10 October 2010

Who would have thought...

it was October: blue skies and dry rock.

A morning mist hangs over the Langdale Valley.

I mentioned in Tuesday's post that I would be heading out to satisfy the need for adventure, partnerships and big challenges on Wednesday. Well that didn't happen, but it did today. The challenge was certainly a big one and it might have been too big for a Sunday in October: the weather shone through though and after ten hours of climbing we achieved our objective.

Looking across White Ghyll Crag to the valley floor far below.

The objective of the day was to summit Pavey Ark, but there was a slight twist. We started climbing at Scout Crags, which is ten minutes from the road, and finishes no where near the summit of Pavey Ark. However, the top of Scout Crags does finish near White Ghyll Crag and the top of this is only a short walk from the base of the crags on Pavey Ark.

Pavey Ark towering majestically over Stickle Tarn.

This idea of linking several routes together to ascend a Lakeland fell is nothing new, but in order to reach the top of Pavey Ark we had to use three different crags and five different routes. This meant we had sixteen pitches of climbing and two-hundred-and-eighty meters of climbing to get through before we could stand, successful, on the summit of Pavey Ark.

Stickle Tarn with the Langdales beyond from Pavey Ark.

The five climbs we ascended were by no means hard or technical, but that wasn't the point of the day; it was about moving in the mountains and climbing was just one of the mediums we used in doing this. To be honest climbing should be more about this and I think at times some individuals, and I do as well, get too hooked up on the grades of climbs and lose focus on the real reasons for climbing.

Heading home at the end of the day: heading down Jack's Rake.

Once at the top of Pavey Ark we used the classic scramble of Jack's Rake to descend down to Stickle Tarn below, before jogging down the well established path, which runs parallel with Stickle Ghyll, down to the New Dungeon Ghyll and the Stickle Barn. I'm now heading to bed for some well needed rest before a day of lectures.

More pictures of the day can be found here.

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

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