But who was this Harrison fellow? Not too many Lake District hills bear a man’s name. I can only recall Robinson and Aitken’s Knott. Stickle, they say, hails from ‘sticel,’ meaning a steep slope.
But let’s get back to the view. Far below, there lies Stickle Tarn. It was dammed and made bigger for Langdale’s gunpowder industry. Looming above it is the mighty Pavey Ark crag. All in all, it’s a splendid example of a glacial corrie.
Talk of colossal geological shifts sends my thoughts wandering. In my mind’s eye, I picture this whole hollow, now occupied by the tarn, once filled with ice. 18,000 years ago, instead of solid ground, I fancy I could have trod upon the thick ice of a glacier. It would have been a tad chillier, of course, and I’d have had to leap over the ‘bergschrund,’ that deep crevice that forms between a glacier and the rocky face that contains it.
A familiar accent interrupted my reverie. “Is this High Raise?” Well, no, my friend, you’ve strayed a couple of kilometres in completely the wrong direction. The classic 180-degree blunder, I’d say.