Deer Bield Crack re-climbed

On Sunday 16th October, Mick Lovatt, Steve Wilcock and Tim Whiteley climbed a new line on Deer Bield Crag in Easedale in the Lakes. The route, Deer Bield Crack, has been graded XS and follows the central line of the buttress.
The reason this is particularly noteworthy is that Deer Bield Buttress suffered a major rock fall when the central section fell down in 1997 and since then it has been left to stabilise by climbers. Before the rock fall the buttress had offered the Hard Rock classic Deer Bield Buttress which overshadowed its companion route Deer Bield Crack which some climbers actually rated as a better route. The ascent of the original Deer Bield Crack by A.T.Hargreaves in 1930 was an outstanding early Lakeland route offering sustained chimney climbing with little protection. It was originally graded Severe but later reappraised to HVS and thought by many to be worth E1.
This latest incarnation is a whole different ball game. It follows what is now a huge central groove leading to an exquisite off-width crack which gives a huge 55m single pitch of squirming protected by a couple of massive Friends.

Mick Lovatt adds :
"The obvious attraction to the route is the exceptionally clean and striking off-width crack which begins just above half height. An unusual experience for the Lakes! The crack is of sound clean rock protected by the big Friends, getting up to the crack is a serious undertaking that needs a careful approach. Generally well protected."

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