Category: outdoors

Holme Fell Scrambling

Some photos from this evenings trip out. A sunny scramble up the ridge of  Raven Crag (Yewdale), then over the top of Holme Fell and down to Hodge Close.  A nice way to tick a wee small Wainwright ( 317m) by using a grade 1/2 scramble.

Raven Crag Yewdale

The scramble takes the ridge above the crag – very grippy rock in the hot sun. Unfortunately the crag itself has nesting restrictions until the end of June. Wonder if the rock is the same?

Wild Cotton and the Pikes
Great views over the Langdales and the Fairfeild Horseshoe from the summit
Holme Fell
Looking back at Holme Fell from a small tarn.

Quick and Dirty Backpacking

Inspired by Fiona’s talk of backpacking trips, and with an evening and following morning off work, I decided to head off on my own little adventure while the weather held.

Finished my days work at 2.30pm, so headed home to stuff some essentials into a haversack. With a vague plan to walk over to Goats Water and camp below Dow Crag I set off.  It was 5pm by the time I reached Tilberthwaite, and started uphill.

From Tilberthwaite I headed up the path to the top of Weatherlam. Sun on my face all the way, the reward -  views over the Langdale Pikes and Crinkles in the distance and views down to Greenburn. Next, Swirl How the days highpoint. From here the vista opened out to the Duddon Valley, Harter Fell and the Scafells.  Then a left turn and along to  Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man.

Sunset Summits

The fells are magic at this time of night; deserted apart from me and two runners, and the light is amazing. Being high up watching the sunset over the lakes as the sky around Scafell turns red and the mist starts to form in the valleys – just amazing.

Sunset over Scafell and Grey Frair

Ended up camping at Goat Hause rather than dropping down to the tarn. Didn’t really want to leave that view, and I found somewhere flat with running water.

Morning and waking up to views over Dow Crag (I think I have a crush), time to walk down to Coniston, and head home ready for work this afternoon.

A quick and just a little bit dirty backpacking hit – soul food indeed.

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.

Days on Great End

It’s not been a bad week to be unemployed.  Conditions and partners coincided to provide some great hill days.

Regular climbing partner Mark had a long held ambition to climb Cust’s Gully on Great End.  I was a little apprehensive that the guys seemed to each have a couple of axes each, also winter walking’s the limit of my experience. But blue sky, snow and confident companions can be very convincing.

The first interest came with a icy step, overcome with pointer and the loan of axes from Neil.  Further interest came with a wiggle under a jammed block; elegant no, fun yes. So yeah, a nice introduction to winter mountaineering.

Cust's Gully

Unfortunately Mark had to work the next day, so Neil and I decided to hook up and take advantage of the promised conditions.  Getting an appetite for winter mountains then going to NeedleSports is a bit like going to the supermarket when you’re hungry.  I might have gotten a bit over enthusiastic, walking out with an upgrade to my walking axe – a set of DMM flys.

After considering our options, we decided to head back to up to Great End, with a mind to Central Gully.  Yesterday we had walked in via Sprinkling Tarn missing the head on views of the crag. From today’s walk-in it was impressively obvious where we were going.

Great End approach

This time there was ropes involved, me on the blunt end.   Pitches one and two seemed nice – variously trying to pay out fast enough, not stand on rope and getting used to my new tools. The original plan was for taking the right hand fork, but when we got there the left hand way looked better.  Climbing the ice was pretty fun.

Langdale from Great End

I led through the last (easy) pitch, got to top out to warm sun, and an inversion over the Lakes.  There was a a ‘fuck me’ followed by a ‘wow’. Those adjectives pretty much apply to both these days as well as that view.  Up there with the best hill days. Cheers guys.

For happiness just add snow

Swiral Top

Swiral Top, originally uploaded by lenoclimb.

Midweek mountains. With stolen glimpses of earth through the breaks. I like the beauty that comes with not being able to fully comprehend the full picture. Light. Impressions. Emerging. Fading. Real. Gone