Micro Adventures

Who: Rory Southworth
What He Does: Climber/Hiker/Runner
What He Listens To: 
Stadium Pow Wow by A Tribe Called Red
Kerala by Bonobo
Tough Guy by Wild Beasts


Instagram @rorysouthworth


Our first guest blog is by Rory Southworth, Climber/Hiker/Runner. Rory tells us all about his midweek Micro Adventures in the Lake District.


Some people live for the weekends, I live for weekday evenings. When the mountains are quiet and the car parks are empty.  With head torches packed and the last of the day hikers arriving back in the car park, I'm that guy you always see heading up into the mountains.



The Lake District is situated just off the M6, making it accessible to people living in the North of England, perfect for that evening blast. Whilst the dark stops many, with night navigation skills and a bright head torch you can hike and climb unhindered through the evening and into the night.



Meeting in a layby just off the A591, Mairi and I jump into Tom's van and head to the Langdale's. With no trouble finding a space in the near empty National Trust Car Park, we pile out of the van and head straight up the well used Stickle Tarn path to Tarn Crag.

Often overlooked by its bigger brothers, Tarn Crag has a range of low grade climbs and  scrambles. Picking The Groove, a grade 3 scramble, we ascended via the natural weakness and rock hopped our way to top out on Tarn Crag. From there we skipped through the bog, quickly being reminded that my shoes were not waterproof.

Reaching Stickle Tarn at the base of Pavey Ark, you can't help but look up at the view of the fells that tower over the Tarn, which a few hours earlier would of looked like the tourist hot spot it normally is, but at 8pm on a Tuesday, we had the place to ourselves.

Following the edge of the tarn we crossed a tributary, hopping on the exposed stones in the stream and headed for the start of Pavey Far East. A grade 2 Scramble that traverses Pavey Ark and takes you to the top of Easy Gully.

Following a good start on some solid grade 2 scrambling that made the route feel as if it had potential, the rock soon drizzled out. We encountered a horrible section of off-camber grass, made far worse by being damp, along a long thin ledge that brought us to the next section of good climbing. With a few low grade scrambly bits and short walks we finally arrived at the rock that the guidebook had tempted us with in the first place. A clever angle had masked the grassy walks and the short length of the final "guidebook image" section, made it an underwhelming finish.



Not feeling inspired to summit Pavey Ark, a Peak we had all summited so many times, we put on our head torches and headed straight down Easy Gully. A descent route that is not as easy as the name suggests. We after intially spreading out we bunched up as we took turns making the move on the "bad step", a short section that makes a scree gully that already requires attention even more testing.


Back at the Tarn we trotted around the opposite side to where we had started from in order to complete a full lap and headed back to the car pack via the West Stickle Tarn path.

Now completely dark we were the last people coming off the Mountain, and for one evening, we didn't have to share any of it with anyone else.


See and read more about Rory on his Instagram feed @rorysouthworth and if your feeling inspired for more check out The Journal for epic adventures and stories. Use code GET20 for a welcome discount.

Pictures by:
Mairi Olivier
Tom Hecht
Rory Southworth

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