19th July 2015

Visiting the Lake District Tarns - Walk 63

Stickle Tarn, Stake Pass Tarn and Angle Tarn

Time 10:05am to 2:45pm
Duration 4 hr 40 min
Distance 8.6 mile
Ascent 2600 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
ODG - Stickle Ghyll - Stickle Tarn - Harrison Stickle - east side of Harrison Combe - Martcrag Moor - Stake Pass Tarn - Angle Tarn - Rossett Pass - Mickleden - ODG
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre -
Car park, Old Dungeon Gill, Great Langdale

The Langdale Pikes and the Crinkle Crags / Bow Fell ridge remain as popular as ever and this is reflected by the number of cars that cram into this car park, and just how quickly it fills up in the morning.


Route Map


To allow the cloud to lift above the fells we were heading onto and for the rain to ease off (or stop) we began today's walk from the Old Dungeon Ghyll end of Great Langdale. This would keep us lower down for a little while longer and as it turned out wasn't a bad idea. Here I'm looking along the track running along the north side of the valley.

A view back shows a touch of brightness over on the fellside below Pike O'Blisco.

By eck lad, there is'n arf a lorra water aboot t'day.

Given the amount of water in Stickle Ghyll we both agreed the sensible thing was to stick to this side of the beck the whole way up to Stickle Tarn. This would remove the need to re-cross the beck at some point further up where there's no bridge, or even at the outflow.


Erm, I don't think so.

Looking backwards we have a view across to Lingmoor Fell and Side Pike.

Stickle Tarn's outflow.

Stickle Tarn and its dam.

All of Stickle Tarn, taken from the steep route up to Harrison Stickle.

Looking across to Pavey Ark.

Harrison Stickle was deserted while we were here, which, given that is was a Sunday afternoon in the middle of July, was quite surprising. Ahead of us is Pike O'Stickle, Rossett Pike and cloud covered Bow Fell & Esk Pike.

Turning around, the view couldn't be more different at you look down the length of Great Langdale, past Elterwater and all the way to Windermere.

Loft Crag catches a fleeting moment of sunshine.

A close up of Pike O'Stickle.

Ahead of us is Stake Pass Tarn. As we walked down here I was reminded how quickly time passes by and how myself and my then 9 or 10 year old nephew wild camped near the tarn a few times. That was long before the website had even been thought of and although I never carried a camera or made any note of dates or destinations of walks in those days, I can vividly remember the two of us sitting on the high ground beyond the tarn watching the fell tops turn the deepest of reds, pinks and purples as the sun set on what had been a scorching hot summers day of unbroken sunshine.

The tarn is reached on a day that feels more like the middle of October than the middle of July.


Pike O'Stickle is seen poking its head above everything else in the distance.

Heading across some very soggy ground to Angle Tarn.

Angle Tarn and time for something to eat.

Angle Tarn, taken as we head across to begin our walk down Rossett Pass. Notice the lines of water flowing down the fellside on the opposite side of the tarn.

Rossett Pike.

Beginning the walk down Rossett Pass. Initially the route seems to be leading you in completely the wrong direction but don't give up on the path, it soon turns sharply to the left and heads in the direction you'd expect to be going in.

On route down Rossett Pass we take a de-tour to visit the Packwoman's Grave, a sad reminder that long before us fell walkers came here for fun, people crossed from dale to dale as part of their everyday working lives. In this case, it was a woman that travelled around selling needles, pins, thimbles and such like everyday items. The story has been handed down and tells us that she was caught in a storm while crossing from Wasdale to Langdale sometime in the last half of the 1700s.

Mickleden and Pike O'Stickle / Loft Crag.

Looking up to Pike O'Stickle.

From the sheepfold you get a ground level view along the length of Mickleden towards Lingmoor Fell.

Behind us we take a look up to Rossett Pike.

Looking up to the rocks, crags and scree on the Mickleden side of Pike O'Stickle.

And that was another good expedition completed and although it was nothing at all like summer, a great time was had by us both.
Once again, I can't believe how much rain it must have put down last night and, more noteworthy than that, I'm really surprised at how few people there were around here.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks