26 May 2009


Last night saw me trawling over guidebooks and maps in the hope of coming up with a half reasonable plan for a day's climbing in the Borrowdale Valley over near Keswick. I near enough managed it as well. The aim was to park up at the Bowderstone car park and tick off a few routes at Quayfoot Buttress and then move on to tick off most of the climbs at Wodens Face before finishing it all off with some bouldering on the Bowderstone itself.

Starting out on The Crack (V4, 6a).

Right from the word go, well right from the moment we pulled into the car park, the plan was dissolved. The Bowderstone car park, being owned by the National Trust, is a pay and display car park, and the fact that I was without coin created a slight problem. I quickly deposited the van about a mile back up the road at a cheaper (read: free) parking area and hucked all the gear needed for the remainder of the plan a mile back along the road. Here the plan dissolved some more; on consulting the guidebook I discovered that the routes I had set out to do at Quayfoot Buttress were a bit beyond my grade. This wasn't really a problem as we could just head over to Wodens Face.

Continuing on up The Crack (V4, 6a).

On arriving at Wodens Face we discovered a large school group crawling all over the well polished rock face. That was now out of the question as well. On we headed, further along the path, and further along the plan. We now found ourselves at the Bowderstone unfolding pads and arranging them at the bottom of what looked like a promising problem. It wasn't to be and we soon headed back in the direction of Wodens Face in the hope that it would have cleared somewhat; it still hadn't.

The view from the top of The Axe (S 4a), Reecastle Crag.

The plan was definitely out of the window, but all was not lost; Reecastle Crag was our saving grace. I made an ascent of a poorly protected severe, considered some of the VS's, and set off up another sever at Reecastle Crag South. However, motivation levels were running at an all time low so I was soon backing off the climb and running back to the van with thoughts of heading to Armathwaite for a top-roping session tomorrow.

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

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