Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Reviving the Lake District

Dad climbing Communist Convert.
I've spent the last couple of weekends up in the Lakes and have managed to get a bit of climbing in. On the first weekend despite a less than ideal forecast I headed out with my Dad. When I was a student I'd have probably laid in on an iffy forecast but five days of work and five more days to follow is a stern motivator. We headed to Raven Crag, Thirlmere which was brought to my attention by the Arc'teryx Lakeland Revival, a great initiative to encourage folk to climb some of the less frequently ascended routes in the Lakes. I'd climbed at the crag a few times before and it was great to revisit. We climbed Communist Convert, which was really good and not at all dirty. Go and do it.

After that we headed to the even more esoteric Thackmell Crags on the side of Thirlmere. After bushwhacking our way through vertical grass I did a great E1 wall called Yowie in the drizzle. Still hungry for more we headed to Harrop Tarn Crags, also known as Fairview Dome - don't get too excited the resemblance is only passing - but by the time we arrived it was properly raining. We called it a day and headed to Needle Sports to collect my free chalk bag.

Caitlin climbing the third pitch of Preying Mantis.
I was back up again for the August bank holiday weekend. I wasn't really supposed to be climbing but managed to convince my sister to come and hold my ropes on Sunday evening. We climbed Preying Mantis on Goat Crag. I'd last climbed this in 2003 or 2004 with my Dad. It was the second E1 I ever seconded. I got dragged up it. I can distinctly remember watching Dad lead the crux and a big positive hold on the second pitch, which was still there. The climb is brilliant, quite low in the grade, well protected, clean and dry. Saying that the top pitch felt quite tricky for 4c with darkness fast approaching.

The guys at Arc'teryx have made a brilliant little film about climbing in the Lakes. If watching this and the prospect of a free chalk bag for just climbing a route on the list doesn't motivate you to get up there than I'm afraid I can't help you.

Arc'teryx Lakeland Revival

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