Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Walk 30 The Langdale Pikes

97. Loft Crag LDW-097 2231 ft
98. Pike O'Stickle LDW-083 2326 ft
99. Thunacar Knott LDW-076 2372ft
100. High Raise LDW-056 2500 ft
101. Sergeant Man LDW-072 2415 ft
102. Pavey Ark LDW-089 2297 ft
103. Harrison Stickle LDW-068 2415 ft

Phil walked 7.9 miles and climbed 3000 ft

Route from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel National Trust Car Park
An early start from the cottage found me starting out solo in daylight from the car park to the side of the New Dungeon Ghyll Car Park at 0630am. I made my way up Mark Gate, reaching Loft Crag at 0728am. This was an ascent of  1770' over 1.35 miles. The path was good and well used.  The first contact amazingly was with Mike G4BLH in Nelson. Mike must be an early riser like me.  Being early always equals a low contact rate and the only other station logged was Sue, G1OHH in Lancaster.  Things picked up later and I enjoyed a much higher rate of contacts once people rose from their beds! I had alerted my activity the previous evening on G4ILOs  WOTA Website. The summits come thick and fast in the Langdale Pikes. Wainwright chose them for inclusion in the Central Fells book on account of their respective views of the landscape in their own preferred directions. Sadly this was another day once I reached Loft Crag with a lack of photo opportunities, I now had minimal visibility in rain.  I had however climbed the Pikes on a previous occasion with Judy my XYL, so I will use a photograph taken then  from Pike o'Stickle in this blog.  I did however take one photograph just before the storm arrived on my way up to Loft Pike:
Storm coming in - early morning on 9th July 2010 whilst climbing up to Loft Crag LDW-097
Rossett Gill across the valley from Pike o'Stickle

You certainly get your moneys worth in Wainwrights once you reach the circle of fells which make up the top of the Langdale Pikes. For good measure I added a SOTA summit  as well to my tour. This was High Raise LD-019 (LDW-056) where I had a 30 minute stay in the shelter which kept the wind and rain off me whilst I had some food and drink   The walk turned into an uneventful one which was covered as quickly as possible in the rain and mist. with my pre-programmed GPS proving invaluable.  I had every fell top to myself, not surprising in those conditions and at that time of day.  I left Loft Crag at 0740am and covered Pike o'Stickle, Thunacar Knott, High Raise, Sergeant Man, Pavey Ark arriving at the final summit  - Harrison Stickle LDW-068 at 1103am.  Oh yes, in the Langdale Pikes you get bang for your buck with seven Wainwright summits activated in 220 minutes and 45 contacts in the log! Enthusiastic Chaser G1OHH in Lancaster, was with me on every one. as was G4BLH in Nelson. Thank's Sue and Mike!

Now it was just a matter of getting safely back down to the New Dungeon Ghyll on the slippy stepped path below the crags of Pike Howe. The path was treacherous and I did slip twice,on the steps which Fix The Fells had carved into the natural rock - thankfully without any damage being done to me.  Dungeon Ghyll Force was in full flow - a sight for sore eyes indeed, and the rain continued for most of the rest of the day.  I reached the car park at 12.10pm with the descent from Harrison Stickle LDW-068 having taken me 67 minutes. 

Profile of walk across the Langdale Pikes from New Dungeon Ghyll

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