made it all worth while and all was forgiven (I think). Heading back down there was only a slight(ish) ascent to Loft Crag, from where the promise of a brief refreshment stop at New Dungeon Ghyll spurred everyone on. Suitably refreshed the three miles back along the valley took no time at all (well, about an hour).

Some comments from a couple of the walkers:
In the words of Wainwright “No mountain profile in Lakeland arrests and excites the attention more than that of the Langdale Pikes” and as six of us set off on this very well planned route in gorgeous weather conditions it was clear to us all why Wainwright was of this opinion.  The challenge of the steep scramble up Pavey Ark, which proved to be more strenuous due to the high temperature, was so worthwhile and rewarding with spectacular views of Lakeland in all directions. As we drove from the motorway it looked very much as if we were to have another day in the mist and clouds, but the sky had broken by the time we reached Elterwater. The day continued to get better from the moment we left the car park, all be it on what will have been one of the hottest days of the year, as we climbed all seven Wainwright’s and then dropped down Dungeon Ghyll for a welcome cold drink at the New Hotel.
Good company, conversation and a well planned route for us “baggers”


Scroll down to see photos of the walk

Silver How - our first Wainwright of the day

 

Grasmere and Rydal Water from Silver How

 

Grasmere village with Seat Sandal and Fairfield behind

 

John contemplates the Langdale Pikes . . .

 

which look a good distance away

 

The end of the Langdale Valley, overlooked by Pike O' Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Bow Fell

 

Three bare topped fell runners

 

Blea Rigg above the shelter . . .

 

our second Wainwright of the day . . .

 

and again from another angle

 

Drawing closer to Pavey Ark . . .

 

where we spot a couple of climbers on East Buttress, Pavey Ark, Jack's Rake showing up clearly on the left . . .

 

and another climber - you can just make out his rope stretching across from the right

 

Time for a pause on our way up North Rake

 

From Pavey Ark we look over Stickle Tarn outlet to Lingmoor Fell and the Langdale valley

 

Ray claims his 'rock' for lunch . . .

 

whilst demonstrating the versatility of his umbrella . . .

 

and playing 'King of the Castle'

 

We choose a much more 'sedate' spot for lunch

 

Sergeant Man catches the sun as we cross to Thunacar Knott . . .

 

and use the timer for a group shot

 

Time to test out how many summits you can name . . . 

 

zooming in on Great Gable and Green Gable

 

Scafell Pike

 

Kath poses at one of the cairns on Harrison Stickle

 

Looking back from Harrison Stickle we can see the ridge that we have walked along from Elterwater

 

Looking up to Pike O' Stickle

 

Are we nearly there yet?

 

Pike O' Stickle, with Harrison Stickle on the left and Loft Crag on the right

 

Loft Crag from Pike O' Stickle, with Lingmoor Fell on the right and Windermere in the distance

 

South Scree - the site of the stone axe factory

 

Harrison Stickle from Loft Crag - you can clearly see one of the paths of descent running across the base

 

Lingmoor Fell, Side Pike and Blea Tarn

 

The Langdale Valley looks spectacular on our way down

 

Time for well-earned refreshments . . .

 

before our return along the valley . . .

 

and a last look back to where we have been

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