The Langdale Pike Scrambler

Short in distance but packs a lot of punch!

The Langdale valley is breathtakingly beautiful, and a deservedly popular area of the Lake District, with many different summits, walking  routes, rock climbing and scrambling venues easily assessable from the valley. This can also mean the main paths are often busy, and finding quieter routes to the summits can be difficult. This route aspires to reach the summit of two classic fells, packing in seven sections of some of the best scrambling in the area, avoiding the busy paths, whilst giving a genuine adventure.

Scrambling as an activity sits between mountain walking and rock climbing. It involves ascending up rocky terrain which requires the use of hands as well as feet. This can range from terrain involving simple short rocky steps requiring nothing more than your normal walking gear, to using harnesses ropes and a selection of climbing equipment at its extreme. The beauty of scrambling is that it opens up a huge range of new and exciting ways to travel through the mountains on the way to summit tops, avoiding the busier main footpaths. 

We use a number of simple scrambling routes thought the day to create our adventure, giving a technical and more interesting way to the top, but still achievable by anyone with some hill walking experience who are confident on their feet, in good physical condition, with a head for heights.

We recommend that in the lead-up to this challenge, participants work on building up their stamina with weekly cardio-vascular exercise of a minimum of 1 hour per day, 5 days per week to build up their calf + quad muscles. 


Stage 1 - Dungeon Ghyll (lower section)

Starting from the National Trust car park in Langdale, a short walk up the hill takes us to the entrance of Dungeon Ghyll. We follow its course as much as possible, rock hopping and scrambling our way up past waterfalls and small pools, until reaching an area of open grassy fell, and a view of the next scrambling section.
200m of scrambling.

Stage 2 - Thorn Crag

Approximately 400m of walking up easy grassy slopes gets us to the rock spur of Thorn Crag. Mostly on rock we scramble upwards on fantastic rock with lots of good foot and hand holds, until reaching its minor summit. This is a good spot to appreciate the views of the valley, along with looking down into the upper section of Dungeon Ghyll, a far more serious undertaking requiring the use of ropes and additional climbing equipment.
100m of scrambling.

Stage 3 - Harrison Stickle, ascent by South-East Ridge, decent by East Ridge

The iconic summit of Harrison Stickle is easily identifiable on a clear day from miles away, and is one of the fells that makes up the Langdale Pikes. We use two of its easer scrambles to gain the top descend again.
From Thorn Crag we head round the top of Dungeon Ghyll then traverse underneath Harrison Stickles southern slopes to reach the bottom of the South-East Ridge. Scrambling up this rocky ridge takes us to the summit. After a short rest and another opportunity to take in the views we turn east to pick our way down another rocky ridge, reaching the shores of Stickle Tarn.
Scrambling ascent 150m, Scrambling descent 100m

Stage 4 - Pavey Ark via Jacks Rake

One of the most well known scrambles of the Lake District, and deservedly so. This can also make it busy, but by including it into our itinerary later in the day helps to miss most of the would be ascensionists. This route follows a natural fault line running diagonally up the crag, taking us into fantastic positions rarely experienced on straight forward scrambling, to reach the second summit of the day. Turning east we descend down a rough path leading to the east side of Stickle Tarn.
Ascent: 150m of scrambling.

Stage 5 - Descent via White Gill Crag climbers decent, White Gill, and Scout Crags

Heading south-east away from Stickle Tarn and its busy main footpaths, we aim for White Gill. From the micro-summit of White Gill Crag we descend into White Gill using the climbers decent route which cunningly zigzags its way down natural ledges through the rock. Following the bouldery floor of this dry gill, we loose height until a steep grassy traverse can be made to the top of Upper Scout Crag, from where the final scrambly decent is made through broken rocks and a rock slab. A short walk down through some fields and a section of road sees us back at the Langdale car park.
180m of scrambling
Total distance 7.66km, Total Ascent 1015m, Scrambling (ascent and decent) 880m, Total Descent 1015m, Target Time: 6-7hrs

Key Information

  • Maximum ratio: 1 instructor to 6 scramblers
  • Helmets will be used throughout the day
  • Participants must be fit and well, have a good level of hill fitness and head for heights.
  • Bring you own normal hill walking equipment, food and water for the day
  • Everyone MUST be wearing appropriate walking BOOTS (trainers/approach shoes are not adequate)
  • On rare occasions during or after extreme levels of rainfall, Dungeon Gill may not be a viable option as part of the day. An alternative route may be used in such circumstances.

Package Includes

  • Days typically consist of around 7-8 hours in the mountains with an instructor
  • Climbing helmet
  • Accommodation for two nights / optional
  • Breakfasts and packed lunch / optional
  • Information about the surrounding areas plus second to none service with passionate staff!

Duration: 1 Day

Activities: Walking and Scrambling

Suitable for: Private and corporate groups

Comments: A mixed bag of scrambling grades from beginner to intermediate level and suitable for persons of average fitness with a good head for heights.

Prices from: £100

Call: 017687 75337

Booking Enquiry

Package Prices


From £165

Hostel – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £100

Qualified mountain guide
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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From £195

Guest House – bed & breakfast + packed lunch
15% off Cotswold voucher
Climbing helmet
Price is per person

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