28 March 2012

Four Days of Mountain Adventures.

I've just returned to work after a short, five day holiday, in which I managed to get out into the mountains for four of those days. That in itself is impressive, but what is even more impressive was the Cumbrian weather; it was perfect.

Phoebe stood above Great Langdale Beck with the Langdale Pikes in the background.

On the first day we went for a walk around the Langdales with my mum (Phoebe's Nanna) and my brother (Phoebe's Uncle Dan). We started out from Elterwater and headed up the valley, and returned along the banks of Great Langdale Beck. Once back at Elterwater we continued on down to Skelwith Bridge before retracing our steps.

The tent pitched and Phoebe exploring.

The following day was a late start, but that was because we had a lot to pack; we were going to spend the night under canvas in the Eskdale Valley. The Eskdale Valley, in my opinion, is too far to drive in one day, from Carlisle, meaning I have never visited the valley. However, an overnight stay makes the long drive around the west coast of Cumbria more worthwhile.

Sat enjoying the spray being blown from Stanley Force.

We arrived at the Fisherground Campsite at mid-day, and after pitching the tent and lunching we headed out for a walk, which took in Stanley Ghyll, and ended at Dalegarth. This meant we could return to the campsite by the narrow gauge train, which runs up and down the valley. In the evening, I went for a boulder at Eskdale Fisherground's Diamond Area, which was twenty minutes from the tent.

Trying to get established on the slab of Problem 7 (V2, 6a), Animal Boulder.

The following day, after a cold start, we headed up to the Animal Boulder, which was only ten minutes walk from the tent, for an early morning boulder before packing up and headed further up the valley for a short walk around Hardknott Fort.

Phoebe having a walk around Hardknott Fort with the Scafell Range behind.

The final day of the four day mountain adventure saw me having an early start; the plan was to tick off a couple of routes on Esk Buttress. We walked in to the crag, which lies on the flanks of Scafell Pike and sits high up in Eskdale, from Seathwaite Farm in Borrowdale so we had a fair few miles and meters of ascent to cover. We managed to get it done in two, long, tiring and sweaty hours and were climbing the first pitches of Square Chimney by 10am.

Seconding the first pitch of Square Chimney (VS).

After ticking the first four pitches of Square Chimney we stepped across onto Medusa Wall and finished up that route's final two pitches. This gave us six pitches of stunning climbing, on some perfect Borrowdale Volcanics, on what has to be one of the remotest, and most beautiful crags in the Lake District.

Upper Eskdale as the sun sinks behind the Scafell Range.

More pictures of the four days can be found here.

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

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