Drawing 245: Pike o’Stickle

Direction of view: NW

Notes: This sketch is taken from below the summit of Loft Crag, well down towards the top of Gimmer Crag.  Take care! I have not identified Wainwright’s precise foreground. A different picture of Pike o’ Stickle from Loft Crag is on page Loft Crag 8 in The Central Fells; another version, similar to this sketch, is on page Pike o’ Stickle 1. 

The view also appears in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (30), page 30 of Fellwalking with a Camera, and page 206 of Westmorland Heritage.  The mountain drawing is in landscape format, and includes Allen Crags and Great End; and the sky is more finessed, with clouds in the top left corner acting as a balance to the bulk of Pike o’ Stickle.

Comments:  I took this picture on a round of the Langdale Peaks with Peter Messenger on 5th May 2012.  Ascending via Dungeon Ghyll on a bright morning, the sun had deserted us by the time we reached Loft Crag, but it returned intermittently to help with sketches from Pike o’ Stickle and Rossett Pike.  Heavier cloud then supervened as our walk continued by Angle Tarn, Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and Red Tarn and down to Oxendale. This was the first time for many years I had been on a proper “sketch hunt” with Pete, who brought all the drawings with him.  We took 7 during the day, the last being 314 “The path on Crinkle Crags”, after which the light was too poor to bother with more.  We walked 15 miles with 5000 feet of ascent in 10 hours.

Wainwright recounts that the steep and stony gully beside the Pike was a prehistoric stone axe “factory”, and adds that “unfortunately for the Langdale Rescue Team, 20th century axe seekers are proving less sure footed than the Neolithic axe makers”.