A lake district classic, with sustained scrambling all the way to the top, located in the fantastic Landgdale valley.
The exposure on this route is quite high and the risk of a fall would be fatal, so please do take care if you are attempting this in the wet.
In wet weather a stream runs down here so some of the holds get a bit slippy so be careful. Otherwise a nice scramble to the top. Not advised in snowy conditions without the proper equipment.
Start/Finish: New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel (google maps link)
The route follows the River Ashop until the banks lower and you see the top of Kinder Scout. You then cross the river, and make your way into Nether Red Brook. From here you can ascend each alternative finish on the way up (descending to reach the next in turn) or stick to the brook the whole way to do the grade 1 route.
Descend by following the edge of Kinder Scout, around Fairbrook Naze, and down Fairbrook to the Snakes Inn again.
Make your way up to Stickle Tarn from the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel, following the path that crosses Stickle Ghyll twice before reaching the top at the Tarn
The views from here are fantastic, and you can see a clear line of what you will have to tackle straight ahead. On Pavey Ark you can clearly make out a diagonal line running upwards from right to left.
From Stickle Tarn outlet, skirt the right hand side of the tarn on the main path but leave it after crossing the second beck to continue around the shore on a fainter path. Strike upwards after a short distance weaving between boulders and then up scree to the bottom of both Jack’s Rake and Easy Gully. Jack’s Rake is on the left and Easy gully goes directly upwards on a loose path to the right of Pavey’s East Buttress.
Jack’s Rake starts as a trough which is often wet but has positive holds, although there are frequent alternative (and often better) holds on the more exposed left side of the trough.
This is enjoyable and classic Grade 1 territory which is deservedly popular, so it’s worth giving any parties above you a bit of space in case in case of dislodged stones. After a slight levelling the rake continues in much the same vein until a substantial ledge is reached at the bottom of Gwynne’s Chimney (Diff), beyond which is the finish of the classic Crescent Climb (G3+). This is a good spot to enjoy the exposure and the view (at the time of writing this was not the case because of a rather smelly ex-sheep).
Follow the short path along the ledge to a steep little step, which can prove a bit awkward but leads to pleasant scrambling beyond, including the choice of following a cleft and bridging past a chockstone or taking the arete on its left.
On reaching Great Gully, the path leads a short way up the gully (from here a couple of harder direct finishes can be contrived) before continuing leftwards.
There are a few lines which can be followed: one involves a slight exposed descent before reascending directly up a groove on good holds; while a higher line reaches a square-cut block which requires a little thought to ascend, especially for those of shorter stature.
From here climb good rough slabs (more awkward in the wet) ascending and trending leftwards towards the pinnacle on the upper left skyline.
The scramble peters out close to the walkers path between Pavey Ark Summit and Harrison Stickle. The summit of Pavey Ark is a short distance to the right over rocky ground.
Descent, Alternative Approaches & Continuations
Stickle Tarn can be approached via several scrambles, most obviously up the Ghyll from the Sticklebarn. Alternatives include Tarn Crag Gill and either the East Rib or The Groove on Tarn Crag.
To lengthen the scrambling interest after reaching the Tarn but before enjoying Jack’s Rake, Pavey Far East is an entertaining G2 route before descending Easy Gully (negotiating a descent of the tricky chockstone en route) to the base of Jack’s Rake.
Continuation Scrambles on Harrison Stickle and/or Pike of Stickle spice up a round of the Langdale Pikes.
A simple descent can be made down the slopes between Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark to get the Stickle Tarn, then following it down the ascent route.
Recommended Guidebook & Map
The best guidebook for this route is found in the Scrambles in the Lake District – South (Cicerone) book, which is available via Paperback or Kindle Book here.
The best map for this route is the Ordinance Survey OL6, The English Lakes, South-Western Area, available on Amazon here.
Recommended Scrambling Guide: (coming soon)
Best Accommodation: New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel
Located at the bottom of the route, and being very walker friendly, makes this hotel the obvious choice.
You can book their rooms + others for cheap on Booking.com here.
There are also camp sites in the Langdale valley, which can offer very cheap accommodation.
Route Contributed by: John Walker
BIO: I subscribe to Alex Lowe’s adage that “the best climber in the world is the one having the most fun”.
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