Saturday, 29 May 2010

Trip up North

I headed up to Scotland yesterday for 3 days scrambling work. Today I went up Ledge Route on Ben Nevis with father and son combo Chris and Peter. They had never been on technical ground but have had their fair share of mountain walking. Unfortunately I had injured my knee a week ago running, I thought it had healed, it hadn't! So as we topped out on the route it was apparent I wasn't going to be able to do the next two days. Anyway I pushed on to the summit with the guys where it was very busy. I hobbled my way back down the mountain had a couple of sneaky beers to ease the pain. Back to the Lakes I think.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Problem with the Lakes...Parking

I met up with Johnny today who had just done a learn to lead course yesterday and wanted to get a bit more mileage. He was up for climbing some harder route and also some classic. We didn't have time to go up high and he wanted to get to know Borrowdale a little better. So we headed off to Black Crag but there was no parking, we went to Shepard's Crag instead. We started off on Jackdaw Ridge (D), johnny led 2 pitches. I then led him up Fishers Folly (VS 4c). We then went back to Black crag car park, still full. So off to Quayfoot Buttress (VD) where Johnny led all the pitches. Nice hot day and lots of good climbing.

Monday, 24 May 2010

BBQ at Bowderstone

This evening a crew of us went down to the premier bouldering destination in Borrowdale for beers, BBQ and some sore fingers. I had never climbed here and it is ace, a little polished in areas but some great problems. Lots of steep routes and a couple of easier routes to get warmed up on. I think I will be heading back down there pretty soon.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Sooo Hot!

Today was a scorcher, apparently hotter than Ibiza! Anyway, I met up with Cal from Needle Sports after we finished work and headed up to Black Crag in Borrowdale. We thought it would be a nice idea to do a long route in the sun as it was setting in the distance. We went for a link up of Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect (HVS 5a) and Raindrop (E1 5b). Cal linked pitch 1 and 2 together to get us to the base of the crux pitch, then I led on, linking the next two pitches to complete 120m of climbing. A great routes on a perfect evening.


Forgot the suncream and climbed at Raven Crag in Langdale. Not a good idea. I met up with Isi and Tom and spent the day ticking off more of the lines down there. Tom was new'ish to climbing so just followed us up routes and Isi and I swapped leads on everything. We stared on The Original Route (S) to get warmed up, then went onto Mendes (VS 4c) which is a great route and then we finished on Bilberry Buttress (VS 4c). A really hot day, quiet crag and a pint to finish the day off!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Early start

Today Alec and I went up to Castle Rock in thirlmere for a morning climb. Alc had never been to the crag despite driving past it everyday. Alec hadn't led for ages as well so we started off on Via Media (S) and then headed around the corner and climbed Zig Zag (VS 4b) which is a great route. After this time was up and Alec had to go and do some work so I went down to Ullswater Lake!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Old home

Today Dan G and I went out to Swindale (near to where I used to live) up to Gouther Crag. Dan hadn't been climbing outside this season so let me do all the leading, which makes me happy! We were going to start on The Fang (MVS 4a) but we let a team who were at the crag already go on it first. So we started on Kennel Wall (MS) which I did in just the one pitch. We came down and then went up The Fang. After this we had time for 1 more so I went up Bloodhound (E2 5b) which is pretty bold but has excellent climbing on. A real 3 star route I think! Great afternoon climbing on good rock. I'll be going back there soon!

Carrock Fell

Today Dan and I headed up to Carrock Fell (between Penrith and Keswick) boulders for an evening of finger ripping, quartzite pulling. I haven't been up here before so it was good to look around. Some really good problems around on really good rock.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Testing the Dragons

Today I met up with an old client from The Ice Factor (I took him ice climbing) who I had bumped into in Keswick earlier in the week. The skies were looking pretty grey and wet all day so we held off until the afternoon then headed to Shepards Crag. We had a nice new set of Dragon cams to test out. The did get a good testing too! We started on Little Chamonix (VD) as Dean had never done it, he fell off on the lead on the first pitch and landed on a cam, it held! (Test number 1 complete). He was fine and we topped out by swapping leads. I then really wanted to do the Bludgeon (E1 5b) so Dean set off on the first pitch and then I took the second. Unfortunately Dean was unable to second through the crux so he pulled on the cams I'd placed (test number 2 complete!), he finally got to the top. Dean was super pumped so we had to head home. A wicked route though!!

Friday, 14 May 2010

2 punctures and 1 fall

Today Dan and I set out for a long ride on the mountain bikes but we also wanted some technical sections to ride. We opted for Ullswater Single track and more. We parked at Sandwick and rode around Place Fell to Boredale Hause, this section was really good (I fell off), quite technical and quite quick. Dan got a puncture on the way down. From Boredale Hause we went along to Hartsop, rode up to Hayeswater (I got a puncture) and pushed up to Rampsgill Head (792m). From here we rode over High Raise (802m) and over onto High Street. We rode all the way along to The Cockpit and then turned and headed back down above the lake to Howtown and back over to the car at Sandwick. A great day, In fact the best days riding I've had in a long time!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Stand up solo

Today I was due to meet up with a mate for an evening climb at Castle Rock, unfortunately he didn't show so I was stuck with a spare hour in the evening sun. I took my shoes up to the crag (and all the rack and ropes, just incase he was there!) and soloed Yew Tree Climb (VD), Via Media (S) and finished on Direct Route (VS 4b). A nice evening with a cool breeze. Sounded like there were a couple of teams on the North Crag. No surprises as its a great evening west facing venue.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010


Today Al and I went down to Grizedale for some biking action along the tracks. I wanted to climb Totalitarian (E1 5c) at Raven Crag but unfortunately there were bird restrictions. So back to the car and we headed for Castle rock. Al suggested doing some biking instead so I agreed and we drove to Griesdale Forest and did 2 circuits of the North Face Route.

Monday, 10 May 2010

A good way to conclude the day!

This evening I met up with Sean and Rowan and we headed out to Brown Crag at Shepard's Crag. Rowan hasn't climbed for a looong time and Sean wanted to see me manage 2 seconds. So I took them both up Brown Slabs Arete (D). We did the route in 3 pitches with the guy's coming up in parallel and walked down from the top. I was really keen for another route so Sean held my ropes on Conclusion (E1 5b), I topped out, abbed down and stripped all my gear. Both routes were really good, polished but interesting.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Sooo cold!!

Today I was climbing in my belay jacket! I thought that after winter I wouldn't be needing to do that. Nige and I were at Quayfoot Buttress for the afternoon and the wind was strong and cold. We started off on Irony (HVS 5a), then went onto The Crypt Direct (E1 5b), then The Go Between (E2 5c) and then finished on Mandrake (HVS 5a) which is a great route. We started off with the crag to ourselves but teams turned up and climbed Quayfoot Buttress, Aberration and a few others.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Biking today

As it was damp today, Dan and I left the ropes and rack at the house and loaded up the bikes and headed up to Hawswater. Dan had biked a couple of sections up there before but wanted to try out some other lines. We hiked up from Mardale Head car park to Gatescarth Pass and rode down the other side to Sadgill. From here we retraced our steps for a great downhill finale! From the car park we went for a little warm down over to The Rigg and back. Loads of great single track routes there if your prepared to push up the hill a little.

Quick evening stretch

This evening Sean and I headed up to Brown Slabs in Borrowdale. First of all I soloed Brown Slab Direct (VD) and the I led him up Brown Crag Wall (VS 4b). A great little route, bit polished at first but improved. We did the route in 3 pitches and then walked off the top.