After a lovely sunny day spent walking with a family in the Borrowdale valley, I later met up with my friend Kelly for a spot of evening cragging in Langdale.
All of the Lakeland valleys are beautiful and have lots going for them. But for me, Langdale is the stand out valley, the most dramatic, with lots of accessible walking, scrambling, and climbing suitable for a wide range of people. It's without doubt my favourite place.
Around 5 years ago me & Kate climbed a route called Pluto on Raven crag. A HVS with a big traverse so not something to take lightly. I remember then it felt difficult, with a strenuous 1st pitch and an awkward (for the tall) traverse pitch with sometimes questionable protection! We ran out of time so didn't climbing the final pitch that evening. But pleased with the route all the same and always great to be out climbing with Kate whilst Don slept at the base of the crag :-)
This week I was back at the base of Pluto with Kelly, who thankfully had agreed to lead the harder pitches, so I could have a bumble along and simply enjoy the ride. Cruising up the first pitch, I looked up at Kelly thinking 'good effort for making it look easier than it is'! I took over the lead for the big traverse pitch. This follows a strong natural line under the overlap. Some delicate moves and often difficult to arrange protection eventually lead to a comfortable belay stance by a big block. The final pitch looked distinctly exciting and route finding proved to be problematic too. With some bold moves on the steep initial wall, some much needed protection was placed before a fine traverse into a groove and the final blast to the top. This was a fine lead with a bold feel. Lots of the moves are reachy, favouring a taller person (so not too bad for me), making it all the more exciting for sub 6 footers!
Twilight was upon us as we descended, so we sauntered on back to the Old Dungeon Ghyll and home for food.
If you're considering trying rock climbing and are visiting the area. Why not get in touch and we'll make a plan to suit you. We know most of the crags in most of the valleys, be it Langdale, Borrowdale, Eskdale, Duddon, or Patterdale.
Another grand day :-)