Dow Crag Climbing
A plan was hatched to spend a rest day climbing up on Dow Crag with Sam. I always prefer being up on the mountain crags and Dow certainly qualifies as one of those. Thankfully Sam is always pretty keen for the higher crags too, so when Dow was mentioned he was well keen. Then Eliminate 'A' was mentioned and it was 'game on'.
Checking the guidebook I couldn't believe it had been 7 years since I had climbed this magnificent route, where does the time go!
Walking up to the crag, it almost felt like we were running, so keen we were to get up there and enjoy the beauty of Dow. As is typical for this crag, the approach walk is hot & sweaty, the crag is chilly and jackets come out of the bags! We hadn't actually packed jackets though, oh dear. But between us we more or less had enough to keep us warm...ish.
As I'd previously led all the pitches, we engineered it for Sam to get all the plum pitches, so an easy ride for me 🙂
The easier pitches are no less worthwhile though, in fact, I'd say they're every bit as good as the cruxes. Every pitch, every move really is brilliant. But for me, it's the higher pitches that are the best, the exposure is felt far more and a feeling that a VS really shouldn't be cruising through such wild terrain.
The FRCC guidebook description sums things up rather well: 'One of England's great routes; cunningly conceived, of absorbing interest and with a superb atmosphere'. Dow Crag Climbing is simply stunning.
There are plenty more routes on Dow crag, from Diff up to the high E grades, with some single pitch routes and lots of long multi-pitch offerings. Many are 3 star classics, so well worth the walk up and the extra clothes required for a high and East facing mountain crag. Views over to Old Man of Coniston and down to Goat's Water are wonderful too. Oh, and then there's the top out. Depending on which route you choose, you may top out to more mind blowing views, this time it's into the Duddon valley and over to the Scafell range.
Top day, cheers Sam.
Great crag, great atmosphere, great climbing. Want some but not sure where to start. Give us a call and let's make a plan.
Thanks to Mila for help with the photos 🙂