SEVEN A DAY - LANGDALE SCRAMBLES
Here’s a super scrambling round in Langdale for those staying at Raw Head who enjoy bridging the gap between walking and climbing. 7 super scrambles in 7 hours or thereabouts! You’ll need Brian Evan’s Cicerone 2005 edition ‘Scrambles in the Lake District’ Volume 1 Southern, rather than the earlier editions. Route numbers below refer to this book.
1) Pootle up the road from Raw Head to the New Dungeon Gill. Just behind the NDG get straight into Route 9 - Stickle (Mill) Gill (Grade 1).
2) Exit before the footbridge part way up to pick up the start of Route 13 - Tarn Crag Gill (Grade 2). If you’re like me and a bit wary of slippery rock, avoid a few wet foot pools or dodgy bits such as the ‘athletic climb easier than it looks’ by coming out of the gill where necessary.
3) The end of the gill deposits you below the east end of Tarn Crag. Head left and up towards the crag and identify the start of Route 10 - The Groove (Grade 3) or Route 11 - The Spur (Grade 2). These are located above the lowest crags at the level of the newish laid path; the holly tree referred to for route 10 is about 3m tall, the detached sloping pinnacle for route 11 being 30m to its right.
4) Descend to the Stickle Tarn path, go anticlockwise round the tarn and follow it to the eastern edge of Pavey Ark crossing Bright Beck for Route 17 - Pavey Far East (Grade 2).
5) After exiting at the top of Easy Gully, meander over Pavey directly towards Pike O Stickle right hand (Stake Pass) side. Drop down to obvious start Route 25 - West Ridge Pike O’ Stickle (Grade 3) or further to Route 26 - West Gully Ribs, Pike O’ Stickle (Grade 2) noting easy to overshoot the start of the latter.
6) Finishing on summit of Pike O’ Stickle, toddle over Loft and Thorn Crags and start down Dungeon Gill on the Harrison Stickle side to Route 19 - South West Face Harrison Stickle (Grade 2), noting book suggestion to keep well right further on for best scrambling.
7) Now normal folks are back in their b&b’s etc, walk from Harrison Stickle summit back to Pavey summit in evening sunshine and descend Route 16 - Jack’s Rake (Grade 1) which is no problem with only a few bits of facing in required. Down the ‘tourist route’ to the NDG for a pint or if still full of energy, on to Blea Rigg and find one of the several elusive routes directly back to Raw Head!
There are other scrambling variations to fill a Langdale day, but note that Route 5 South East Gully on Gimmer whilst being super, I at least would consider tingly Grade 3 rather than Grade 2 – there are some big steps and plummets and it is a climber’s Moderate descent grade after all!
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