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A walk that should stickle in the memory

Posted 24 April 2012
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A walk that should stickle in the memory
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Those who like to go walking in the Lake District may enjoy a hike that offers a close-up of some of its most iconic fells.

Organised by national park authority rangers, the Langdale by Ridge, Fell and Tarn walk starts with a bus ride from Ambleside to Dungeon Ghyll, with the walk back to the village being via the high ridge offering panoramic views.

Needless to say, good walking boots and outdoor jackets will be needed for the event, with the guide not mentioning the tarn by name. But those familiar with the climb to the Pikes will know Stickle Tarn sits below the steep cliff of Pavey Ark.

While the walk along Blea Rigg eastwards is indeed one offering fine views on a clear day, many people will see the Pikes themselves as an objective. Scramblers will see Jack's Rake as a great challenge to get up Pavey Ark. Others will notice that this, plus the other Pikes - such as Harrison Stickle and Pike Of Stickle - are on the Wainwrights list. And those bagging the tick list may subsequently head north to the 2,500 ft summit of High Raise.

All these make for impressive close encounters with some of Britain's most iconic mountain features, with the tarn itself one of the most stunningly located in the national park, albeit with the impact of raw nature slightly embellished by the dam enlarging the sheet of water from its original size.

Walkers in Langdale may enjoy visiting a number of impressive tarns. Blea Tarn - one of three with that name in the national park - is among the most iconic, with its own panorama of the Pikes and its rhododendron-covered western shore, although this and the variety of flora that even includes a monkey puzzle tree contrasts with the description of the vicinity as a "quite treeless nook" in William Wordsworth's puzzle The Excursion.

Walkers may also enjoy the small Lingmoor Tarn on the fell of that name, separating Great and Little Langdale, or the large spread of Little Langdale Tarn.

So while walkers and climbers in the Langdales may find Stickle Tarn a rewarding climb, it is just one of several small sheets of water that are well worth seeing in this part of the national park.