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
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 1¼ 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.
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
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
Pavey Ark can also be ascended from Stickle Tarn via
Easy Gully, North Rake or by the path to Harrison Stickle.
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
walking route to the summit.
routes near Pavey Ark