Monday began on the fantastic Raven crag, Yewdale. We took a grade 2-3 route to include some steeper terrain where the rope could be used. This gave a good introduction to anchor selection and belay methods. When the rope wasn't being used we used route choice and spotting to keep each other safe and discussed the limitations of this and the pros and cons.
After lunch we moved on to Coniston and a scramble up the broad buttress of Long Crag. At about grade 1 this is a noticeably easier route, but still gives plenty of interest and we steered ourselves towards some of the steeper sections. The rock is at all times wonderfully grippy, providing excellent friction that quickly builds confidence in foot placements.
The descent from here involved a fair amount of bracken bashing and crawling under the Yew trees! Quite an adventure in itself!
A mountain day with plenty of scrambling was the request for today. So we headed for Langdale which can always provide a brilliant link up of top quality scrambles.
The Groove on Tarn crag provided the starter. En-route to this is a pleasant spur that allowed us to consolidate movement skills from yesterday and discuss spotting techniques further.
At grade 3, The Groove is best enjoyed with the safety of a rope. We climbed about 3 pitches before escaping leftwards onto grassy terraces. Here we could continue mostly unroped, occasionally dipping back in to roped sections to further consolidate skills.
After summiting we descended to Stickle tarn and made our way to Jack's Rake, stopping for some lunch at the base.
For most of the way up Jack's Rake we used spotting techniques to allow for fluid movement whilst keeping things safe. Once at the crux section the rope was back out so Paul could put some skills into practice. And for a finale we brought the rope out again to allow us a safe passage through a more difficult finishing line up the superb Tufa of Pavey Ark.
A quick boulder hop to the summit before heading for home.
A cracking could of days in the mountains. Thanks Paul & James for good company and loads of enthusiasm.