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First Lake District trip tips wanted

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Hi all,

This is my first post and was wondering if anyone could part with some knowledge and help me out, please.

I'm going on a week trip wild camping up the lakes to scramble and climb and have most the scramble routes planned but have a few days spare for more rock climbing.

My question is this;

Where would be the best place to go trad climbing with a good selection up to a 5b that isn't crazy busy and same again for sports routes. Then same again for a toprope (built anchor with pro).

Preferably a single pitch or 2 but nothing crazy (still getting used to multi-pitch and want to be solid in my knowledge first).

It's a lot to ask I know but want to make the trip worthwhile.

Currently, we have Brantrake crag and Gouther crag planned.

Thank you in advance 

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 Mark Eddy 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

Brantrake is a great crag, and nearby there's Hare crags and Goat crag. All Eskdale granite. Generally pretty light on protection. You could spend loads of time climbing in that valley.

Not far from the Eskdale crags there's Wallowbarrow in the Duddon valley. Some lovely mp on there. And up at Wrynose, Long scar and Black crag are both worth a visit. 

Gouther also really good and more extensive with a number of buttresses and some shorter multi pitch.

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 tmawer 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

There's not very much sport climbing in the lakes, though the new guide is due out any day.

Just want to check you are aware of the grading being different for sport and trad, as 5b is a very different experience in trad compared to sport or indoor lead 5b climbing. 

Have fun. 

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 ianstevens 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

> Hi all,

> This is my first post and was wondering if anyone could part with some knowledge and help me out, please.

> I'm going on a week trip wild camping up the lakes to scramble and climb and have most the scramble routes planned but have a few days spare for more rock climbing.

When you say wild camping what do you mean? Proper wild camping shouldn't be in a the same place for an extended period. Typical wild camping etiquette is to put your tent up in the evening and have it down by/just after breakfast, defiantly not leaving it up in one place! Also worth considering what you do with your waste (both in terms of rubbish and human) if wild camping in one place for an extended period. Also worth noting wild camping is generally illegal in England and those "wild" camping close to roads/in car parks have been being moved on by police to a far greater degree than usual of late.

If of course you actually mean staying in a campsite then ignore all of this. 

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 Sans-Plan 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

I'm presuming you have a car to get around ?

I would just stay in Langdale at the NT site, you have heaps to go at around that area, classic scrambles easy multi pitch, easy single pitch over on Black Crag and Long Scar over on Pike of Blisco , sport in Tilberthwaite.

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 C Witter 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

Cumbria is not a place ideally suited to top-roping or sport climbing. That's not quite the spirit of things. Nor would I bother traversing the entire Lake District from Brantrake to Gouther;  it seems a bit silly to do all that driving, straight through all the great rock in the central Lakes. 

Base yourself in Borrowdale or Langdale with the Lake District Rock (FRCC/Wired) guidebook and you can't go wrong. Just start out easy and build up slowly. Chapel House, Stonethwaite or Seathwaite Farm campsites for Borrowdale, and the NT or Baysbrown campsite for Langdale. Langdale has some of the best crags in England crammed together in walking distance, and Borrowdale has some really accessible crags for people starting out, e.g.. valley crags: Shepherds, Black Crag, Bowderstone Crags; higher crags: Raven Crag (Combe Ghyll), Gillercombe or Grey Crag just over the hill in Buttermere.

Post edited at 11:34
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 Red Rover 08 Jul 2020
In reply to C Witter:

Without wishing to restart a debate which has raged for 20 years, what's wrong with somebody toproping if done in a way that isn't hogging a route, especially on a quiet cumbrian crag? Unless you mean that the crags just aren't set up for it with anchors and descents etc. 

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In reply to ianstevens:

Hi,

The plan is to visit an area during the day then set up at night away from main areas and then leave early morning to resupply at the car and get rid of waste (in both senses). Then we move onto a new area e.g 

The first day is to park in Glenridding then hike up late afternoon to do Striding Edge up to Helvellyn then make our way to High Tarn to set up for the night. In morning hike out back to the car to get rid of waste and re-stock then drive on the next area. 

With Brantrack crag get there early spend the day climbing then hike for an hour out the way and set up for the night then move one the next day etc.

Been wild camping for a while so always leave no trace but fully aware at the end of the week we will be dead haha.

But thanks for the advice about the police being a bit more active but we should be well ou the way. 

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 C Witter 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Red Rover:

There's nowt wrong with it. It's just, in my opinion, not how to get the best out of the Lakes. Plus anchors and descents not always being as straightforward as, say, your average Peak crag. Of course, there are a few crags where it's easier. But, why do that on a first trip to the Lakes when you could tick some multipitch classic rock? You don't come all the way to the Lakes from "Dan Saf", with your local crag as Harrison Rocks, just to dangle around top-roping things.

Post edited at 12:34
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 Red Rover 08 Jul 2020
In reply to C Witter:

I agree, I wouldn't top rope in the lakes either.  You're right about the crags, it would seem more trouble than it was worth. But if they want to do it then why not.

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 C Witter 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Red Rover:

Sure. Each to their own. I top-roped a route in the Lakes just the other day... Since it has no gear, I thought I'd take a look before risking breaking my legs (and everything else). And after taking a look, I decided to go and do something else! But, I'm pretty local and I can afford to waste time faffing around.

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In reply to tmawer:

Hi, 

Yes sorry I should have stipulated but I am aware of the difference in the grading:

So my experience is up to a 5b "comfortably" outdoors sports climbing. Then have done a lot of top-roping down south (where i'm based) on sandstone with a max at 5c and one 6a. Trad climbing i have done less of due to where I'm situated but have done a few around HS - VS and some slightly higher with more experienced people. 

Done very little indoor climbing but done a fair bit of bouldering.

The trip is to really feel confident by the end of the week to be able to start looking at multi-pitch which isn't less than two pitches.

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In reply to C Witter:

You maybe right (probably right) in just biting the bullet and going for a good multi-pitch. Just want to feel 100% confident in doing one but then again it's rock climbing nothing is 100% and I'm travelling a hell of a distance and won't be for a long time.

I suppose at one point or another everyone has been in my position taking that leap to do the more exciting things and i suppose the trick is to just do it, trust your knowledge and experience. 

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 Iamgregp 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

Take a look at  Bramcrag Quarry for Sport routes, plenty there in your grade range 

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 ianstevens 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

Sounds like a good plan to me! Enjoy  

Exactly, if you're wild camping appropriately you'd be out of the range of the rozzers anyway.

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 C Witter 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

The key thing is really knowing your gear placements and belaying are good and you've got basic skills like abseiling down. If you can read a guidebook, build a reliable belay and abseil off, then you're probably all set. If you're not sure about those things, then maybe do be more cautious. Either way, take it easy so the climbing isn't the issue, and you can focus on everything else. 

If you do decide to do multipitch, pick routes with good belays, like Bowfell Buttress (Bowfell); Middlefell Buttress (Raven Langdale) and Route 1 on Upper Scout; Ash Tree Slabs and D Route (Gimmer); C Ordinary and Giant's Crawl, or Arete, Crack and Chimney (Dow); Brown Slabs, Little Chamonix and Donkey's Ears (Shepherds); Corvus and Raven Crag Buttress (Raven Combe Ghyll); Harrow Buttress, Slabs Ordinary and Oxford and Cambridge Direct (Grey Crag); or Trinity Slabs, Wall and Corner and Thomas (Wallowbarrow). If you feel better sticking to single pitch, Long Scar near Pike O'Blisco and Brantrake are good shouts.

Post edited at 13:48
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 Johnhi 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Iamgregp:

If you follow the suggestion of Bramcrag Quarry I'd suggest taking a helmet, all that gravel sitting around's a bitch when you pull in down with your rope.  

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 Route Adjuster 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

> Hi,

> The plan is to visit an area during the day then set up at night away from main areas and then leave early morning to resupply at the car and get rid of waste (in both senses). Then we move onto a new area e.g 

> The first day is to park in Glenridding then hike up late afternoon to do Striding Edge up to Helvellyn then make our way to High Tarn to set up for the night. In morning hike out back to the car to get rid of waste and re-stock then drive on the next area. 

> With Brantrack crag get there early spend the day climbing then hike for an hour out the way and set up for the night then move one the next day etc.

> Been wild camping for a while so always leave no trace but fully aware at the end of the week we will be dead haha.

> But thanks for the advice about the police being a bit more active but we should be well ou the way. 

If you're coming up to the Lakes please consider how you can support the local economy whilst doing so.  Bringing everything you need in your car with you and then camping wild won't contribute much to the Cumbrian economy, and to be quite honest we could do with the income given the dependence we have on tourism!  Please consider paying for camp sites, shopping local (not supermarkets), frequenting the local pubs etc.  your tourist pound is in demand.

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 Johnlenham 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

Strange this is the first thing i see on the forum after booking a trip there in August. 

I swear I had read there is loads of decent crags for sport climbing up there and even bouldering.

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 Iamgregp 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Johnhi:

Funnily enough I tool the worst fall I ever had there, a hold snapped off in my hand and i went absolutely flying, completely inverted banged my head against the wall really hard.  Luckily I was wearing my helmet and vowed right then and there to never climb without one again.  Stuck to it to this day.

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 Iamgregp 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Johnlenham:

Loads of bouldering there, Bowderstone the most well known, I guess...

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 Dave 88 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Route Adjuster:

How this reasonable request has had any dislikes is beyond me!

Tourism is an enormous part of the economy here, if you are able to spend money locally while you’re here, it would be greatly appreciated.

I would base yourself somewhere central like Langdale or Borrowdale. There’s so much climbing in a concentrated area, everything from small roadside stuff up to long mountain days. And it’s arguably the most ‘lake district’ looking part of the Lake District.

Hope you have a good trip.

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 Mark Eddy 08 Jul 2020
In reply to Johnlenham:

Not loads of decent crags for sport climbing here in the Lakes. There are some okay venues, but it's not the place to visit if looking specifically for bolted crags.

Lots of good bouldering though

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In reply to Route Adjuster:

Hi,

We will be sure to as we have no lunch provisions and some things we will need to re-stock. We come from a small independent creative town whose main source of income is a local community and tourism so we only shop local and especially at a time like this its important to support the local community no matter where you go!

So there will definitely be a good spend for some good warm meals and beer to wash it down with throughout the week after hard climbing and hiking

Also just want to say thank you to everyone's replies as you have all been so helpful and really has made the trip coming up less daunting and really exciting with a solid plan coming together

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In reply to Johnlenham:

> Strange this is the first thing i see on the forum after booking a trip there in August. 

> I swear I had read there is loads of decent crags for sport climbing up there and even bouldering.

On the edge of the Lakes there's one major sport crag  Chapel Head Scar and a couple more minor ones. In the Lakes proper, there's  Bramcrag Quarry which is a bolted quarry. Then there are some slate quarries, which offer some bolted routes, but they're not really "sport climbing" in the conventional sense - some fully bolted routes, some hybrids with bolts and trad gear - and not generally starting on the ground and going up to a lower off. 

There's lots of bouldering in the Lakes.

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 Johnlenham 23 Jul 2020
In reply to Jon Stewart:

Ah cheers! 

Yeah it's not really a climbing trip persay but I'd be taking my gear since there's space in the car and were stopping in the peaks for a few days otw back. a few people going are entry level climbers so perhaps a friend can lend me a mat  and we can do some bouldering then😊 

Post edited at 14:12
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In reply to Johnlenham:

If you can make it round to  St. Bees Head then that's by far the best bouldering. If you want somewhere actually in the Lakes, then  Langdale Boulders are high quality but very limited and  Carrock Fell crag is probably the best for a day out - lots there, some of it is good.

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 Mike505 23 Jul 2020
In reply to Dave 88:

Maybe because some feel local shops should be avoided when travelling to help prevent spread of covid-19, not all locals (well the ones who don't rely on tourism) appreciate it atm. Or because the NT campsite in Langdale is a rip-off. Lastly because wild camping though illegal in England is a vital part of our pass time. For the record i haven't liked or disliked the comment.

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In reply to Mike505:

I always thought wild camping above the boundary wall was ok in the lakes. When did that become illegal?

Post edited at 05:36
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 Mike505 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

I think it's tolerated and genrally accepted but I'm not sure if its legal.

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 WVRox 24 Jul 2020
In reply to C Witter:

All sound advice....if the OP wants a Wired guide, mine's gathering dust since the Rockfax came out! Incomparable. 

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 SteveX 24 Jul 2020
In reply to Michael Hood:

>  When did that become illegal?

About 1623.

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In reply to Miikeyp:

Cam crag ridge 

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In reply to Mike505:

> I think it's tolerated and genrally accepted but I'm not sure if its legal.

I'm not sure it's either legal or illegal.

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 Dave Ferguson 27 Jul 2020
In reply to Miikeyp:

My biggest tip for climbing in the Lakes, or any mountain area for that matter is to buy a selected guide, this one is very good: https://www.needlesports.com/Catalogue/Books-Media/Guidebooks/The-Lake-District/Lake-District-Rock-COR-CL044

and study it fastidiously. 

The enjoyment of your trip will very much depend on weather conditions, wind, temperature and precipitation.

Everyone when visiting a new area will have a ticklist, I've done it myself but its more important to choose a crag appropriate to the conditions. 

Pay particular attention to the crag aspect, if there is a strong westerly, choose somewhere east facing (and vice versa) If its cold, choose a south facing crag in the sun, if its too hot (unlikely but possible) choose a north facing crag if its had time to dry out. If its raining, you do have options, study the guide and it will point you to routes that can be done in the wet.

I see so many beginners being pointed at great routes that they will be guaranteed a really hard time on if the weather is marginal and subsequently will be put off from visiting again.

Don't put your blinkers on and only have one or two objectives, choose wisely and you'll have a fantastic time.

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In reply to Dave Ferguson:

All very good advice.

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