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Pavey Ark

 
   

 

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Height: 700m (2,297ft) GPS: NY 28457 07903 Walking Routes

Pavey Ark is a fell in the English Lake District and is one of the Langdale Pikes, lying to the north of Great Langdale immediately to the north-east of Harrison Stickle.

From the shores of Stickle Tarn, Pavey Ark gives the impression of being a rocky ridge. In fact this is misleading and the north-western side is simply an undulating area of moorland rising towards Thunacar Knott. The summit plateau is characterised by tarns, rocky outcrops and bilberry terraces.

Pavey Ark is the largest cliff in the Langdales but faces east over Stickle Tarn and is less prominent from the floor of Great Langdale away to the south. The main face is a little over a quarter of a mile across and drops about 400 ft.

To the south west it merges into the crags of Harrison Stickle, while the northern end peters out into the valley of Bright Beck.

Stickle Tarn is wholly within the territory of the Ark, a circular hollow tarn which has been dammed to create additional capacity. The stone faced dam is low enough not to spoil the character of the pool and the water is used for public consumption in the hotels and homes below. The tarn has a depth of around 50 ft.

There is no cairn on the bare rock of the summit, set back a few yards from the edge and a little to the north of the exit from Jack's Rake. The view north west is perhaps spoilt by the long slopes of High Raise but the Eastern and Southern Fells are well seen.

Pavey Ark is most often climbed from the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel located some 1 miles (2 km) to the south. The route follows Mill Gill up to Stickle Tarn, which can also be reached via a much less popular and more strenuous path following the Dungeon Ghyll ravines.

From Stickle Tarn there is a choice of routes; one of the most popular is to follow a diagonal slit on Pavey Ark's craggy south-eastern face. This route is known as Jack's Rake and requires scrambling. Alternative easier ascents are available on either side of the main crag.

Jack's Rake is the most famous ascent of the Pavey Ark precipice. It is classified as a Grade 1 scramble but it is within the capability of many walkers, though it does require a head for heights and is considerably harder in bad weather.

The rake starts beneath the East Buttress at the precipice's eastern end near a large cairn (with a tablet marked 'JWS 1900') immediately north of Stickle Tarn and then climbs west across the face of the crag.

The rake follows a natural groove in the precipice face and is clearly indicated by several Ash trees. Wainwright wrote that for fell walkers Jack's Rake is "difficult and awkward", although there is "curiously little sense of exposure for a comforting parapet of rock accompanies all the steeper parts of the ascent".

The summit is a short walk from the top exit of the rake which is also used as a descent route and by rock climbers accessing the climbs on the cliff face.

As with Lord's Rake on Scafell Crag, the word 'rake' refers to a path across major precipices originally used by climbers for access to rock climbs but which can also be used by walkers.

Pavey Ark can also be ascended from Stickle Tarn via Easy Gully, North Rake or by the path to Harrison Stickle.

Easy Gully is a steep walk on scree between the crags at the eastern end of the precipice starting from the same place as Jack's Rake and is blocked by large boulders near the top where tough scrambling is required.

North Rake (so named by Wainwright) starts from the path to High Raise at the very eastern end of the cliff and rises west over the top of the East Buttress. This is a much less exposed
and strenuous walking route to the summit.

Walking routes near Pavey Ark

 

 

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