Stickle Ghyll

Location: Langdale Time Taken: 2-3 hours (from meeting to leaving) Price: From £35 (per person)
What’s involved?
A ghyll scramble (ascent) of Stickle Ghyll – This is the least aquatic ghyll scramble that we offer (except during periods of prolonged rain). It mainly involves climbing waterfalls and there is also a small jump. 
Who will it suit?
No previous experience required. This is for adults and families with children of 9 years and above. All that is needed is a realistic level of fitness and an adventurous nature. All of the obstacles are avoidable, however, if you miss everything out then you are just basically going for a walk in a stream in a wetsuit. This is the better ghyll scramble option for groups that have someone who prefers not to get fully submerged as you can miss out the really “wet bits” and still have fun climbing the waterfalls up the drier routes.

The location:

Stickle Ghyll is located in the South of the Lake District National Park. The stream runs down the side of the mountain known as the Langdale Pikes. The source of the stream is Stickle Tarn. This tarn (mountain lake)  sits in the hanging valley at the base of the popular climbing crag called Pavey Arc.  The start point of the ghyll scramble is accessed via a massive 1 minute walk from the Sticklebarn Pub Car Park (National Trust Car Park). This location has pay and display parking and public toilets to use for changing.

Whats involved?

It is a great little ghyll scrambling experience that involves ascending the ghyll known as Stickle Ghyll. There are a variety of challenges you will encounter along the way such as – falling and jumping into pools of water and climbing waterfalls.

If you want more of a challenge with a few extra waterfalls to climb then choose the “Upper Falls Version”. If you are after a more aquatic outing with slides and jumps then choose “Church Beck” or “Church Beck Canyon“.

The nature of the ghyll:

This ghyll scramble is the most changeable one that we do. In our dryer months (May to mid July) this can be a very dry outing (apart from the small jump and the sheep dip pools) as the stream runs very low during these times (it is not uncommon to leave the wetsuit behind during these months and don shorts). In normal levels it is still the drier of our locations but good fun. In periods of heavy prolonged rain it can be extremely aquatic and very full-on.

The months we experience higher water levels are usually mid July to September. It is VERY rare for an adult group to be cancelled due to high water levels as this location can be ran in most water levels. Flood water makes our tamest ghyll one of the most exciting which makes it a safe bet in times of prolonged rain. Groups with small children will be cancelled if the flooding is too high. When the water level is high the stream can be very fierce – however, we have built up a lot of experience and clocked up years of experience in all conditions in this ghyll and we will make the right decision of whether or not to run your session.

It takes place on a steep mountainside and although in normal conditions it is not the most “extreme” it does require a decent level of fitness to climb the waterfalls and tackle the steep terrain.

Who does it suit?

This is fine for “first-timers” – no previous experience is necessary. The ghyll is for adults and families with children over 9 years of age.

Although all obstacles are avoidable it is recommended that participants should be confident in water and/or OK with heights to best enjoy the experience. In most conditions it is the least aquatic outing and can still be enjoyed if you wish to keep your head above the water OR if you wish to miss out the climbs, however, if you wish to BOTH miss the climbs and the water parts then there is no point booking as you will just be taking a walk in a stream. The ability to swim is useful but not essential as the wetsuits will keep you afloat when necessary.

The ghyll can be physically demanding as it takes place on a steep mountainside and you need a realistic level of fitness and be a realistic weight to be able to pull yourself up the waterfalls you will be climbing.

All under 18’s must be accompanied by their OWN parent or LEGAL guardian.

This is the standard version used by all. Its just great fun, however, I recommend to add the “Upper Falls” if you are after a slightly more adventurous outing.

 

  What’s provided:

  • Full wetsuit (3-5mm unless its hot and sunny)
  • Wetsuit jacket (3-4mm to be used with shorts in the hotter months or to be used over the top of the wetsuit in the colder months)
  • Helmet
  • Ghyll scrambling harness
  • All ghyll equipment & guide
  • Medical kit with a dry storage container for personal medication

Note: We also have special winter kit for the winter months!

What to bring:

  • Old trainers – no wellies, sandals, crocs or slip-on type shoes
  • Socks
  • Swimming costume/trunks/underwear
  • Old shorts/Leggings to wear over the wetsuit (no shorter than mid-thigh)
  • Rash vest/base layer/gym t-shirt (not cotton – its cold when wet)

Please ensure you bring the old shorts for over the top of the wetsuit. Failure to do so will result in not taking part in the activity.

Typical timeslots 

  • 9-12
  • 12-3

We try to time our sessions so we experience the ghyll at its quietest times during the day. This ghyll see’s a lot of traffic – especially in the busy months. The morning slot is almost guaranteed to ensure we miss everyone else.

How long will it last?

The activity will last no more than 3 hours from the point we meet to the point we say goodbye. The exact time depends on group size, the confidence and ability as well as the fitness of the participants and also the water conditions.

 

 What time of year?

We start the season in February and end it in November – however, we sometimes run throughout the winter. Please be aware that the sessions go ahead even if it is cold, windy, raining and even snowing to a point. Please have this in mind if you book for the colder months as there is more chance of poor weather and you need to be up for it.

So to reinforce the point further – please expect for the ghyll scramble to go ahead even in poor weather and if you are not keen on this idea then don’t book. The only time we cancel this activity is if the conditions make the activity unsafe – and this decision is made by the instructor and is usually due to dangerously high water levels.

Meeting location:

The meeting point is The Sticklebarn Pub Car Park (National Trust), Great Langdale, LA22 9JU . This is the BIG national trust car park with the shed in it . The parking is pay and display unless you are a member of the trust. Changing will take place in the public toilet block. You are looking for a silver logo’d van parked up. Please leave enough time for travelling as there is no refunds for people who turn up late.

Pro’s: 

  • Suitable for “first-timers”
  • Suitable in normal conditions for those who don’t wish to get fully submerged
  • Great for spectators
  • Can be ran in flood conditions (group dependant)
  • Least aquatic ghyll (normal conditions) with good waterfall climbs
  • Jump/climbs can be avoided
  • Two pubs at the start/end point
  • Bus transport links
  • Easy to find
  • Changing in toilets

Cons:

  • Pay and display parking
  • Not great for people that want a more aquatic outing with jumps/slides
  • Very busy
  

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