Altitude 776m a.s.l
The view whilst we were gearing up for Kilnshaw Chimney. © Rich Walker
A collection of short routes and super fast access makes this a popular area. Save it for a pre-work session or when you need a short day, for any aspiring mountaineer this is the perfect starter route, Kilnshaw chimney AKA "little Big Bastard" offers easy scrambling, take a half rope and wear a helmet as loose rock can always be found inside the gully. From the car park opposite the Kirkstone Inn head up but to the left of the scree fan here you will find easy scrambling, route finding is not a problem when enough height is gained turn right towards the mouth of the gully. You will always find water running down the gully which can be a problem at the two crux walls both of which are no more than a heads height, but when the water is running freely you're going to get wet. At the first crux wall there are at least two good hand holds to the top right and left of the wall, some climbers may need to confidence rope here or the help of a second climbers shoulder can be useful in the way of a nudge up. Under icy conditions crampons and ice axe would be essential. If the first wall can't be climbed then you will find an escape route lower and to the right of this (The climb out traverse} but be warned you will find yourself on high steep ground which under wet or winter conditions will require the use of crampons or ice axe. From the second crux wall which is the easiest of the two the exit area is only a few yards away, from there you will find a well marked path leading to the summit of Red Screes which is only a few minutes away, you can return to the car park or the Kirkstone Inn via the same path. Why AKA "Little Big Bastard" well my old mate Jeff gets credited with this,after one icy encounter he declared that the gully was far from easy,and was in fact "a proper Little Big ..........." With its easy access and plenty of free parking the Red screes and Kilnshaw chimney offer a gateway to some of Lake lands wonders. From the summit a short walk will take you on to Dove crag with its mysterious Priest hole which can accommodate four climbers for a comfortable nights stay and then from there Fairfield, Helvellyn and probably Lake lands best crag St Sunday, all of which can be attained.....Big Hell.
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Kilnshaw Chimney is directly above the car park at the top of Kirkstone Pass. To reach the other routes traverse across the hillside to the SW
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