I think it's reasonable to say that the Lake District has some of the finest climbing in the country, and Langdale is definitely a jewel of Lakeland climbing, offering so much variety and mostly on South or South-west facing crags.
Over the last couple of days we've been to Upper Scout crag, White Ghyll crag, and Gimmer crag.
All excellent venues in their own right, each with a variety of grades to choose from.
Upper Scout is very easy to access, being only about 15 minutes from the road, the routes are friendly and offer plentiful protection for the lead climber. We climbed two routes here.
White Ghyll is just around the corner from Upper Scout, but could not be more different. A steep and imposing place with an atmosphere that can sometimes be quite gripping. This is a crag to visit when you want full value from your climbing day as it's likely at some point during the day it will feel intimidating. The routes are mostly fabulous and on excellent rock, again the protection is usually very good where it's needed most.
Gimmer crag is on a whole new level. Best crag in Langdale / best crag in the Lakes / best crag in the UK? It's certainly high on the list. Reasons for this are its amazing position high above the valley (this helps keep it quiet) providing beautiful views of the valley and to the Coniston fells. A good spread of grades means there's something for everyone here. The rock is extremely high quality, the routes are almost all brilliant, and there's in-situ abseil stations making multiple routes far more feasible. I think the best approach to this crag is to firstly climb Middlefell Buttress on Raven crag, this takes the toil out of gaining height and is a good route in its own right. From the top of here it's only about 20 minutes to the crag.
We climbed a 'classic rock' route today called 'Bracket & Slab'. We split this into about 5 pitches, each gave unique challenges and provided excellent climbing, all the belay ledges were large and comfortable too making for a very pleasant excursion.
If you haven't yet tried any of these crags, I can highly recommend them, and if you'd like a guide for your climb, do give us a call.
Let's all hope for a long hot summer.