/ Top Rope routes Lake District - near Scafell/Wasdale

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megamonkeyman on 27 Jul 2013
Hi, first post for a climbing forum. I need some advice on short toprope routes near Scafell pike/Wasdale (or within an hour drive).

It will be my first time trad climbing and ideally I want to toperope it for confidence in setting protection. The kit I have consists of a 35m rope with a variation of slings and a couple of quick draws. Ideally if I can use these then it would be a bonus!

We will camp at Wasdale head National Trust campsite. I bought a guide today 'Lake District Rock' which has a couple of short routes:

-Scout Crags
-Long Scar
-Bell Stand
-Hare Crag

Would any of these have decent top rope protection?

I would be comfortable climbing up to 5c max.

Cheers guys!
martinph78 on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman: Black Crag (Wrynose) and Long Scar can be top roped if you have a set of nuts for building the anchors. I'd recommend getting a 10-15m length of rigging rope though, it will save using any of your 35m climbing rope for rigging (which may limit you to climbs under 10m otherwise).

Personally I'd look to lead some really easy climbs (diffs) and practice placing some gear that way, but that's up to you.
MFB - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

I think you would struggle to set a top rope with the gear you specify. A small bunch of wires and a couple of hex's would make life a lot easier, as Martin suggests a bit of rigging rope would really help.

probably good idea to consult a few climbing websites/books for the best way to set up a top rope outdoors. If you go down the wire/hex's line, good to practice placement at ground level before committing.

there are some great mountains and scrambles in Wasdale


megamonkeyman on 27 Jul 2013
Bummer, I hoped there would be a nice rock or tree to sling off.

I will try and pick up a few nuts and hexes, probably just go for a simple lead if thats the case. What about sport routes in the area? If there are longer pitches I suppose I could lead upto 15m ish with my rope safely.

As for scrambles its the first time in the area so we will have to walk up Scafell Pike, I heard one of the routes from our campsite splits off to a low grade scramble.
martinph78 on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

Sorry, just re-reading your post. I didn't realise you only had a few slings. Scrub my advice above.

Your post is quite mixed-up, I thought you wanted to top-rope to practice placing gear. I now see your new to climbing outdoors and don't have much kit.

You'll need more, as suggested above, and importantly know how to use it. Building top-rope anchors has it's own considerations, especially if using pro to build them (rather than just popping a few slings around a few trees).


> I would be comfortable climbing up to 5c max.

How do you know that if you've not climbed outdoors before? Start low and see how you go. There are some great diffs and v diffs about, well worth doing rather than skipping over and working your way up isn't a bad thing...

I think you'd be better trying to find someone with a bit more kit and experience to head out with, see what you need and how to use it.







Gordon Stainforth - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

You can practice placing gear more effectively/intensively by walking along the bottom of a crag or boulders and seeing what gear you can get on (slings, nuts) in cracks, flakes, spikes. Also practice putting it in from either side with one hand etc. Practise clipping in too.
megamonkeyman on 27 Jul 2013
Thanks again for your advice. Whichever climb I chose I will get good experience beforehand in placing the gear over the coming weeks, that goes without saying. As for harder grade routes, I know there is a crossover but saying that for toprope I wouldn't mind a challenge! Leading I want an easy route yes please.

Simply for the ease of toprope I fancied going this route if possible on some lake district rock near to our campsite.
MFB - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

I think your reply is sensible - you understand that should your anchor fail the consequences could be dire and you intend to address any inadequacies in your experience before proceeding.

my top tip use three points of attachment for the anchor - you may get one wrong, you might get two wrong but you have to very very unlucky to get three wrong.

I'm with you as to getting on harder grades - if you have a secure top rope why not

When you start to lead Diff/VDiff will probably feel challenging at first

good luck - be careful, enjoy your apprenticeship
Caralynh - on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

Hare crags has a big slab that you could toprope. No idea of the routes on it since we use it to teach the boy to abseil, but there will be routes in the guide, and it's a lot quieter than places like Scout Crags so you're less likely to get in anyone's way toproping. It does rely on nut/hex belays though, so definitely get some more gear and be sure you know how to use it to rig your anchor.
Rog Wilko on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman: It's a hell of a drive from Wasdale to Gt Langdale. Your nearest crag good for top roping would be Brantrake in Eskdale. There is a short bit near the top favoured by outdoor centres - it might even have some bolt belays at the top (someone else may be able to confirm this).
Rick Graham on 27 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> it might even have some bolt belays at the top (someone else may be able to confirm this).

I hope not. I took the last one out about ten years ago.
EOB agreed to remove the bolts as unnecessary but one proved stubborn, requiring an engineers touch.

Is a return visit required?

Plenty of natural belays at the crag, but possibly not yet for the novices in the OP.
Rog Wilko on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Rick Graham: No, I just had a vague memory of seeing them. Pleased to hear they've gone.
BTW, OP would have to check bird restrictions at Brantrake.
John R - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko: No bolts at Brantrake/Linbeck for years now , but there are still on the small crag above Diamond Crag overlooking the George 4th. Perfect rock and about half a dozen little routes- may be what you are looking for. John Rowlands
Jamie B - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to megamonkeyman:

> I hoped there would be a nice rock or tree to sling off.

It's a popular misconception that single-pitch crags can be easily rigged as you describe. In reality most will require nut and hexes, plus a length of ideally static rope to equalise and extend.
Rog Wilko on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Jamie B: Agree with that! There's a popular misconception among novices that such things are straightforward. In fact more straightforward and just as safe to set out leading a few well-chosen diffs.
In reply to megamonkeyman:

> I would be comfortable climbing up to 5c max.
>

Sorry if you already realise this - but 5c in your FRCC guide is equivalent to around 6b at the climbing wall.

Hammy - on 28 Jul 2013
In reply to Stephen Reid:

Grades are just but a number...
Rog Wilko on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> (In reply to Jamie B) Agree with that! There's a popular misconception among novices that such things are straightforward. In fact more straightforward and just as safe to set out leading a few well-chosen diffs.

Like these http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=728
Jamie B - on 29 Jul 2013
In reply to Rog Wilko:

> There's a popular misconception among novices that such things are straightforward. In fact more straightforward and just as safe to set out leading a few well-chosen Diffs.

Is it? Not sure, but both options do require an array of trad gear and knowledge of how to place it and equalise belays. The idea that you can top-rope crags just by putting a sling around a block or tree is naive in the extreme.

megamonkeyman on 09 Aug 2013
Cheers for the suggestions. Brantrake Crags look like a good place to check out. I will be spending half a day at Scout crags practicing my leading before, if I have time I may have a go.

I have realised that the Lakes do not have much in the way of bolted climbs. I will stick to the easy stuff and climb it trad.

ads.ukclimbing.com
megamonkeyman on 09 Aug 2013
Another question, what will be a good place to start at Worms Head in the Mumbles? Currently my rope (and belayer) are restricting me to single pitch 17m climbs.

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