It's got to be the Lakes right. Well we think so and that's what we did.
Via one of our lovely clients (thanks Jen) we had heard very good things about this place www.1692wasdale.co.uk so booked ourselves in for the night. Owners Steve & Faith couldn't have been more welcoming and have created a wonderful place, very well positioned for walkers planning on anything around the Wasdale area. Modern, spacious, great views, peaceful, and friendly. Oh and breakfast was delicious.
We had planned to climb on the Eskdale granite on Sunday, but some heavy rain put a dampener on that plan. Instead a few local walks, one being along the peaceful Bleng River in Blengdale. Today we had more luck with the weather, so headed for Brantrake crag in Eskdale.
Parking up in the lay-by only a few minutes walk from the crag, Kate asked me which way we needed to walk and if I had the guidebook. It was very nice to be able to reply 'I wrote the guidebook' - to this and all the Eskdale climbing venues. Of course that doesn't mean I know every route, but could remember enough to keep us occupied for the morning.
Just as I remembered it, the approach path was a little boggy for a few metres, thankfully not for long and we were soon standing at the base of a beautifully sculpted slab of Granite with a couple of climbers already in residence.
There are 3 separate slabs and we chose the upper slab which has a selection of warm-up routes and more challenging offerings. I soon remembered that granite cracks are often flared and offer little in the way of protection!! With some ingenuity and maybe a little faffing, I managed to adequately protect all the climbs we did. Just as we finished the 4th route the rain joined us, thankfully we must have been right on the edge of it as never was it heavy and it soon passed. We decided to call it a day for the climbing anyway.
Driving back home over Birker Fell to Ambleside is always beautiful, with big landscapes in all directions. This time we stopped for a walk to Devoke Water. This is a short and easy walk on a very good track, recommended if you're in the area.
It's a couple of weeks before outdoor operations start up again out in Spain for the winter, we still have plenty of availability from mid-November onwards. With lots of sunshine and long daylight hours, it's the perfect winter get away from the cold of the UK. Give us a call and let's make a plan.
Mark & Kate