/ Fun trad multipitch - Lake district

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L tjmp07 - on 22:31 Wed
Hi everyone,

New user here and hoping some helpful folks can answer questions below!

I'm from the UK & live in Alberta, Canada (7 years) but will be visiting the lake district weekend October 14/15. I learned to climb here in the Rockies so have no previous experience in the UK or familiarity with good routes. I want to bring my other half on his first trad MP so as far as grading goes at YDS 5'4 - 5'7 (up to VS) would be maximum in this case. If there are easier routes than VS that are worth the effort then i'd be interested in hearing about them! Something easy, non-polished, well protected would be ideal. Easy and non-polished might be asking too much but i'd be interested in hearing some recommendations if anyone has ideas for routes that could fill a day.

Also if there is any climb in the easier range, maybe a classic ridge route that could be done in boots with maybe only a couple of pitches requiring pro then i'd be interested in hearing about that too.

Gear -
What kind of rack is recommended for around the lake district?

I have what would be considered a 'standard' rack by Rockies terms that generally speaking will get you up most trad and alpine rock routes (Black Diamond C4s size .3 up to #3 with a couple extra smaller cams and then a full set of BD stoppers). I will bring some longer slings too of course. Is this going to be adequate to protect some of the easier routes?

Ropes - I have a set of 8mm 60m doubles and 1 9'8 67.5 single (cut rope...sad times!). I'd rather bring just my single if possible.

Advice on the best place to find topos, directions and general useful access info would be helpful. If there is a useful guidebook for this too please let me know and i will see if i can get a copy in the days before.

We don't know where we are staying so will work that around the climbing location.

Looking forward o your feedback.


olddirtydoggy - on 22:44 Wed
In reply to tjmp07:

I'll throw in a reply about routes. The weather here can be a bit hit and miss so I'd say Gimmer crag in the Langdale valley for multi. The local climbing club do a topo book thats excellent but for route feedback you would do well looking at the logs on here>
Gimmer Crag

Gear wise your halves will be great and what you posted about racks should be fine. Enjoy your stay.
Jon Stewart - on 22:48 Wed
In reply to tjmp07:

I'd recommend finding something in the sun. If you get good weather, consider Tophet Wall (HS 4a) which is high up but faces the right direction. I haven't actually done it, but it's a classic, and in a very beautiful position.
BarrySW19 on 22:55 Wed
In reply to tjmp07:

If you want to get a book, this one covers it all: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0850280575/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As mentioned, Gimmer Crag is good and full of classics, even if it is a bit of a slog to get to. Dow crag is also good and an easier walk in. Both have plenty of multi-pitch classics between VDiff and HS.
Jon Stewart - on 23:10 Wed
In reply to BarrySW19:

> Dow crag is also good and an easier walk in.

Eliminate A was my first thought; and my second was 'freezing cold in October'.
Mark Eddy - on 23:35 Wed
In reply to tjmp07:

Here's some info you may find helpful:

The climbing here in brilliant. Hope you have a great time.
pec on 00:22 Thu
In reply to tjmp07:

By mid October it could be a cold and/or wet on the higher mountain crags (e.g. Sca Fell, Great Gable, Dow Crag). Dow is probably the most likely contender
Dow Crag
but it is East facing so in the shade after midday. Eliminate A, Eliminate C (both VS) and Murray's Route (Severe) are all excellent.

More likely crags (weatherwise) are to be found in the valleys of Langdale and Borrowdale.

In Langdale :-
Gimmer Crag is excellent, quick drying and catches a lot of sun.
Gimmer Crag
North West Arete or Asterisk (Mild VS) on the lower NW Face, followed by D Route (Sev) or F Route ( top end VS) would make great outings but there's loads of great stuff at that grade.

White Ghyll is a bit lower than Gimmer and a shorter walk in and has many 3 star VS's
White Ghyll

Raven Crag is the lowest and shortest walk in (of the best crags in the valley) and therefore the safest bet in poor weather. It has plenty of starred routes at Sev - VS.
Raven Crag (Langdale)

In Borrowdale:-

Shepherd's Crag has many great routes, if a little short (1 or 2 pitches mostly)
e.g. Ardus (Mild VS), Adam (VS) and Eve (VS) standout whilst the classic of the crag is Little Chamonix (V Diff). Shepherd's is only minutes from the road and dries very quickly (almost as soon as it stops raining)
Shepherds Crag

Black Crag has the valley classic Troutdale Pinnacle (Sev) as well as some VS's and is a short walk in.
Black Crag (Borrowdale)

If it's been very wet or cold etc a good day out can be had on Corvus (Diff)
Corvus (D)
Though not much harder than a scramble its about 5 or 6 pitches on great rock and can be climbed in most conditions.

Both valleys have campsites and bunkhouses and climbing shops in the nearby towns of Ambleside (Langdale) and Keswick (Borrowdale).
For weather forecasts check out this site
but there's no mobile (cell phone) reception in Borrowdale and not everywhere in Langdale.
A standard rack on these routes would be 2 sets of wired nuts (ideally 2 different types) though 1 set would do if you're well within your grade, a few slings, 8 -12 extenders (depending on the pitch lengths) and cams in the size range of Friend 0.5 to 3 (original Wild Country sizes so about 15mm to 65mm) whatever that is in Camalots!
mike123 - on 06:41 Thu
In reply to pec:
Good summary . My only comments being that some of those grades are from "back in the day " when I first led them , but I reckon if the OP buys the selected guide linked to above they won't go far wrong grade wise.
The problem in mid October ( again already mentioned) will be the weather , it could be great but also not so. It could also change dramatically over the course of the day . The best thing would be to be based in either langdale or borrowdale . Both offer valley crags and mountain crags and the chance to mix and match based on the weather . It also not really that far between the two but the weather is often different . So if you are staying in langdale and is poor it always worth checking the forecast for Borrowdale . The access towns are Ambleside and keswick , both of which have a ready supply of accommodation , food outlets and gear shops ( and not much else ) .
Post edited at 06:42
L tjmp07 - on 06:56 Thu
In reply to Mark Eddy:

Thanks Mark, read through that link and there is some really good info on there.
L tjmp07 - on 07:05 Thu
In reply to pec:

Really appreciate the detailed response, lots for me to consider and look into. I was definitely wondering about the weather with it being mid October and rain so I like the idea of sticking to crags lower down.

It's nearly winter here in the Rockies & after rock climbing in 5 degrees the other day, I'm hoping it may be even just a little warmer when we are over in the Lake District!!!!
pec on 09:05 Thu
In reply to tjmp07:

> I was definitely wondering about the weather with it being mid October and rain so I like the idea of sticking to crags lower down. >
Our maritime climate does make weather very unpredictable though the met office forecasting is as good as it gets.
You could be climbing in a T shirt or sheltering from a downpour, though probably neither!
If you can't get online and have no mobile reception there a still a few telephone boxes scattered around in Langdale and Borrowdale from which you can call the Lakes weatherline on 0844 846 24444.

Langdale probably offers better crags than Borrowdale but Shepherd's (in Borrowdale) has the edge in terms of speed of drying and quick access. Borrowdale is also widely regarded as the most beautiful valley and with the trees in their Autumn (Fall) colours will be at its best.

duchessofmalfi - on 09:54 Thu

If the weather is marginal then Wallabarrow might work - multipitches in the grades you want but not such a big mountain feel. The plus sides are that it is quiet, it can often be climbed when the weather rules out higher crags, it is a short walk in and the nice farm below has a bunk house and cottage.

Wallowbarrow Crag

Dow will be properly freezing. The red selected FRCC lake district rock guidebook is the one to get (it may not be red anymore but most people will know what you mean).
johnjohn - on 10:09 Thu
In reply to thread:

Re classic ridge routes with a couple of pitches, the obvious is Pinnacle Ridge, St Sunday Crag, Patterdale. V googlable. Fun scramble with a short pitch of mod, that might want a rope depending on wetness/confidence (I'd take one in case.)
GrahamD - on 10:19 Thu
In reply to tjmp07:

I would suggest that unless you have a really good day weather wise I'd stay low, or at least chose crags in the sun. Good venues with a range of easier grades would be Wallabarrow (Duddon), Raven Crag (Langdale) or Shepherds (Borrowdale). If it really is a good day then heading up to Gimmer (Langdale) would be good. I'd avoid out of the sun crags like Dow unless you are really planning climbing fast and efficiently - its not a warm place !

The Lakes isn't great for long technical ridges but two classic scrambly ridges would be Helveyn via striding edge return via Swirral edge or Blencathra via sharp edge. With your experience I'd be surprised if you thought carrying a rope worth the effort on these.
James Coulson - on 10:29 Thu
In reply to tjmp07:

Troutdale Pinnacle, Black Crag, Borrowdale would be a good starting point - various direct / superdirect options from S to HVS. Beautiful location, good exposure and positions (especially for a Severe).

The rack you mention will be fine for most UK stuff (including the slings you mention), although I'd usually double up on the mid-sized nuts for multipitch stuff. You'd definitely be better with a pair of ropes for most multipitch though.

As others have said, will be a case of waiting to see what the weather is like and, based on where you are staying, finding something nearby and suitable for the conditions.
MFB - on 11:54 Thu
In reply to tjmp07:

bad weather options in Langdale

Jack's Rake (1)
might want a rope on
south central buttress (3)

crag just outside lakes and slightly polished but great

The Langdale intergral is quite satisfying
Route 1 (VD)
The Slabs Route 1 (S 4a)
Crescent Climb (M)
Gwynne's Chimney (D)
there are many other versions of this

Andysomething - on 12:31 Thu
In reply to mike123:

Yes good summary. I would also add in Gillercombe Buttress which fills the requirement for multipitch at around Severe all day outing, gets more sun than Corvus and an amenable walk in. Some sections are scrambling but the good bits make it well worthwhile. I've climbed it in October on a fantastic bright clear day with little wind, spectacular views a great day out with
Gillercombe Buttress (S 3c)#photos

The Wired guide also has details of more routes on Gillercombe (Gabbro Buttress) that you could fit in which are best accessed from the top of the crag
L tjmp07 - on 08:47 Fri
In reply to pec:

I'm going with your 'climbing in a tshirt' optimism here! as I'm hoping my trip to UK will be last feel of rock before the ice tools get dusted off for some action.

Pysched to check out Borrowdale, seems to have been recommended a lot in all the replies here!
ex0 - on 08:55 Fri
In reply to tjmp07:

Revelation (HS) which finishes at the base of Centipede (S) would be a nice few hours. Raven Crag / Langdale. Both easy to do with a single and could be completely protected with just a set of nuts tbh. Few medium cams wouldn't hurt.
Andysomething - on 10:09 Fri
In reply to tjmp07:

Over a weekend you can easily visit two valleys. Langdale/Borrowdale, Langdale/Eskdale etc. If it's been raining a lot during the week before Langdale/Eskdale will have more dry tock esp Raven Crag Langdale which dries quickly not to mention Gimmer if the weather is good enough

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