First Mountain Adventure – The Lake District (part II)

Summit 1: Harrison Stickle – 761m/2500 feet

With the help of our guide from Original Outdoors, we set off for our first challenge on 26th August – climbing our first mountain, Harrison Stickle (761m).  We’d selected a relatively short walk as our first one – to help both of us loosen up our legs and get used to climbing again.

Harrison Stickle is a fell in the central part of the Lake District, situated above Great Langdale. It’s one of three which make up the beautiful Langdale Pikes, the others being Pike of Stickle and Loft Crag.  Apparently a “stickle” is a hill with a prominent rocky top.  Unlike other hills.  Which don’t have prominent rocky tops.

The walk wasn’t far, only about 4 miles there and back.  But the ascent was pretty tough and steep, taking us eventually to a healthy 761m or 2,500 feet.  We estimated 4 or 5 hours from start to finish depending on how many stops we needed for Haribo refuelling.  Our route would take us from the valley floor via a steep climb up Stickle Ghyll (a narrow ravine with a fast-throwing river) to Stickle Tarn (a mountain lake) which sits in a natural amphitheatre directly below two of the Pikes.

It all sounded easy enough.  However, as we drove towards the Langdale Pikes through driving rain, under thundering black clouds we we were both pretty quiet.  This was it, we were off.

We set off from the car park clad in enough gore-tex to last a lifetime.  The rain poured down.  Even the sheep looked a little fed up with the conditions!

Charlies Ten Lakes 2015 Scaled 027

But we soon got into our stride, scrambling up the side of the roaring river.  With heavy rain overnight, the river was very high, the path flooded in places and the rocks super slippery.

Lakes Day 1-2

We were forced to leave the path and cross the river a couple of times to ensure we could make it up – quite hairy!

Issie on her way up Stickle Ghyll

But as we approached the Tarn, at last the rain stopped and we were rewarded with some amazing views back down the valley…..Charlies Ten Lakes 2015 Scaled 004

…and on upwards to our destination, Harrison Stickle.  Here is a picture of the Tarn in better weather than we had!


Spirits were high, the rain had stopped and the views were amazing!

Charlies Ten Lakes 2015 Scaled 005

But it was another hour or more on up to the summit, so after adding a few layers and bolting down some sandwiches we were off again.

Lakes Day 1-16

The views back down to the Tarn along the route up were totally amazing.

Lakes Day 1-11

cropped-charlies-ten-lakes-2015-scaled-017.jpgWith the skies darkening and the wind blowing a gale, at last we made it to the top – our first summit!

I was so proud of Issie I’m afraid I promptly burst into tears.  Oh dear.  Luckily it was the perfect time for a big hug.  We’d done it.  One down, just nine to go.

Charlies Ten Lakes 2015 Scaled 020

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