Steep sided and with distinct shapes, the Langdale Pikes are amongst the most easily recognised mountains in the Lakes District. Their flanks are craggy and look steep; the sort of territory that appeals to climbers rather than walkers. However, this is something of an illusion, for although there are plenty of crags, the fells that lie between them are not as steep as they first appear and carry a selection of paths. This route exploits some of these paths and provides three walk options. The full round of the summits is described, but if you prefer just to visit Stickle Tar or perhaps ascend only Pavey Ark, then there are short cuts.
From the car park follow the Stickle Ghyll Path up to the footbridge. Cross it and follow the path up the other side to Stickle Tarn.
To return after Stickle Tarn, walk around to the eastern side of the tarn and follow the path that branches off R and descends back to Stickle Ghyll around the back of Tarn Crag. To continue to Pavey Ark skirt the E side of the tarn and take the path beside Bright Beck. Once around the E side of the Pavey Ark, a grassy rake comes into view; this is North Rake. Follow it to the summit. Descend SW to the cool below Harrison Stickle. If you have had enough at this point, you can return to the start via Stickle Tarn.
To continue, make the short ascent on to Harrison Stickle. Descend the path W then S and cross Harrison Combe to reach a col. Turn R and climb W to the summit of Loft Crag. Pike of Stickle os the next summit. To reach it, head WNW to the head of the path as it skirts rightwards to gain the rocky summit of Pike of Stickle.
Descend briefly E then turn NW and follow the path over Martcrag Moor to the broad col at the head of Stake Pass. Turn L and follow the bridleway SW down into Mickleden. At the bottom join the valley track and follow it SE to the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel.
At the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel, a bridleway climbs E behind the hotel and heads for the Stickle Ghyll car park.
Start/Finish: Stickle Ghyll Car Park Langdale (GR NY294064)
Distance: 8 miles (12.85 km) | Height gain: 900m | Time: 5-6 hours
Shorter loop via Pavey Ark
Distance: 3.6 miles (5.8 km) | Height gain: 9675m | Time: 3-4 hours
Shorter loop via Stickle Tarn
Distance: 2.3 miles (3.6 km) | Height gain: 420m | Time: 2-3 hours