21 April 2010

I'm fed up...

of the Lake District, but in a good way.

Looking across Watendlath Valley to the central fells.

Even now, after spending nearly two years in Carlisle, and grabbing every available minute known to man in order to head south, into the Lake District National Park, my breath is taken away by what lies beneath my feet and in front of my eyes. I don't think I could ever get bored of sitting on a fell side, on a clear day, and looking out across the gullies, buttresses, valleys and crags of Lakeland. There is something magical about this place.

Jamming up Son of Oz (S).

Today's viewing seat was from Goats Crag in the Watendlath Valley, which is probably one of the top valleys on my list of favourite Lake District valleys. We took in six of the routes on this short buttress of rhyolite and all of them were enjoyable experiences, but what was even more delightful was when you could turn your head away from the rock and out to the horizon where Glaramara, Esk Pike, Great End, Dale Head, Cat Bells and High Spy, to name a few, sat majestically in the spring sunshine under the most beautiful of blue skies.

The ropes in a tangled mess after dropping them from Emma Line (HVS, 5a).

The only downside to the day was the loss of a Wild Country Rock. It may only be a small wedge of metal, but it was like loosing a close friend. It's been with me from the start of my outdoor climbing career, which began properly little more than a year ago. It has been with me on many memorable adventures into the hills and has been excellent company on many a route when I've started to get slightly worried by the run out; it's come to hand and lodged itself firmly in a crack, happy to take my weight if need be.

Looking across to the western fells.

We can't look to the past however: I'm out again tomorrow, but I think I'll be accompanied by my Petzl Shunt this time. It looks like Reecastle Crag is calling once again so I can start working the moves on some of the harder lines I want to get done this summer.

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

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