Rock Climbing Coniston - Dow Crag
Rock climbing on Dow crag is always a wonderful adventure. Today our 'Plan A' had been Scafell or Pillar, but Dow crag is easier to reach, so it was settled.
This is a magnificent place to climb and offers a huge variety of styles and grades, from the old school traditional thrutches through to modern test-pieces. Today I had a minor link-up in mind and we started with a route neither of us had climbed before.
Giants Corner - 30m - Severe 3c:
Don't know how or why I've overlooked this route for so long, but today we put things right and climbed it. Only a single pitch on such a big cliff could easily feel a bit of a waste, but don't be put off by the shortness of this climb, it makes up for this with some tremendous positions that are so unlikely to be found on a Severe.
Starting towards the left end of Lower B Buttress and just to the right of the descent gully a wall leads steeply up to the corner to the start of a slab. The slab is very easy but pleasant and leads up to a huge roof which does feel a little intimidating. Once under the roof the jugs start flying at you so grab away. Follow these leftwards in ever wonderful positions before a final pull reaches easy ground. A poor belay can be found here, but far better to continue up the slab above for about 8m to reach an excellent belay ledge with good anchors.
The descent gully is easily reached from here and it's only 5 mins back to base.
After this we climbed the full length of A Buttress via the 3 star Arete, Chimney and Crack. This requires a variety of climbing techniques as there are such a range of features en-route. It feels like a tour of the buttress, weaving and wandering to generally take a line of least resistance up this rather steep and imposing piece of rock.
In order to fully savour the mountain day, we split the climb into around 6 pitches and finished with scrambling to top out on the summit plateau and glorious views into the Duddon valley and over to the Scafell range.
As we had carried our bags up the route we could now enjoy an easy walk along the ridge-line to reach the Walna Scar track and onwards back to Coniston.
A top day out in the sunshine.
If you're planning a visit to the Lake District and interested to try out some rock climbing or other outdoor activities, please do get in touch and we'll do our very best to help make your stay even more fantastic.
Thanks for reading.