going up to gimmer this week to hopefully get a couple of classic rock ticks done, so just wanted to prove the UKC hive for any info on the descents, I take it it’s better to Abseil down we will be near the top of 'C' Route (S 4b)and / or Bracket and Slab Climb (VS 4b).
Any further info for the best approach and if there is any tat insitue etc. would be greatly appreciated
thanks in advance all.
6 and 2 3s if you ask me.
Ab down from the top to Ash Tree Ledge from the fixed chain (gosh) if you're doing another route from there. If you're packing up, if you ab down, there's a second short ab from the scramble into ATL to the gearing up point on the ground, again in situ tat. It's just as easy to scramble down SE gully as do 2 abs, but potentially harder to find the way I guess. Horses for courses, I don't mind scrambling down, others disagree.
Walk in from the New Dungeon Ghyll/Sticklebarn, not the Old Dungeon Ghyll. Behind the pub there's a path; at a certain point it splits and crosses a stream. You end up on a path below Harrison Stickle and need to take a wee trod off once Gimmer is in sight.
To get all the Classic Rock routes ticked in a day is easy if you're efficient. You will have to walk all the way around the base of the crag to reach ATS from the NW side. Once you're on Ash Tree Ledge, scramble sideways/right (looking in) along it easily. There's a big ledge where all the AB and C routes start. Abseil from just left (looking in) of where you top out - there's a big chain around a boulder. Scramble back down right to the start of C route and a bit further to find a second ab station usually equipped with plenty of tat which takes you to the base of B&S. Once you top out, ab again off the fixed chain but this time return to the top of Ash Tree Slabs/NW Arete to find a third equipped ab station that will return you to your bags. Don't walk down or it will take ages. Watch out when you ab as people climb the lines that are abseiled.
Enjoy - they're all worthwhile routes at the grade.
I did Bracket and Slab and A Route in a day last summer in a team of three, and we just scrambled down the grassy gully to the (climber's) right of the crag. This seemed less hassle and less annoying to others than all three of us abbing back down.
For a walking approach go from NDG and turn off the main path at the base of Thorn crag, this small path then leads to Gimmer.
For a climb/scramble approach start at ODG and do Middlefell Buttress and continuation (or any other climb on Raven).
Descending Gimmer - abseil is easiest, but as others have mentioned there's variety of options. If doing a single route on the upper crag it's nice to carry kit up with you and scramble up onto the tops, walking off from there.
Hope you have fun
The abseil station from Ash Tree ledges to the ground I've always found terrifying to get set up on. Be super careful with it, given the position of the ring/mallion being so low down, I could easily see how someone could end up putting the rope tails through their belay plate. Dare I say it, some bolts would be better/safer.
One thing no one has yet mentioned about the abseil from the chained boulder to Ash Tree Ledge is the risk of getting your rope trapped when pulling down. There is a tiny little spike in the corner groove on the line of the ab which can easily give you a problem. I have suffered this myself and seen others on several occasions. This can be avoided (presence of other climbers permitting) by walking as far left facing in as you can dragging your ropes across several other routes before pulling. South east gully is a good descent for the alphabet routes, but it is a serious scramble. To be avoided if any of the party get stressed doing such things. Especially with more than 2 in a party it is probably quicker to walk up from the crag top, then wander left to descend the obvious route down the NW flank of the crag. Important both for safety and ecological reasons to avoid the initially tempting Junipall gully if you’ve left your kit below the NW side.
one of the annoying things about the crag is the presence of a long rocky ridge separating the SE and NW sides which necessitates a rather tiresome descent then re-ascent if you leave your kit on the wrong side. Lunch can often turn out to be about 3 pm.
If this is your first visit, I’m full of envy. A fabulous crag. Hope you have a wonderful day.
an afterthought- my favourite route up and down is from ODG, but it isn’t easily found. Steep and stony at first but then for most of the way it follows a delightful sheep trod and has the advantage of not doing the descent and reascent if heading for the NW flank.
Again massive thanks all, some great advice here, yes it is my first time to the crag and am really looking forward to it. Have been up Bowfell before and have done middlefell buttress. But this will be our first trip to Gimmer.
thanks again all. I will let you know how we get on.
I would advise you to choose your routes to stay in any available sunshine. Once did a few routes on Gimmer finishing on The Crack in the late afternoon sunshine. Parties ahead of us had started up that route much earlier and were semi-frozen all the way up.
yes had a great day thanks, thank you again for the advice. Had some fun that slowed us down a bit, firstly muppet here made a school boy error and dropped my belay plate at the top of the first pitch of Ash Tree Slabs (VD) so had to belay with a Munter hitch for the rest of the day on twin ropes which was a new experience! 😂, we had some route finding issues, and ended up doing 'A' Route (S 4a) instead of 'C' Route (S 4b) as my partner preferred the look of 40 foot corner to the polished chimney on C route. Finding the start of the alphabet routes from ash tree ledges took a while, we found the ab station at the top of C route no probs but we decided to walk off the top instead as we didn’t have time to do Bracket and Slab Climb (VS 4b) .
an awesome day was had in a beautiful location, we will definitely be back for more.
we are off to wales next week so looking forwards to some more mountain routes there.
again thanks for all the tips and advice. 😃
> Had some fun that slowed us down a bit, firstly muppet here made a school boy error and dropped my belay plate at the top of the first pitch of Ash Tree Slabs (VD) so had to belay with a Munter hitch for the rest of the day on twin ropes which was a new experience! 😂,
It's about 25 years ago but I did exactly the same with my original ATC when quite a few pitches up North Buttress - West Route (Winter) (IV 4). Munter hitches are a total pain with double rope aren't they!
We were on Gimmer last week too. I don't want to start (yet another) debate about the pros and cons of fixed ab stations in the mountains but why does this one have to be above some of the most iconic lower grade routes in the whole country? The crag wasn't that busy when we were on D Route but anyone wanting to do A B or C Route would have had their day ruined by people abbing from the top.
The great thing about the top chain ab is you can do two routes to the top of the crag then nip back down to the Ash Tree ledges for another route. The top ab crosses the top pitch of A Route but it doesn't interfere with B or C. It's there so people can get around safely; beyond being secure, it helps to avoid teams abseiling from other locations that might actually cause more issues. However, I've been there many times when it was busy with a lot of teams and there were never any problems with the top ab except for teams on the top pitch of A Route. Last time I was there I was doing A Route with my partner. I realised we would end up in the ab line on a busy day and so swapped out the top pitch of A for the top pitch of C, no problem. An experienced team will always have an eye open to taking a different way to avoid other teams (usually slow ones). None of this is an excuse to inconsiderately abseil onto a team, of course, and it's important to consider the safety and enjoyment of others when sharing a busy crag.
> Yeah we are there for a few days so plan on getting there early, I’ve heard it gets really busy.
I've not seen it really busy, but there's often a race along the Bilberry Terrace to decide which team gets to set off first
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