White Ghyll Crag
After a hot day of walking on the Lakeland Fells the approach slog to White Ghyll Crag was always going to feel, well, a bit of a slog!
But worth it and doesn't feel like a slog at all once at this magnificent crag.
White Ghyll crag always stirs emotions for me, i've had plenty of exciting times there and am sure there's more in store. The huge band of overhangs add to the foreboding atmosphere and general sense of adventure, and adventure is usually in store.
It was mid-evening as we walked up to the crag, so we weren't exactly flush with time, but okay to bag a route. There had been a mention of 'Do Not Direct' - at E1 this was going to feel tough in the intense summer heat (yes it's been roasting here), I could have been swayed towards easier offerings very easily. But Kelly was keen for the full experience this route promised.
Well, did it deliver?
Yes, but not quite how we had expected. I think it's fair to say that makes this outing a true adventure, given the uncertain outcome.
Kelly was keen to lead pitch 1, the crux! Ace, i'll have an easy ride then, thanks. A big chunk of the first pitch was very straightforward, probably about 'Severe' until the spike. Here things changed, the angle steepened, and the climbing became extremely good and much harder. A good and swift lead, well executed throughout.
Pitch 2 was mine, this was due to be a bit easier, so happy days. Well not quite!
Poor gear and a very steep groove had me pausing rather a lot, rather too much actually. After arranging a good piece of protection it was time to go for the traverse. This looked great for hands and appalling for feet, it was. Some poor protection added for piece of mind before more very steep moves and plenty of positive encouragement from below, led to the easier ground.
I was tired, pumped, and mentally drained by this point. A slip from the end of the traverse would have been a tad troublesome, hence the mentally drained bit 🙂 Kelly cruised the pitch and soon we were abseiling back down the crag and all in time for a getaway before darkness arrived.
A really good route that i'd definitely climb again. this is what summer evenings are for right, getting out on the higher crags and pushing our limits.
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