UKC

First multipitch for children in the Lakes

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 Cake 22 May 2021

I'm looking for ideas for a first multipitch outing for my two kids (me leading) in the Lakes in half term coming up. The most important criteria as I see them would be: 

Big ledge stances.

Easy to dismantle belays (oldest is not great at knocking nuts out)

2 or 3 pitches.

Other nice things would be: short walk-in, easier the better, good climbs.

We're staying in Langdale, so we'll go to Upper Scout crag and do some VDiffs unless anyone has better ideas.

 didntcomelast 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:middlefell buttress  springs to mind  huge stances  though the descent is awkward 

 a crap climber 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Middlefell buttress, but miss out the last pitch and lower/abseil off the tree instead (if you're happy to lower the kids)

 Lankyman 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

If you're in Langdale Tarn Crag might be suitable? It's just up Mill Gill (nice scramble) and Tarncrag Gill (also nice scramble). I haven't done any roped climbs on the crag, just some scrambles from Brian Evans's guide. Once you're up there it's not far to the tarn for cooling off ....

Post edited at 17:42
 woppo 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

wallowbarrow, used to have school groups on there - trinity slabs/ wall and corner??

took my own kids on seathwaite buttress nearby also.

Post edited at 19:31
 gravy 22 May 2021
In reply to woppo:

Ditto Wallabarrow -

15-20 minute pretty walk up from the farm.

Two nice VDiffs on the right of the crag 3-4 pitches, IIRC the right most one works best for small kids.  Safe easy starting point. Big comfy ledges.

Most technical bit is the first 12 ft I recall. 

Then becomes a scramble up a 20 minute not hard walk up over the summit and back down to the base (trend left, scramble down to the top of the big path that got you to the crag).

Thomas (S) is also really nice but I think the 1st belay is a bit small and exposed.

How old are the kids?

 LakesWinter 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Wallowbarrow Crag

Trinity Slabs (VD) i think this was ok - may have a tricky bit, cant remember

Fits the bill. About 40mins from langdale.

Otherwise upper scout in langdale fits the bill. I wouldnt fancy the descent of Middlefell with 2 kids to supervise. Scout will need a rope on part 1 of the descent but still much easier to sort 2 kids on than Middlefell.

 John Kelly 22 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Cams can be easier for kids to remove also less likely to lift out.

 Cake 22 May 2021
In reply to John Kelly:

Yes. 

 paul birch 23 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Funnily enough I'm also planning on taking my lad up his first multi pitch route over half term as we're in the lakes. I was planning on middlefell buttress having climbed it a few years ago as an approach to gimmer. Easy climbing if you avoid the hard start then massive ledges to belay from. As I remember it if you do the extra pitch you can then easily scramble up to a good path. Enjoy whatever you choose. 

 Cake 23 May 2021
In reply to didntcomelast:

Yeah, I forgot to say I wanted a nice descent too. Thanks

 Cake 23 May 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

Cheers. I can't see it getting too hot next week, though. Might be worth a look

 Cake 23 May 2021
In reply to Woppo, gravy and LakesWinter:

Great, Wallowbarrow gets three votes then. They are 8 and 11 and done lots on grit. A bit of a summit finish will be nice for them too.

 C Witter 23 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

If you do Middlefell, take some intermediate stances. Otherwise, p2 is very long and you'll be out of sight.

Bowfell Buttress is another option. It's a long walk and it has some 4a climbing on one 3m section. It's also quite committing, so it depends on how experienced your kids are.

C Ordinary on Dow is also good. For experienced climbers, it's very easy climbing that can be done it approach shoes and there are many optional belays so you can keep pitches short. It's also a really exciting place.

Castle Rock South is good. There's a mix of multipitch and single pitch. Actually, they can be done as either.

On all of these, you might do well if you have another adult in the mix, but it depends how old/experienced your kids are. If your oldest isn't good at getting nuts out, maybe show them again, more carefully? And make sure to take warm things if you go to Dow or Bowfell, as it can suddenly feel very cold there, in the shade, despite being hot in the sun.

Long Scar would be a great "warm-up" venue, to get them used to the rock/taking gear out. It's in a fantastic fell-top location, on volcanic rock, but it's very low stress. There's even one or two two-pitch routes. Awfully windy and cold if there's a howling westerly, though.
 

 Cake 23 May 2021
In reply to Twiggy Diablo:

That looks great, but I've already got the FRCC selective guide which I've never actually used at the crag, so I'd rather rely on that as it has almost all the crags mentioned so for in it.

Saying that, they do love scrambling, so we might go for that instead. I tend to distinguish the two really, though. We're either doing a long scramble without ropes in the main, or we're doing proper routes. I'd just like to get their first stance under their belts without taking them out.

 Cake 23 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

... Freaking them out, I mean.

In reply to Cake:

Us too, but It’s quite different to a climbing guide. Each is a circular walk, with scrambles and/or proper climbs (mostly VDiffs) along the way.

Post edited at 22:32
 C Witter 24 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Tbf, re-reading the OP, Route 1 on Upper Scout would be almost perfect:

- short, easy walk-in
- first pitch is short and easy to a big ledge which I seem to remember can be built with a sling
- second pitch is in a very fine position, but quite easy so long as you remind them to take the arete, not the crack/scoop
- other things to do afterward that aren't far away, e.g. Route 2, Lower Scout, East Raven, Middle Fell

Only thing is to be careful on the descent, as it's a little scrambly. But, it's not awful.
 

 Caralynh 24 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Giant's Crawl on Dow is also good. Took my godson there years ago when he was little (9 I think) and he loved it. 

We're off to the Lakes over half term and I'm planning to take my 6yr old to Wallowbarrow. Depending on the age of the child, big scrambles can be as good as climbs. Aforementioned 6yr old is also looking forward to doing Jack's Rake (preceded by a picnic at the tarn!)

 Cake 24 May 2021
In reply to Twiggy Diablo:

I'm going to be lugging two ropes and most of the rack up there, so I don't really fancy a circuit walk

 Cake 24 May 2021
In reply to C Witter:

Thanks, that's useful. I'll check out the descent properly before we commit.

 LakesWinter 24 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Its about 30m of scrabling down a groove before the path from Upper Scout.

C ordinary on Dow is good for beginners from a climbing p.o.v but the descent is exposed and tricky to protect.

In reply to LakesWinter:

> C ordinary on Dow is good for beginners from a climbing p.o.v but the descent is exposed and tricky to protect.

Carry on up the gully (Intermediate?) to the top - scrambling.

 John Kelly 25 May 2021
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Carry on up the gully (Intermediate?) to the top - scrambling

I like continuing up ridge - grade one scramble to summit - proper mountain day out - quite a big day for kids 

In reply to John Kelly:

When I soloed C Ordinary (I've only done it the once), I didn't have any info about the ridge continuation, just that the top could be gained via the gully.

Since most of us aren't Victorian climbers, I suspect the open aspect of a scramble up the ridge will be nicer than the enclosed aspect of a gully (IIRC it wasn't that enclosed but also IIRC there was nothing to recommend the gully apart from being a way to the top).

 C Witter 25 May 2021
In reply to LakesWinter:

> Its about 30m of scrabling down a groove before the path from Upper Scout.

> C ordinary on Dow is good for beginners from a climbing p.o.v but the descent is exposed and tricky to protect.

I wouldn't say it was tricky to protect - you're just going to have to use your rope, no? With two in tow, I'd stay roped up and basically pitch the traverse left, maybe putting a bit of gear on the rope in the middle, then have them downclimb the steep bit into the gully, protected from above by the rope. Adds to the adventure, without being too out there.

 John Kelly 25 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

There is a pic in my gallery that shows a possible middlefell descent - can't link to it sorry 

 Greenbanks 25 May 2021
In reply to Cake:

Tarn Crag has been mentioned up-thread. If your two young 'uns are say in the range 7-10 I'd say that this would be a great suggestion. A nice gentle mountain-style walk up, an easy-angled and forgiving crag with good belays and routes around D to VD, and the chance of a nice cool paddle/swim in a pool on the way back down. Perfect.

 John Kelly 28 May 2021
 Cake 04 Jun 2021
In reply to Cake:

Thanks to everyone's advice. We did route 1 on Upper Scout (which I vaguely remembered once I was on the second pitch) and it went nicely. Just about windy enough to not get fried. It was indeed a comfortable stance, the kids had a great new experience without it getting scary.  

They also managed the scramble down without a rope, but I know their abilities well.

A great choice.


Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...