/ Raven Gimmer link up.
Thinking of taking a friend up to the lakes next week. Looking at doing middlefell buttress and then linking up with (probably) ash tree slabs on gimmer? Just wondering if anyone had any pointers? Or if anyone could give me a rough walking time between the two?
I'd allow about 30 minutes. There are lots of "trods" between the top of Middlefell and Gimmer but no distinct path as people tend to go at different heights, but it's a case of "all roads lead to Rome". You'll definitely end up at Gimmer but at what height? You need to stay low to go around the toe of the crag to get to Ash Tree Slabs.
I did something similar with the wife on Saturday - Middlefell into Bracket and Slab on Gimmer. Pretty straight forward really. You don't mention if your friend is a climber or not, but I would just say pick a good line for P1. I went up the thrutchy polished chimney on the left and the wife didn't enjoy that at all. The rest of it was fine though. Once you get to the top, keep walking/scrambling up until you hit the Gimmer walk in. Don't forget to take the left fork at the big cairn. Not sure of the walking time as we stopped for a snooze on the way. 25-30mins maybe? We also did the easy walk off the top of Gimmer - keep scrambling up and rightwards until you can pick up the main path back down. That removed any down-climbing/gully scrambling and made for a chilled out day.
Its the best way to get to Gimmer. Just traverse roughly countering from the top of Raven Crag. There is a vague path to follow. You should end up at the very top of the horrendous screes and the base of the alphabet routes.
> Its the best way to get to Gimmer. Just traverse roughly countering from the top of Raven Crag. There is a vague path to follow. You should end up at the very top of the horrendous screes and the base of the alphabet routes.
There is a large altitude difference between the top of middlefell/ raven and the gimmer gearing up spot. There is also very much the right traversing path, which goes from a cairn on the main dungeon ghyll path just before its final steep section, after it levels out at usually boggy spot. There are sheepfolds just above the main path at the point the gimmer path branches off. This is a long scramble and walk uphill from the top of middlefell/raven.
I wouldn't bother with Middlefell Buttress if I were you. It will gobble up too much of your day. Just get yourself straight up to the fantastic Gimmer and do a continuation route from Ash Tree Ledge to make a day of it.
Oliverson's Variation and Lyon's Crawl is a trouble-free VDiff with some spectacular situations for the grade. And 'A' Route which is Mild Severe isn't really any harder than Ash Tree Slabs (which is fairly stiff for a VDiff...). Alternatively there is Main Wall Climb on a separate buttress, which is a quality and sustained VDiff, and usually less busy than the West Face.
The main path up from the Stickebarn is the easiest walking route up. Takes about 45 mins or so. I'd avoid approaching direct up the horrible scree slope!
I do Middlefell fairly regularly with clients as an approach to Gimmer. Do Middlefell and Curtain Wall, then scramble directly upwards to gain the main path (about 15 mins from the top of Curtain Wall to reach the path). Turn left and go to the cairn beyond the boggy bit, then take the faint path that contours around westwards to the gearing up point for Gimmer (about 15 - 20 mins walking). If you want to do Ash Tree Slabs you'll need to descend under the main buttress of Gimmer, then up the gully a short way. Ash Tree Slabs leads to Ash Tree Ledge, not the top of Gimmer, so you'll need a plan to continue from there. You can climb Oliverson's Traverse and Lyon's Crawl at the same grade as Ash Tree Slabs to reach the top of the wall, or A, B, C or D Route at Severe. It is possible to scramble down from Ash Tree Ledge, but you'd need prior knowledge of the route to do it safely. It's also possible to abseil off either down Asterisk at one end or the broken ground next to the first pitch of Bracket and Slab at the other end - abseil tat is usually in place for both, but take your own just in case. And make sure your ropes are long enough for the abseil!
Hope that helps.
The path from Sticklebarn seems further (and I think may actually take longer). Middlefell Buttress always felt a lot faster because you gain height so quickly and then it's a long easy traverse..
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