/ Falcon Crag Borrowdale

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Dave Cumberland - on 22 Jul 2012
The pervasive Lake District bracken and jungle are taking over Falcon. It is almost impossible to get to the bottom of the crag. Local climbers - please go and clear the paths and route bases. These are classic multi-starred routes - no one is doing them, perhaps everyone is boulderbating or going abroad? Same at other valley crags - paths disappearing, jungle taking over after several years of cold, wet, sunless summers.

Give something back - Use it or lose it. Take bracken sticks or tools. At this rate the National Park Authority will achieve their ambition and climbing as we know it will end in the Lake District valley crags as they return to grass, heather, gorse, hawthorn, bracken and briar.
3leggeddog on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Whilst I share your concerns Dave. I'm not sure encouraging more climbers to use falcon is the best idea. Many local climbers (self included) have been giving the crag a wide berth since the 2 hard winters we had recently. It isn't the most solid of crags and all that freeze thaw at valley level won't have helped matters much.
muppetfilter - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland: Its a sign of the "McDonalds" fastfood nature of modern climbing.... I am sure it would be much more popular if you could bring it nearer the road and bolt lots of easy lines on it.
neil0968 on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:are you going to start us off in the clearing as the other poster said its not the most stable of crags maybe that's nature tellling us to stay clear.was at bleak how on Thursday and that's looking very dirty in places even on the more porpular routes. Raven round at thirlmere which according to the latest guide book. has recently been cleaned was in poor condition last year. The list goes .I for one can not ever see my self going back to lower falcon to climb again
Dave Cumberland - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to neil0968:
> The list goes .I for one can not ever see my self going back to lower falcon to climb again

The crag is pretty solid actually - no worse than Shepherds, Gowder and others etc etc. Great routes - use it or lose it.
neil0968 on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:done loads of routes at falcon and never felt any of it was as. Solid as parts of shepherds
redjerry - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
I'm with you Dave, a crag with quite a few really good routes, what 100? yards from a road.
I'm visiting the UK for 6 weeks this summer and was hoping to revisit the lakes (haven't climbed there for 25 years) are cliffs like Pavey, Goat, Eagle (thirlmere & Borrowdale) all grown in nowadays? is it even worth a visit for the E3- E5 stuff?
hexcentric - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland: It is much less solid than Shepherds. Given that Gowder has killed multiple people with rockfall, it's not one to recommend for solidity either.

Some of Falcon is solid enough for sure, but lots of the routes involve pulling on blocky (potentially loose) ground or clipping rusty insitu gear, or both at once. All fine if you like that kind of thing, but definitely a relatively dodgy place to climb in cragging terms.
neil0968 on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to hexcentric:very good sound advice
Dave Cumberland - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to redjerry:
> I'm visiting the UK for 6 weeks this summer and was hoping to revisit the lakes (haven't climbed there for 25 years) are cliffs like Pavey, Goat, Eagle (thirlmere & Borrowdale) all grown in nowadays? is it even worth a visit for the E3- E5 stuff?

Pavey is fine.
Eagle needs a hot drought for 3 weeks.
The harder stuff depends on a 3 week hot drought.
The mountain crags have no jungle so no problem.
Dave Cumberland - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to hexcentric:
> All fine if you like that kind of thing, but definitely a relatively dodgy place to climb in cragging terms.

Sorts the men from the boys then, more solid than in the days of Liddell Rossy and Mac.
USBRIT - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland: Well said Dave.. My first ascents on this crag were all done on sight ground up...no falls.We thought them great fun as they involved lots of trundling.In those days we were told that "real"climbers should be able to handle all types of rock good or bad.Times change now its first down from the top and then pro at your feet.There is still a fairly easy route with a little loose rock to have some fun located on Upper Falcon(climbed 95)The Walk on the Wild Side only HVS.Not sure if it has seen a second ascent..I did hear it had a couple of back offs.Will make the Lower Crag appreciated for its good rock.
Dave Cumberland - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to USBRIT: You have a deal, we like that kind of stuff! P1 of Route 2 is exciting stuff too. Not many real climbers left any more. We did Gillercombe buttress last weekend as a rope of two with belays etc and gear, 500 feet in 40 minutes. Meanwhile two boulderbators were messing around below the crag on those big blocs (sic.). We wondered if they had noticed the crags above them.

You certainly wonder whether we have witnessed the end of Lakes climbing as we knew it.
Bulls Crack - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
> The pervasive Lake District bracken and jungle are taking over Falcon. It is almost impossible to get to the bottom of the crag. Local climbers - please go and clear the paths and route bases.

Here's a thought: why don't you devote some time to it if you think it's a problem?
neil0968 on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:yeh tried suggesting that but it fell on deaf ears. If you want it cleared dave go and clear it.
apd - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Bulls Crack:
> (In reply to Dave Cumberland)
> [...]
>
> Here's a thought: why don't you devote some time to it if you think it's a problem?

Agreed. As for 'real' climbers that just sounds a bit up it's own arse; a sport can and should diversify. You're no better than any other climber just because you want to go to high mountain crags (which I also enjoy)...
Bulls Crack - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

And what on earth does that remark about the LDNP mean? They're not anti-climbing/walking
GPN - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
> You certainly wonder whether we have witnessed the end of Lakes climbing as we knew it.

I certainly look forward to the end of tedious dinosaurs droning out the same old shit about 'real climbers' 'boulderators' 'proper climbing' etc. Times change. I suggest you get used to it.
robinsi197 - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
> The pervasive Lake District bracken and jungle are taking over Falcon.

Really? It must have got a lot worse since we were there in June, on a warm but intolerably midgy day. There were quite a few people there - we didn't notice any particular difficulty getting to the bottom, or any loose rock either. Had a really good day, actually.

Olli-C - on 22 Jul 2012
In reply to muppetfilter: Have you been to falcon crag? Its closer to the road than Stanage.
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neil0968 on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:its been a few years since I climbed there due to the rovk fall. But i'm going to pop up later to have a look at the jungle and will report back
Dave Cumberland - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to robinsi197:
>> Really? It must have got a lot worse since we were there in June,

Early season - no vegetation, light and sun.
April-June is usually maximum light on the crags here and driest weather.
Since then - rain and luxuriant growth of Bracken etc.
Bulls Crack - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
> (In reply to robinsi197)
> >> Really? It must have got a lot worse since we were there in June,
>
> Early season - no vegetation, light and sun.
> April-June is usually maximum light on the crags here and driest weather.
> Since then - rain and luxuriant growth of Bracken etc.

Well, that's the seasons for you! Bracken's always been high at this time of year.
crow-media on 23 Jul 2012 - 95.147.210.82 whois?
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

It's happening everywhere sadly. Here in n Wales we were talking about how the beautiful valley of Crafnant is losing most of it's crags to encroaching vegetation. Many mid-Wales cliffs including most of the Arenig cliffs never see any traffic from one year to the next.Even the high crags in Ogwen see very few visits. Take a look at the UKC logbooks and you'll witness some great crags now as popular as an anthrax test site!

Why ???? I think most climbers are quite conservative and are not prepared to look beyond the honeypots. The old pioneering spirit is now strictly the preserve of a handful of local activists who are looking for new routes. Even then,it is taken as read that even starred new routes will probably not see any repeats.
Skyfall - on 23 Jul 2012
In reply to crow-media:

> I think most climbers are quite conservative and are not prepared to look beyond the honeypots. The old pioneering spirit is now strictly the preserve of a handful of local activists who are looking for new routes.

I suspect you are right but, to be fair, visiting climbers will tend to gravitate towards the better/well known crags. As I suspect this was always the case, shouldn't the blame really be put on those local activists? Not suggesting real 'blame' but I suspect it's more down to where local climbers go than visitors.

Also, with a series of wet summers, it's not hard to see why places get oevrgrown and dirty very quickly. Just look at the state of the average garden this year... (seriously)
USBRIT - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to GPN:
> (In reply to Dave Cumberland)
> [...]
>
> I certainly look forward to the end of tedious dinosaurs droning out the same old shit about 'real climbers' 'boulderators' 'proper climbing' etc. Times change. I suggest you get used to it.

Good one.. yes times change. I bet you were pleased when sport routes and bouldering was started as judging by your climb list it is only the very dinosaur trad climbs you could handle...sorry could not resist..
USBRIT - on 26 Jul 2012
In reply to GPN:
> (In reply to Dave Cumberland)
> [...]
>
> I certainly look forward to the end of tedious dinosaurs droning out the same old shit about 'real climbers' 'boulderators' 'proper climbing' etc. Times change. I suggest you get used to it.

Here is just a couple of what the dinosaur of Falcon is up to ..hope they work :- www.mountainproject.com/v/-innominate/100953361 nice sport route bolted on lead and another www.mountainproject.com/v/heliotropism-5.12a10691319 ...yes times change slowly getting used to it...

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