The profile of the Langdale Pikes make for a tremendous view from the valley floor so I was excited to embark on the third walk, taking in the four Pikes along with Thunacar Knott.
Wainwright described the Langdale Pikes beautifully when he wrote:
"No mountain profile arrests and excites the attention more than that of the Langdale Pikes and no mountain group better illustrates the dramatic appeal of a sudden rising of the vertical from the horizontal; the full height from valley to summit is revealed at a glance in one simple abrupt upsurge to all travellers on the distant shore of Windermere and, more intimately, on the beautiful approach along Great Langdale. Nor is the appeal visual only: that steep ladder to heaven stirs the imagination, and even the emotions, and this is especially so whenever the towering peaks come into view suddenly and unexpectedly."
I’d opted for one of the two day alternatives from the guide book as my mum, auntie and uncle were joining me for the ascent up to Loft Crag, and the longer alternative of 13 miles didn’t appeal to them. We parked the car at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and set off.
I found most of the work for this route was in the long ascent up to the Pikes. Once I reached Loft Crag it was a fairly steady circular walk to visit the other four summits, with the exception of a scramble to reach the summit of Pike of Stickle. From Pike of Stickle it was an amble across practically flat land to Thunacar Knott, and then on to the rocky summit of Pavey Ark which falls away steeply on the south-eastern side to Stickle Tarn. The Grade 1 scramble Jack's Rake can be found on this steep crag, and is a popular alternative way of ascending Pavey Ark.
After Pavey Ark, I hiked on to Harrison Stickle, and once all summits had been reached I salivated at the thought of an ice cold glass of Appletiser (the most refreshing drink I've come across in my 34 years) on the slow, steep descent down Dungeon Ghyll in the afternoon sun.
Loft Crag - 682m (2,238ft)
Pike of Stickle - 709m (2,326ft)
Thunacar Knott - 723m (2,372ft)
Pavey Ark - 700m (2,297ft)
Harrison Stickle - 736m (2,415ft)
As my walking companions began the descent back down to Dungeon Ghyll just short of the Loft crag summit, I was left to take the first of many awkward selfie shots in this challenge...
If you're new to walking in the Lake District this is a hike I’d definitely recommend. It has distinctive mountains, incredible views, isn’t too long or arduous, and (most importantly) it ends at the pub!
SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT!
These five Wainwrights are featured on the Langdale Pikes coaster in my Lake District collection which you can find here.
See this post for more information on my personal challenge to walk all 214 Wainwrights in one year.