BB1625 : I'm Not Doing That !

Wednesday 6th July2016

"I'm not doing that !" said Robin when I told him about the idea of going up Jack's Rake to do the Langdale tops.

Two days later, as we set off, he vehemently repeated the statement and added that his son had also told him not to do it.

If you are unfamiliar with Jack's Rake, it is a long steep path up the side of the Pavey Ark cliff face.  That itself is not the problem as you are protected from the sheer drop of several hundred feet by a low barrier of rock on your left hand side.  The problem is a very short section which is unprotected where surefootedness and strong nerves are required.  Thereafter it is a relatively easy ascent to the summit.

This was put to the back of our minds as we climbed up the flagged staircase to Stickle Tarn, passing lots of ghyll-scrambling school kids on the way.

No, Tony, not up the Crinkles

Ghyll scramblers

At the tarn something remarkable happened.  We looked across to the fearsome cliff where we could see a number of people on the Rake. All of a sudden Robin cried "I am doing that.  I am going up Jack's Rake."

At Stickle Tarn looking across to.....

.... Pavey Ark and Jack's Rake

Expand the right hand photo above to see the path rising sharply from right to left across the cliff face.

As a result we headed over to the approach to the Rake where he was still of the same mind.  So Stan led the way and the ascent was undertaken.  

There was an unexpected challenge part of the way up.  Two men had set off before them with three dogs.  However, one of the dogs got vertigo and wouldn't go any further so they had to turn back.  This caused a bit of a problem as the Rake is really only wide enough for one person.  Anyway, men and dogs did manage to negotiate their way past and a few minutes later Jack's Rake had been conquered.  

Stan confessed that it was more hairy than he recalled from his previous ascents (when he was much younger). Understandably, Robin was very pleased with himself.  However, when we asked him if he would do it again he was adamant.

"I am definitely NOT doing that. Ever."

Had we, the other four, enjoyed the ascent?  Definitely.  We had taken one look at the Rake and repeated what we too had said at the outset.  "We are NOT doing that."  So we went up the steep but easy and totally protected scramble of North Rake and waited for our heroes to emerge.

Looking down on Stickle Tarn

Tony and John emerge from North Rake

Souvenir photo for Terry

The objective for the day was to bag several more Wainwrights for Terry, of which Pavey Ark was the first. However, he was temporarily distracted by two pretty young maidens and had to be prised away.

He didn't actually need Sergeant Man, nor did John but Robin chose it as his reward.  It was a bit of a boggy trek around the Bright Beck catchment area but, in relation to what we all had done, an easy conquest.  

Unlike the girls!

Sergeant Man

Looking back to Stickle Tarn and Pavey Ark

The boggy retreat led to an even easier top, Thunaker Knott- hardly a peak at all but it did offer a fine panorama of the main Langdale tops from behind.

The Langdales from behind

Glimpse of Windermere

Next was John's very own Harrison Stickle (see BB1228)

John reclaims his own

Pavey Ark from Harrison Stickle

The sugar loaf Pike o'Stickle was next, mist swirling around it.  We went up by the almost scary route. The track winds round the side of the rocky mound and just when you think that you are going to be even more exposed than on Jack's Rake, a crevice appears on your left offering a simple and safe short hands-on climb which takes you up to the summit.  In fact, I find the descent by the normal path to be much more difficult.

Stan jogging to Pike o'Stickle

Loft Crag to the right of Harrison Stickle

Loft Crag completed the collection.  In comparative terms it is a doddle and leads to the simplest way off the fell.  You can look down on the Dungeon Ghyll route with its long section having a steep drop to its right hand side and breath a sigh of relief about the way you are heading.

Comitibus: Dungeon Ghyll

Dungeon Ghyll washing

Back at the ODG car park we had a bit of a stand-off.  John, who was our chauffeur, had time pressures and announced that there was no possibility of a pint.  We would have to go.  Now.

"I'm not doing that," said Tony who sat down in front of the car in protest.

At this crisis point, John phoned home and got an unexpected pass-out.  "To the bar," he cried.  

"Hurrah!" came the response in unison, "We're all doing that!"

Don, Wednesday 6th July 2016




Wednesday 6th July 2016

Distance in miles:

9.1 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

3,509 (Anquet)


Pavey Ark, Sergeant Man, Thunaker Knott, Harrison Stickle, Pike o'Sticle, Loft Crag


Don, John, Mike, Robin, Stan, Terry, Tony

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1625 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of   the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

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boys. Likewise written comment.

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2016


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