Elterwater - Grasmere
6 - 7 hours
This is the peak bagging day of the trip. After leaving the Langdale Hotel the route heads out along the old tracks down Langdale to the hotel at the foot of Stickle Gill. From here a fairly stiff climb gives access to the dramatic crag ringed corrie occupied by Stickle Tarn. Unlikely as it might seem standing amongst all the towering crags there is a sneaky route to the surrounding summits from the tarn. It leads in zig-zags to the dip between Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark from where both peaks can easily be gained. The obvious diagonal line that cuts across the crags of Pavey Ark is Jack's Rake which is a popular scramble. The rest of the crag provides top quality rock climbs. Having summited these two a big loop takes in Thunacar Knott and Sergeant Man, and then heads down, via Blea Rigg and Easedale Tarn, to the pastoral beauty of Grasmere and the welcome sight of the Wordsworth Hotel where a lovely, refreshing pint of Cumberland Ale awaits you!
Before setting off please make sure you plot the suggested route on OS maps and pack a compass. They are essential for a safe, enjoyable day in the hills!
1. From the Langdale Hotel head up the valley road for 500m to join the Cumbria Way. Follow over New Bridge and onwards towards Oak Howe. Continue past taking the path (not the bridleway) to Side House. From Side House take the Cumbria Way to the main valley road. Turn right off the Cumbria Way and follow the bridleway crossing Langdale Beck to join the valley road near the New Hotel.
2. Enter the main public car park, and at the top end, beside the WC join the Stickle Gill Path. The path climbs a steepening route up the side of the beck all the way up to the dam at Stickle Tarn.
3. Cross the dam and make your way around the side of Stickle Tarn to the foot of the steep path that climbs to the saddle on the north side of Harrison Stickle. This is the last big climb but if you take your time and pace yourself the work is soon done and you are delivered to a magnificent spot right at the heart of the Langdale Pikes plateau. Harrison Stickle the highest of the 'Pikes' (736m) lies a short climb to the south. Once you have summited you need to backtrack the saddle then follow the rocky path across it to make another short climb to the airy summit of Pavey Ark. The summit gives stunning unrestricted views to the south out over Langdale and towards the giants of the Coniston Fells. The next of the 'Pikes' is Thunacar Knott. It's little more than a rocky knoll in the middle of the plateau, but it is a charming spot and is relatively sheltered making it a great place to stop for lunch.
4. The next leg out to the Sergeant Man takes the route away from the Langdale Pikes and crosses over on to the broad shoulder of High Raise. The going is easy over relatively flat moorland but be careful if there is any mist about as the path is vague and easily lost. From Thunacar Knott head north for 600m across a broad col then take the path that splits off northeast then east to Sergeant Man. The summit is little more than a collection of rocks but it is set in a truly wild spot and is well worth visiting.
5. From Sergeant Man head east then southeast along the path that descends the broad ridge. After about 750m the path splits at a junction into three paths. Take the left hand path that leads down first past the shapely bump of Belles Knott, and then into the upper reaches of Easedale. Continue along the path to join the bridleway at the mouth of Easedale Tarn.
6. The bridleway leads easily from Easedale Tarn carrying you above the waterfalls of Sourmilk Gill and down to the pasture of lower Easedale. Continue along the bridleway to join Easedale Road. Follow into Grasmere and walk through the village past the green and around the road to the Wordsworth Hotel. Head for the bar and reflect on the adventure so far with a pint of classic Lakeland ale from Jennings.
|Time/Effort:||3 out of 5|
|Navigation:||3 out of 5|
|Technicality:||3 out of 5|
|Height gain/loss (metres):||920metres (3,019feet)|
|OS map:||OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL 4 ,5,6 & 7|
- Start point: (near Elterwater)
- End point: