29 April 2009

Bad weather never stops play

There is never such a thing as bad weather. Ok there is, but it never has to stop you from getting out in the outdoors and enjoying yourself. If it's raining I tend to hit the rivers, if it's dry I try and get on some rock and when it's wet, but not wet enough to float down a river, I fill my time with pacing the Lake District fells. Today was one of those days.

Looking across to High Hartsop Dodd and the Eastern Ranges from Hartsop above How.

I started from Cow Bridge and made a quick ascent of Hartsop above How before traversing this ridge line to push on up Hart Crag. From here I made a descent to the col of the aforementioned summit and Dove Crag before reaching the 792m high promontory of Dove Crag.

Fairfield and Hart Crag from a small pool on Hartsop above How.

The summit cairn of Dove Crag with Windermere in the background.

From here I headed on in a south-easterly direction with my final objective being Red Screes, but on the way it just seemed stupid to miss the opportunity of taking lunch at Little Hart Crag (637m).

The Ordnance Survey column on Red Screes.

From Red Screes a steep descent was made down to the Kirkstone Pass Inn. I headed back into the North Lakes along the road before taking the permissive footpath just uphill of Smithy Brow to Hartsop Hall and then on along the shores of Brothers Water to Cow Bridge.

The Kirkstone Pass Inn, which the highest pub in the Lake District.

I'm off to the climbing wall this evening for a bit of vertical fun.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

23 April 2009

A hectic couple of days

It's almost been a week since I lasted posted but to be honest it feels like it was only yesterday as I've been so busy. I worked some ridiculous amount of hours at Go Ape on Saturday and Sunday, but the money is so nice you just can't afford to turn it down, and then Monday didn't let up either. Ok, it was quite easy considering a lecture was cancelled, but still I wasn't home till gone seven because of the need to visit the climbing wall.

Tuesday saw me back at Armathwaite as there was a three hour break before the day's final lecture. I didn't have such a good session; only repeating a problem I've done countless times and not even getting up a problem I managed to send on my previous visit. The afternoon also saw me back in the climbing wall helping out with a birthday party.

Then Wednesday came. I had one solitary lecture before I headed to the climbing wall again to help prepare it for the upcoming BRYCS regional final by setting a handful of boulder problems. I took a break in the afternoon, which involved popping over to Keswick to spend some of my student loan and getting up a route in Borrowdale, before getting back to the wall at 7:30 to set another route before heading for Carlisle at 9:30.

About to start out on the second pitch of Troutdale Pinnacle, Black Crag (S).

Looking across to Derwent Water from Troutdale Pinnacle, Black Crag (S).

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

17 April 2009

Another afternoon gone...

I'm back at work tomorrow, but only for two days; the last half of the second semester begins on Monday with a nice dose of theory on fitness for the outdoors before following it up with some practical stuff in the gym.

There was no better way to spend my last free afternoon for a considerable time - in fact I've got a free afternoon on Wednesday - than with a spot of bouldering at Armathwaite's Sandy Bay. This was my third visit to what is the local Carlisle crag, and my second this week. I managed to work out the sequence for the V3 problem just left of The Exorcist (E4 5c), which I didn't complete on my
last visit with the Woomf and also made head way in sending the V4 problem at the far left of the bay.

Dropping to the ground after warming up on the problem running up the start of the Exorcist (V2).

Coming off at the crux to the V3 problem.

Latching the big jug after the V3's crux.

Attempting the reachy V4 with little success.

Working out the sequence for the crux on the far left problem (V4).

More pictures can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

15 April 2009

Wasting an afternoon

Stood besides the River Gelt, with the boulder behind.

Ok, you can't really call it wasting an afternoon; it was rather productive. Honest. I suppose some busy-body types may see climbing as a waste of time. However, I don't.

I spent my afternoon over near Brampton, on the banks of the River Gelt, at the boulder, which shares the same name as the river. The boulder is about six-metres high, made of a fine-grained Quartzite and the climbs are steep, sometimes overhanging, with only small tendon-busting holds. The boulder also has something of an international reputation when it erroneously appeared in a climbing guidebook to Europe some years back.

Mean while the guidebook by Stew Wilson, which has long been out of publication, doesn't say much about the boulder, apart from what I've tapped out above. It does give some pointers to the worthwhile lines on what I think is a gem of a boulder. These are pictures below.

Reaching for a side pull on the Upstream Face Arete (5c).

Focusing on my footwork whilst ascending the Main Face Arete (5c+).

Topping out on the wall just right of Main Face Arete (5b/c).

Grasping the jug on the Main Face Wall (5a/b).

Finishing off Main Face Crack (4c).

Leaving the boulder after a productive tendon and forearm work out.

More pictures can be seen here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

14 April 2009

Faces in places

The weather's been remarkably good over the past few days and with the clocks going back the other week the nights have remained relatively light until around 9pm. This means that climbing is now replacing the TV as an evening activity.

This evening, after an early tea, we headed to Armathwaite, where the climbing is bordering on amazing. It was just a shame that I wasn't on form. I only completed one route, a severe, called A Big Hand, which starts off beneath some rather amusing carvings (pictured above). I did attempt a VS 4b, Cook's Crack, and a HS 4b, Glenwillie Grooves, but failed miserably. Basically, I need to trust my gear more and go for the moves.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

12 April 2009

Bank Holiday Weekend

It's been a while since I last posted - almost two weeks - and to be honest the only excuse I've got is that I've been busy at work. I've just finished a mammoth seven days in a row over at Whinlatter Forest Park where I've been instructing people on how to navigate safely around a high wire forest adventure better know as Go Ape. Yesterday I didn't do much and today I saw a bit more action as we heading over to Long Scar, which looks over the summit of Wrynose Pass in the Langdales for a spot of climbing action.

Self portrait from the top of Long Scar.

Looking across to Long Scar's Slabby Wall from the top of Katie's Dilemma (S).

Starting out on Trigger (S).

The plan was to have a dabble on the rock before heading off for a mammoth 16 mile walk around the entire Langdale Valley. This was no light endeavour and the plan was to take in Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell, Esk Pike, Pike o'Stickle, Loft Crag and Pavey Ark before spending the night at Stickle Tarn. The next morning would have seen us up so that we could return to the van via Pike o'Blisco. However, it just didn't work out. After the climbing, energy levels were fairly low and motivation was going the same way. Comments were made about doing the walk in reverse, but still that fell on deaf ears so we turned tail and headed back to Carlisle leaving the walk for another time this week maybe.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

01 April 2009

Jackdaw Scar - Kings Meaburn

Seconding Kirsten Wall (HS, 4b).

Topping out on Bay Rum (VD).

I've just been climbing. The van's in the garage tomorrow getting repaired after failing it's MOT on Monday and I'm working on Saturday for seven day's straight. All is grand.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...