This magnificent crag is set high above the valley floor, just below the summit of Loft crag. The rock sweeps upwards for around 100m and almost every route offers immaculate climbing on beautiful rock.
We began with Ash Tree Slabs, a 'Classic rock' route of the highest quality. The route can be split into 2 pitches, but we decided to stretch the ropes out and do it in a single pitch to reach Ash Tree Ledge. After a rest to enjoy the view, we moved over a little to meet the base of our next route, 'Oliversons variation and Lyons crawl'. This is also a 3 star route and done over 4 pitches due to a wandering nature, taking a relatively easy way to the top of the crag. What this route also offers, is a tour of much of the upper crag, so good for building familiarity, which was part of the reason Helen was here today. Some of this route seems improbable at the grade of v'diff, but the holds are always comforting and most of the belays large. The exposure is definitely felt on the upper pitches, which is always a nice feeling.
From the top, we sorted the ropes for our multi-abseil descent and went for a 'stacked abseil' set up down to Ash tree ledge. After replacing the rope on the lower abseil station (above Asterisk), we continued down to the base of the crag and our waiting bags, lunch time :-)
Glorious sunshine all day, warm and only a light breeze, perfect weather for Gimmer.