INTRODUCTIONThe route starts from the New Dungeon Gill Hotel through Mickleden and then Grade 1 scrambling up Troughton Beck. From here a scrambling traverse (grade 2) takes you to the bottom of the south face of Pike O'Stickle. From here a Moderate climb leads to the summit.
This route is described in Scrambles and Easy Climbs in the Lake District by John Sparks and Judith Brown who suggest an Alpine PD grade for this grand mountaineering day out.
Take the Coniston Road from Ambleside and turn right at Skelwith Bridge signposted Elterwater and Great Langdale. Continue through to Great Langdale and parking is available at the New Dungeon Gill Hotel/Stickle Gill area NY295 064 or further along the valley (if you arrive early!) at the Old Dungeon Gill Hotel NY285 060.
From the New Dungeon Gill Hotel walk along the road westwards to the Old Dungeon Gill Hotel. From Here head upto the fell through Middle Fell farm and onto the The Cumbria way heading west. There are fine views as you pass under Gimmer Crag and then Pike O'Stickle. This path eventually takes you Troughton Beck NY266069.
Troughton Beck (Grade 1 scamble)
Route finding is not an issue simply follow the beck and enjoy the wondeful scenery down the Langdale valley and across to Bowfell and Crinkle Crags. Scrambling takes about an hour to the exit after taking a right fork and up an obvious red loose earthy line pulling right towards Pike O'Stickle and onto steep grass.
Traverse to Pike O'Stickle
From Troughton Beck head right countouring round to the bottom of the cone of Pike O'Stickle keeping between the lower and middle sections until you come to a scree run. Cross this with care on an obvious path and then continue up and around to right. From here contour around again until you come to crags with a gully on the right. Scramble up the LEFT side of the crags until you come across a small path that takes you to a scrambling traverse over the gully. Continue to an obvious block with an overhang at its base at the bottom of the cone of Pike O'Stickle.
PIke O'Stickle South Face
This is a good spot to rope up and take in the surrounds. To start the climb move up an obvious ramp situated to the left of the overhanging block. Route finding from here is straight forward...keep heading up!
The path of least resistance gives climbing to moderate standard though other more technical variations are possible. The exposure increases considerably as you near the summit and there are fine views across the valley to Bowfell andd Crinkle Crags and also across Pike O'Blisco to the Coniston fells. At the summit you will more often than not come accross a bunch of startled hikers as you appear from seemingly no where.
There are a number of options available for the return to the valley. Because of the time of year and the lack of daylight (well there's also a couple of pretty good pubs in the valley and I wasnt driving)we crossed over Dungeon Gill and descended down to the valley on the path south of Harrison Sickle. A better option however, if time permits, is to proceed over Harrison Sickle to Pavey Ark and descend to the valley via Jacks Rake (Grade 1 scramble).
All in all a great mountaineering route which will take you the summit of a very popular Lake Disrict peak without seeing a soul until you reach the summit.