Hello Rock

I’m never going to turn down the chance to spend time in the Lakes, especially when it involves Langdale and climbing. A weekend, crept up to 5 days; did you see Mondays weather forecast? – no way we were going home.

Early March weather can be fickle. Friday morning, sitting in the rain in a lay-by by the side of the A69 I wasn’t optimistic about our climbing chances. But a little bit of patience, breakfast and a look round NeedleSports (oh look a new guidebook!) was all it took for some nicer conditions to arrive.  That new guidebook featured Castle Rock, perennial Lakes poor weather alternative.

Climbing at Castle Rock. Not bad for Early March.

Photo by Sam Marsland

Sun and fast drying rock made for a almost balmy afternoons climbing. We managed to clock up six routes before darkness fell.

Saturday morning lying in a tent, listening to the rain, I knew there was no climbing today. Waterproofs on then, and scrambling in Crinkle Gill.  I’ve no scrambling experience to compare it to, but I thought it was a grand day out through great rock architecture.  Never too hard, never too wet and continually interesting. We carried on up to Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, then back down to the Old.

Sunday. Snow! An overnight dusting on the fells, a cold rainy morning so a gentle bimble over to Cathedral Quarry and Hodge Close to look at lines of bolts and more big impressive rock lines.  Those people with jobs to get home to departed at 3pm, just as the sun was coming out.  Time then for a few evening routes on Walthwaite.

The forecast for Monday was the same symbol all day – the round yellow one. A good day to be unemployed. We hooked up with Mark with vague plans for Eskdale granite, but somehow got waylaid at the top of Wyrnose by Longscar and Black Crag.  I was pretty happy to get on with a HS that I’d fancied last year.

Jolly Roger HS, Black Crag Langdale

Jolly Roger HS, Black Crag Langdale

Photo by Mark Eddy

Tuesday and another sunny one. Grand plans for Gimmer dampened by the stiff cold breeze we opted to stay low on Raven Crag. A return to Bilberry Buttress, but no amount of gentle persuasion could get me to lead the first pitch on that minimalist rack. So the first 2 pitches fell to Neil, I was persuaded to lead the final pitch though.  I’m not sure it was very hard, it just felt grimy.  Finished the day with a trip up Cenitpede, but by then i was cold and fading – one to come back to I think.

So plenty done then, not a bad early foray. Super excited to be heading back to the Lakes properly soon and a summer of rock.