Mountain and Fell Walks
1 Langdale Pikes via Jack's Rake
This will take you about 4 hours, and you
need the Ordnance Survey map OL6 to take this walk. The details given here
are only an
outline which will help you plan your route.
The Langdale Pikes are one of the most popular and accessible high level
walks in the Lakes - and with good reason. The ascent is never dull, the
scenery magnificent, and the rewards of reaching the top great. The climb
is fairly stiff, but anyone in reasonable condition should be able to do
this without too much difficulty.
Jack's Rake is a challenge, and if you have any doubt about your ability
to complete it, you should leave it well alone. Certainly do not attempt
it when the mist is down or the rain is falling - it's far too slippery to
take a chance. That said, it's great fun for most reasonably strong fell
walkers, and my 15 year old son loved it.
The walk starts at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. Behind the inn you'll find
a gate leading to two tracks, of which you want the right hand one, the
one that climbs directly up the west bank of Stickle Ghyll.
You soon cross the water as the track
continues to ascend steeply. There's another crossing before you finally
arrive at Stickle Tarn - a popular place for a picnic. The last time my
companion and I had lunch there we found we'd left the corkscrew at home
and the sardine can opener broke off as we opened the can. We feasted on
bread and cheese and water from the tarn and took the other components of our lunch home again.
You can get a sense of Jacks' Rake at this
point by walking clockwise around the tarn and crossing the scree until
you arrive at the diagonal line of the Rake. It goes upwards to the left
across the face of the cliff at roughly forty-five degrees.
If you're in
the mood, it's a highly entertaining scramble, but note that it gets
harder as you go higher. At first, the Rake is almost like a staircase,
enclosed between two walls of rock, but near the top there are awkward
boulders to cross and a choice of several scrambles to take you to the top
of the Rake, which emerges southwest of the top of Pavey Ark.
If you don't want the challenge and
excitement of Jack's Rake, take the path along the side of the tarn and
follow it up to the summit plateau of Harrison Stickle.
After resting and celebrating your triumph
over Jack's Rake, you can walk across the higher ground to the summit of
Follow the path down in a west-north-west direction to a wide col. There's
a short but steep ascent to the top of Pike O'Stickle. There are traces of
ancient archaeology here: and indeed, many years ago, a companion and I
discovered a stone axe head on the descent from Pike O'Stickle - proof
that Neolithic man was indeed resident in the Lakes.
From here, you
traverse the boggy reaches of Hartcrag Moor to Stake Pass, from where you
can see the path down - it's a roughish descent, and can be hard on the
knees, although it is much improved since the renovations of a few years
ago. Go down Stake Gill to Mickleden. You'll see the Old Dungeon Ghyll
hotel and you can follow the path directly to it. You can then go back to
the starting point of the walk for refreshments.
Jack's Rake - Dangers
before you go!
A four hour walk which explores the beauty
of Lingmell. Use the OS Map Explorer OL6 to plan your route - this is only
an outline of the walk.
This is a challenging walk and you need to be both cool-headed and fairly
experienced to complete it. The starting point is the walkers' car park
just south of Wasdale Head. There's a waymarked route in a north easterly
direction signposted to Great Gable, which reaches Burnthwaite farm after
about 800 metres. You take a left turn just before you get to the
farmhouse to pass through a gate onto the Moses Trod. Stick to the main
path and ignore any side trails: you want to be heading east.
One kilometre on, the main path climbs to
Sty Head. However, you want the branch alongside the beck and you follow
this until the beck divides into two streams, approximately one kilometre
upstream. Cross over the left hand stream as you look at them and follow
the path alongside the right hand stream. This will eventually take you
into the depths of the Piers Ghyll ravine.
The path begins to get difficult when you
reach the rugged vertical crags on the ghyll side. The path turns away
from the chasm and up a buttress via a series of polished steps. Have fun
with the scramble over the ledges and rocks until you reach the easier
ground where Piers Ghyll turns through ninety degrees and becomes less
deep. It's a short walk on the rough ground at the top of the ghyll to the
junction of several tracks. Take the track leading west for only 100
metres before you turn right to a wall, which you follow until you get to
Lingmell col. You can then climb northwest until you reach the summit, at
which sage you will have been walking for about three hours.
Your descent lies along the west ridge. The
simplest option on this confusing terrain is to initially keep to
the north of Goats Crag, bearing in mind that you subsequently need to
bear southwest and cross the an old wall before you head west-south-west
over the slope of the plateau. You'll see that the ridge soon becomes much
more clearly defined, and after you've passed over some rough terrain
there's a smooth and easy descent alongside the wall. Hop over the stile
and go on for 300 metres or so until you reach a wide path from the north.
You can take this path until you reach a footbridge over the beck, at
which point you cross the beck and head back to the starting point of the