This route is an extract from Cicerone's Lakeland Fellranger Central Fells guidebook. In total there are eight books in the Lakeland Fellranger series that provide a comprehensive fell-by-fell guide to the Lake District.
The Central Fells includes a variety of ascents and high ground between Great Langdale and Keswick. The area is flanked to the west by Stake Pass, Langstrath, Borrowdale and Derwentwater, and to the east by Grasmere, Dunmail Raise and Thirlmere.
Ascent of Sergeant Man from New Dungeon Ghyll, via Stickle Ghyll
655m / 2150ft
4km / 2½ miles
Just as Pavey Ark is the most startling component of Thunacar Knott, so the unusual stack-like summit of Sergeant Man belongs to the basic plateau structure of High Raise. It marks the ridge connection with Easedale, from where it makes a superb objective for a fellwalk, the knobbly top of Codale Head appearing to be the summit for much of the journey.
A cluster of routes inevitably present themselves from this hugely popular walking base in Great Langdale. The diagram below shows the primary lines, though only one can be considered exclusive to this one destination (Route 1). 1 The direct route climbs Stickle Ghyll to the Stickle Tarn dam and follows the east shore path. (2 There is a fork as the first feeder-gill enters the tarn. The right-hand path, well cairned, curves round a marsh and rises easily north-eastward onto the Blea Rigg ridge; this is the steadier line of approach.)
The direct route (Route 1), however, accompanies Bright Beck, which you do not ford, with Sergeant Man clearly in view ahead (see page 223). Coming level with the steeply rising east ridge of Pavey Ark, a tangible path trends up a narrow defile due north beside a tributary gill, though the path becomes less convincing higher up as the route naturally merges with the ridge rising to the summit.
As the ridge is gained a lower path may be spotted, traversing below the fell-top from the great slab to the head of Bright Beck. One presumes it came into being as a hasty short-cut to avoid Sergeant Man. The main routes to Thunacar Knott, up the slopes of Harrison Stickle, give a counter-slant, but are more likely to be used in descent on a circular tour.