/ pearls before swine
Anyone done this? Recently? Any knowledge?
I did it back in the 1980s and thought it a brilliant pitch. One of the best E3s in the Lakes. I don't think it ever got the attention it deserved even in those days but it was clean enough then for an on-sight, ground-up ascent and being an arete I suspect it should still be OK. Take plenty of small wires. I think the crux is an airy run-out above a small RP. All in Balance though and delightful technical climbing.
Sorry not recent knowledge but really enjoyed it back in 1984. Thin and technical not steep. We split the pitch. The crux was a long and very precarious stretch for a shorty like me. Jack Roberts the all American climbing dude and ice climbing warrior my climbing partner that day lobbed off and took the slide which wasn't too bad. I doubt it gets much attention these days so I'd guess it might be a bit dirty.
Hi Graham, I must have done this route about the same time (with Sid)
I remember faffing about building a little nest of small wires (which I ended up quite happy about) before embarking on the crux. A bit run out above that but easing to the belay I seem to remember. My first E3 so probably not too hard for the grade.
Hopefully check it out this summer.
Just checked the logbooks and see that my ascent was in 1990 and that is, amazingly, the last recorded ascent by logbook users. C'mon guys get out there and get it done. It really is one of the best pitches in Lakeland.
I led it in 1980 - one of my first E3's. I remember it being quite thin.
The views were different then too...
(sorry I can't be of more help!).
I did Pearls Before Swine in the mid 80's and it was very memorable - for the wrong reasons.
Somewhere around the crux there was a scuffling noise from above and a suicidal sheep went past at terminal velocity, brushing past me. if it had hit me I would probably have been a goner, either from the impact or the resulting fall or both!
It used to be the standard first E3 for those of us in the Lakes, that or Paladin. It's bold to start, maybe 10 metres of delicate 5b before the first gear then steady to just below the crux. You can get a nest of small wires in here, RPs and the like, then once you've done the crux it's a lot easier.
I don't think Deer Bield gets much attention these days now that the Buttress has fallen down and also the car parking at the end of the road is no longer permitted so you have to walk from the centre of Grasmere - we used to go up in the evenings.
There's a good E2 at the right end of the crag called Bravado which you can use to get to the top of the crag if you need to clean up the route. I doubt it would need much cleaning beyond a quick brush.
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