Lakeland Delight
2013 - June - 07

Our Walk Stickle Ghyll Pavey Ark Mickleden Beck Data : This Walk Flash Back Data : All Walks Read Me

Our Walk

This walk took in the rocky ascent of Stickle Ghyll, the tranquil beauty of Stickle Tarn, and the majestic view points of Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and the Landgale Pikes themselves. Descent was via the Stake Pass leading on to the wide Mickleden Valley, itself a landcape changing, almost at a moment's notice, in tune with the ever changing pattern of sunshine and clouds.

Pavey Ark: It's time for a well earned break. A lunch break with a view.

Stickle Ghyll

It's a pleasant bus ride from Ambleside to the furthest point west that a bus dare go hereabouts. Once "debussed", we forge forward on the level before tackling Stickle Ghyll - rocks, water, gradients and all. Views to the south unfold as we make our steady ascent. Memories of CLOG visits past accompany some of us as we rise to the challenge.

We have had our scenic bus ride and now we let our feet do the work.

A serpentine "follow-my-leader" (Ralph today) ensues along the valley.

We scale the heights and pause by this bridge.

Ralph is in seemingly pensive mood, perhaps contemplating the way ahead.

Looking back, we see a non-Cloggie photographing some sheep which are just about discernable in this rocky splendor. Managing sheep in these open spaces appears to be a well practiced and centuries old art espoused by the sheep farmers in these climes.

This is where we have just come up.
To the south is Lingmoor Fell ... and there are other fells besides.

Ralph seems to be urging participants to even greater rocky endeavours.

We have reached the top of Stickle Ghyll,
where the waters of Stickle Tarn begin their downward journey.

Ark, Stickle and Pikes

Ahead the scenery has the appearance of gentle rocky undulations. However, to the right we shall shortly be embarking on a steep, but doable, ascent. In reasonably quick succession the Langdale peaks and pikes unfold their secrets - the breathtaking views that reward those that are physically able and are prepared to invest the necessary footwork.

We skirt around one end of Stickle Tarn ...

... admiring the reflections in the clear still water.
And then there no more pictures until we have risen to higher things.

It always instills a sense of the dramatic to see standing on a rocky outcrop a human sillouetted against the landscape - even if that human is not a Cloggie!
We have more or less scaled the heights of Pavey Ark ...

... and this is the view that greets our eyes.
The dam marking the top of Stickle Ghyll takes centre stage.

It's time for a well earned break. A lunch break with a view.

This rock may have been poised here for centuries. It would make no uncertain splash in the Stickle Tarn below, but so far, the forces of nature have practiced ballistic restraint.

We have reached Harrison Stickle, gradually edging our way around Stickle Tarn.

There is a good view towards the sunny south.

Another soaking up of the view and then we are on our way.
However, it's really too good to hurry with a vengeance.

We wend our way towards Stake Pass ...

... across interestingly textured ground.

We halt a while to admire the Skiddaw and Blencathra ranges near Keswick.

And here is the view once more, a view that emphasises the openess and starkness that characterises the Lake District in its higher reaches.

Mickleden Beck

Now I am back on familiar territory, territory I experienced on Easter Sunday, 2009. Tempus irreparabile fugit. As we descend into the Mickleden Beck Valley, the valley gradually widens out, exhibiting its many lighting effects - lighting effects that change with the sun and the clouds. Old Dungeon Ghyll awaits - and that means a nice long cool drink, and an icecream or so, before we board the bus for our journey back to Ambleside.

Here we look towards the highest point on Stake Pass, a point where some paths meet.

I trod this self same path more than four years ago. Soon we shall reach the wide expanse of the valley of the Mickleden Beck.

The wide valley of the Mickleden Beck is in sombre mood.

The wide valley of the Mickleden Beck is in much lighter mood.

The Old Dungeon Ghyll pub has welcomed hikers for many a year. Today it welcomes us. We are enjoying our drinks and locally produced ice cream. We have enough time to savour the pleasant evening before catching our bus back. And so ends our first full day.

Flash Back to Four Years Ago

Some of this walk was already in the realm of the familiar, but this did not detract from the pleasure of the walk itself. On April 10 (Good Friday), 2009, Gavin led a CLOG walk from the newly renovated Butharlyp Howe YHA in Grasmere, via Grasmere Common and the Stickle Ghyll to the New Dungeon Ghyll and back to Grasmere. On Easter Sunday (April 12) 2009, John B. led a walk from Rosthwaite, along Borrowdale, over the Stake Pass, down Mickleden Beck and on to Grasmere.

Features of Today's Walk

After a level walk to New Dungeon Ghyll, we scaled the rocky gradient of the roaring Stickle Ghyll and, as a contrast, were then able to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere exuded by the Stickle Tarn. A steep climb brought us to the top of Pavey Ark from where we had good views south towards Lingwood Fell. After more good views courtesy of the Harrison Stickle and the Langdale Pikes, it was back to familiar territory - that part of the Cumbria Way which joins Stake Pass to Old Dungeon Ghyll, via the broad valley of the Mickleden Beck. Here you will see the map and heights relating to this walk; for data on all our walks, please click here.

The walk yielded 8 anti-clockwise miles (about 13 Km) of beautiful Lakeland scenery.

The steep climbs up Stickle Ghyll and Pavey Ark were certainly worth it!