BB0806  The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!

Wednesday 13th February 2008

The Langdale skyline is, of course, one of the iconic views of Lakeland, from right to left, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle and the often seemingly combined, depending on the angle, Loft Crag and Pike o'Stickle.  

I had invited Ian, my nephew, and his two sons, George and Bradley, who were up from Stockport, to join Bryan and me for a tour around the Langdale skyline as a fell-walking introduction for the boys and their first Wainwrights.

It was a beautiful day and I was quite surprised that the National Trust car park at New Dungeon Ghyll was virtually empty despite it being half term.

We set off with the boys setting a cracking pace up Stickle Ghyll.  “Don’t worry,” said Bryan, “They won’t be going that fast in half an hour”.  Unlike on BB0739, we stuck to the direct path and enjoyed the odd little scramble on the way before reaching Stickle Tarn in a quarter of an hour less than previously.  I must say I was glad of the breather taken on the tarn wall.  By now I was getting some stick for having warned them the day before as to how cold it might be up there only to find it pretty warm, causing layers of fleeces to be peeled off.  Well, the forecast can change a lot in 24 hours!  The arctic wind was in abeyance.

Stickle Tarn with Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark

Once recovered, we declined the charms(?) of Jack’s Rake and ascended by North Rake.

Stickle Tarn from North Rake

Pavey Ark was claimed as George and Bradley’s first Wainwright, where, it being Tony time, we had a coffee stop.  A raven was hopping about hopefully for titbits.

Bradley and George claim their first Wainwright

The hopefully hopping raven

Looking south-east from Harrison Stickle

Pike o'Stickle from Harrison Stickle

Next was Harrison Stickle and lunch.  Then along past the top of the old scree run with axe factory, up Loft Crag and finally up the sugar loaf mound of Pike o’Stickle, sort of pioneering a new scrambly route up.

Harrison Stickle from Loft Crag

Pike o'Stickle team picture

After another coffee stop (and a bit of a cool breeze starting to pick up causing the odd fleece to reappear) we decided that rather than keep to the original plan and trudge across the moor to High Raise, we would take what Bryan presciently called the fell runners' route down across Martcrag Moor to join the Cumbria Way near its high point on Stake Pass.  

That is when things started to go wrong!

Part way down, Bryan (who accuses Stan and me of being the competitive ones) issued a challenge.

Great Gable from Pike o'Stickle

He pointed to a small tarn about half a mile down hill and said “Come on, then! Let’s have a fell race!”  

He was clearly very disappointed that there were no takers and so to try and restore the harmony of the group I suggested that we have a fell jog instead.  Off I set at a sensible pace when all of a sudden a race erupted and bodies hurtled by me at tremendous speed. Hardly had I time to think “They won't be going that fast in half a minute” when the thought became fact and Bryan then Bradley tumbled to the ground.  The race rather fizzled out at that point but it soon became apparent that Bryan had damaged himself in his tumble- he had rolled onto his back only to be attacked by the flask in his rucksac. Although he regained his feet, he was clearly in considerable discomfort and, at times, pain but in his stoical way insisted on carrying on down the mountain unaided.

Not longer after that incident, George managed to do a passable imitation of Dr Foster. 

Thinking that the bright green moss was at the edge of a small pond he stepped on it only to find that he disappeared almost up to his middle, giving himself and his mobile phone a good soaking in the process.  

Much to Bradley’s (and everyone else’s) amusement!

Bradley admires George's wet look!

The setting sun shines on the Langdales

The walk continued on uneventfully thereafter, through the drumlins and down the long Cumbria Way trail, now in shade, back to the car.

Bryan did not say much but he was obviously still hurting and was much slower than his normal pace.

On returning to Kendal, he went to Casualty at the Westmorland Hospital where he was efficiently looked after.  Inevitably, when he explained how the injury had arisen, questions arose as to how old he was!  The verdict was that whilst of unsound mind he had incurred multiple broken ribs but, happily, no other internal injuries.  He will be out of action for several painful weeks.

This made a sad end to an otherwise very enjoyable day in splendid weather.

Bryan- we hope you soon recover and that it will not be long before you are once again issuing challenges to us on the fells!  But if we ever hear you say "Let's have a fell race" we'll phone for the men in white coats immediately.

Don, 13th February 2008

Distance: 8.4 miles  (Garmin- Memory Map)

Height climbed: 2,648 feet (Garmin- Memory Map)

Wainwrights:  Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Loft Crag, Pike o'Stickle


For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!

     E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  


BOOT boys


Home Page








2008 Outings

BB0801 : Avoiding the Graupel;  
16 January

BB0802 : Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January

BB0803 : That's Lyth;
27 January

BB0804 : Tony's Memory Lane;
30th January

BB0805 : Fell's Belles!  Thank You Mells?  
6th February

BB0806 : The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
13th February

BB0807a: An Outbreak of Common Sense;
21st February 2008

BB0807b: Askham Fell and  the Lowther Estate;   
13th March 2008

BB0808 : Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008

BB0809 :  High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
28th March 2008

BB0810 :  Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008

BB0811 :  Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008

BB0812 :  Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
Thursday 10th April 2008 

BB0813 :  What's It All About, Tony?
Thursday 17th April 2008 

BB0814 :  The Hidden Mountain
Tuesday 22nd April 2008 

BB0815 :  The Bowland CROW
Thursday 1st May 2008

BB0816 :  High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
Wednesday 7th May 2008

BB0817 :  Travelling Light
Wednesday 14th May 2008


BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
23rd February - 1st March


Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which Bootboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of Bootboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

If you want to contact us, click on