Despite being a Bank Holiday other commitments meant Michelle, Lauren and I couldn’t set off till the Sunday, which ran the risk the campsites were liable to be full – you can’t book since they all seem to be first come first served but armed with a long-list of sites and telephone numbers we reached Ambleside and then headed towards Coniston where there’s a smattering of campsites all along the lake. No surprises that they were all full but a pleading last ditch phone call to the National Trust site in Langdale managed to blag us a pitch. We arrived to see a great big ‘Full’ sign on show, yet the ‘group’ field was only 50% full. It’s a great little site (good showers!) in an ideal location near the head of the valley, with spectacular views up to the Langdale Pikes, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags etc. and 3 pubs within a 10min walk.
We were joined on Monday by my sister, her boyfriend Dan and my nephew and headed off upthe path which follows Stickle Ghyll. After Lauren failed to reach a true summit on her first walk a couple of months ago we were keen to keep her motivated all the way to the top and the extra company helped. It was a warm day and I knew my Scarpa Charmoz boots were a little overkill! Michelle was wearing her new Salomon XA 3D Ultra trainers and was positively bounding up and over the rocks (mmm, maybe a lesson there!). We reached Stickle Tarn and veered right around towards Pavey Ark and the bottom of Jacks Rake. Though Jacks Rake scramble looked tempting the sensible option was to leave it for another day when we didn’t have company so we headed right up some boulders to join another steep path on the eastern shoulder which led straight up to the top of Pavey Ark. From here we headed over to the top of Harrison Stickle and soaked up the fantastic panoramic views. Descent was via the steep west face down to Loft Crag, picking up the track back down to the New Dungeon Gyll Hotel and a pie and a pint. A short, hot day and Lauren could be proud of bagging her first peak!