NY294064 Behind the New Dungeon Ghyll, go through the gate on the footpath that leads out on to the grassy hillside, then through another gate to start your ascent of Stickle Ghyll with the river on your right. Continue on a good, clear, flagstone path, crossing the river at the bridge and continuing up the valley with the river now on your left. Get your scrambling eye in by practising on rocks around the river and Tarn Crag, before you reach the dam at Stickle Tarn.
NY288075 At the dam, follow the now gravelly path to the right. Keep following the tarn edge, ignoring three other paths leading away from Pavey Ark, unless you want to avoid the scramble, in which case take the third path heading north with Bright Beck on your left. For the scramble, head towards Pavey Ark following the clear but un-mapped path around the tarn. The boulders are huge here, and a clear diagonal path up into the cliffs emerges.
NY286079 The scramble begins easily with steep rock steps, then the groove narrows, forcing you to use your hands as you gain height. The way up is clear, and you’ll aim towards an ash tree for the first 100m or so. After the tree the scrambling becomes intermittent as you ascend a series of ledges, then some final grippy boulders to the top. Before you top out, get the obligatory photo hanging off the sharp rock (top-right) that makes it look like you’re over a cliff edge!
NY284078 Beware of high winds at the top, and maybe pop a jacket on beforehand. Top out, congratulate yourself on the scramble, then turn left to head south-west then south towards Harrison Stickle, with Stickle Tarn below. The path undulates along the grassy, rocky plateau, then ascends this 736m pike on a well-travelled rocky path. Turn right at the top to descend to a stream and reascend Pike of Stickle, an even rockier, 709m peak with some fun, short scramble routes to the summit.
NY273073 At Pike of Stickle’s summit, if you’re running out of time (or parched), you can turn back and descend to the south-east via Loft Crag, down Mark Gate. However, this route assumes you want to really deserve your pint and suggests you enjoy the views a little longer with a knee-friendly, grassy descent along the moor at the top of Mart Crag to meet the Cumbria Way at Pile of Stones.
NY265086 At Pile of Stones, turn left into Langdale Combe and follow the very clear Cumbria Way path’s flagstones down Stake Gill. Turn left at the bottom to cross the footbridge and turn right, still on the Cumbria Way, which will take you all the way along Mickleden Beck to the New Dungeon Ghyll below Raven Crag and a patch of pine woodland. Enjoy your first pint (or two, I’m not judging) here, before picking up the Cumbria Way again and heading back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll for plenty more post-walk rehydration.
Striking a heroic pose near the top of Jack’s Rake.