The beauty of Stickle Tarn

Published 8 September 2013

Stickle Tarn

In 2011 I went to the Lake District. I had just bought a set of camping equipment and had grand plans. I’d walk lots of fells, and wild camp on fell tops. I did my research to see where people suggested would be good wild camping spots. Stickle Tarn was one of them. I came up with an epic walking route that would take me over Bow Fell, up Harrison Stickle and more before resting for the evening next to the tarn.

As it happened, I arrived in the area during a week which saw a massive amount of rain. All my plans were pretty much thrown away.

On my penultimate day the weather seemed to improve so I packed up my belongings and decided I’d walk up to Stickle Tarn, then over towards Grasmere. I headed up the path towards Stickle Tarn.

I never made it to the tarn, yet alone Grasmere. The rain appeared again, and scrambling up Stickle Ghyll with my far too heavy and completely overloaded rucksack was simply too much. As I slipped around on wet rock, I almost felt like crying. The entire trip had gone wrong. I’d just wanted something to go right; to have one good day. But it wasn’t to happen.

Two years later – this year in fact – I did make it to Stickle Tarn. I wasn’t camping that night, and had to run down to get the bus so couldn’t linger. But I did have just enough time to admire it basking in the sun, looking absolutely beautiful in fact.

Perhaps it was better to arrive there on a good day, than to see the place looking miserable on a bad one. Well, that’s my line and I’m sticking to it.

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