Mountain Journeys

Mountain Crags of the Lake District – Supremely Good Climbing Days


Leading 'Leopards Crawl' on Dow Crag - photo credit Sam Marsland - Mountain Crags of the Lake District

Mountain Crags of the Lake District

The hot summer weather continues and we look to be in for another week of 'el scorchio' - bring it on.

It's been 'all systems go' here, with lots of mountain and crag days and nights with many lovely people.
Thankfully a few of these days have been spent in the cool, clear waters of the Lakeland Gorges. These are simply wonderful right now and the perfect way to cool off after a warm (very hot) day on the fells.

Back on Sunday we took New Zealanders Sue & Izzie to Stickle Ghyll for a cool, refreshing dip. They then headed off up Scafell Pike whilst I took Alli and his pals into Stickle Ghyll during the afternoon.

On Monday & Tuesday I was out with Charlie & Ed. Firstly for a traverse of the Helvellyn ridges, Striding & Swirral. We flew over this in super quick time, handy given the hot weather.

And for Tuesday we headed to Borrowdale for an 'introduction to trad' day for Ed, visiting Steel Knotts Bluff and Shepherds crag. We climbed the super classic 'Little Chamonix' at Shepherds. Our associate instructor Paddy Cave was also busy for us at Shepherds. Climbing with Vince from the States and also on Little Chamonix before cranking the pace up a notch to blast up 'Ardus' - with Vince doing much of the leading.

On Tuesday night I met up with Nissan UK for a very rapid ascent of Scafell Pike, more about that here

Wednesday afternoon we were back in the Langdale valley with Tim and Liam from Ireland. Enjoying the cooling waters of Stickle Ghyll before braving the 'hot rock' at Scout crags. And yes it was very hot rock, almost hand burning hot!! That must be a first in the Lake District!!!!

On Friday we arranged a Birthday Abseil for David and Kay. For this we went to Hodge Close Quarry. Quite a 'full on' place for a first abseil and both took it in their stride. I heard recently there's some DWS lines emerging at this quarry, wow is it really that hot? Yes it is 🙂

We've also enjoyed some fine trips out with friends. Firstly to Glenridding Beck in Patterdale. This fine little gorge provides really fun adventure in a beautiful setting. Good for kids and adults and with an easy approach walk. A big plunge pool is the finale.

And Friday afternoon was a trip to Dow crag. That was a sweaty walk in!!! Hats and T-shirts dipped in Goats Water helped cool us off nicely. The crag was busy, with lots of action on A Buttress and Upper B Buttress in particular. We began with Leopards Crawl HVS. Described in the FRCC guidebook as 'a masterpiece' and wow it really is. Such an impressive line with 'hard for the grade' climbing and tricky to read moves.

The first pitch in particular has a very serious feel to it, with very spaced protection on this rising traverse. The second pitch felt much easier, but still plenty of interest and no push over.
We finished the afternoon with a quick blast up Murrays Route. This is a bit easier so a nice warm down. Even as we walked away from the crag at around 7.30pm there were plenty of climbers still enjoying the routes. Well it is light until around 11pm and warm enough all night at the moment, let's make the most of it.

Dow is one of the finest Mountain crags in the Lake District but as with any mountain crag, it needs to be visited during the best weather conditions. The crag faces east and is high, so is often cool (cold) from mid-afternoon onwards and will almost always be cold on a windy day.

Thanks all for a fabulous week



The suber classic 'Little Chamonix' on Shepherds crag. Climbers are Paddy Cave and Vince - Mountain Crags of the Lake District


Late evening sun lighting up Scafell crag - Mountain Crags of the Lake District



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