Beyond the Comfort Zone
From a solitary stroll one day to the exhilaration of a Grade 1 Scramble the next.
No one can complain that there is lack of variety in the Cumbrian hills.
Having completed ‘The AW List’ I need to be seek out new challenges.
When I first moved back ‘Up North’ I walked up to Pavey Ark with friends who scrambled up, I didn’t and thought I probably wouldn’t ever.
Suffice to say the older you get the dafter you get and yesterday, with the encouragement of a friend or two I reached the top of Pavey Ark via Jack’s Rake.
Perfect Easter sunshine accompanied us the mile or so up Stickle Ghyll.
Pavey Ark looking quite small and manageable,
as we hiked up past the waterfalls fed by the tarn.
Stickle Tarn is always beautiful, even on days when you can’t see from one side to the other it has mysterious serenity. Light bouncing off the clear still surface, surrounding hills and wonderful back drop did make sitting on the side for the afternoon rather an attractive proposition.
But there was a hill to climb!
Which grew in stature as we moved round the tarn.
Scree tumbles now from the start of the gully and was difficult to negotiate as the gully itself.
Don’t be deceived by the view from the start, the tree is not at the top,
merely a convenient photo stop!
Stage two was a little shorter
with another convenient photo stop,
before the final face
and the top.
The mountains allowed us a dry lunch but by the time we had arrived at Thunacar Knott
Pike O Stickle
the rain and cloud descended so we turned back to Harrisons and a relatively short route back by Pike Howe and the side of Dungeon Ghyll.
Degree of difficulty? I am not that experienced but would say it was less nerve wracking than Sharp Edge, because of the openness of the edge. It is longer, more strenuous and being not a very tall individual, there was quite a bit of stretching for foot and hand holds. I was with friends way more experienced than myself and I have them to thank for telling me where to put my feet and hands. For the most part I didn’t feel that exposed, as the gully provides security and there are a couple of good wide ledges to stop and rest. Wide enough to take my camera out and enjoy the view! The last face was probably the most challenging but even this is rough rock with lots of grip, not like the slate face on Sharp Edge.
And nothing can take away the exhilaration of reaching the top!
A mere 4.26 miles, 2134ft of ascent.