Borrowdale 5th to 7th of July 2024

The much anticipated club trip for July 2024 took place over the weekend of 5th to the 7th of the month and was based at High House, Seathwaite. The magnificent and justly popular hut has comfortable accommodation for 26 people and is owned by the K Fellfarers. The trip was fully subscribed although four late notice withdrawals meant a total of 22 attended which is still a creditable number.

Throughout the week the unsettled weather forecast had been a threatening issue, however, as we neared the weekend the clouds parted and a mood of optimism prevailed. The Chairman's weather dance continues to surprise even the Chairman. Several members were able to start early on Friday and two teams wandered around to Raven Crag and Corvus (Diff) for a pleasant session of multi-pitch climbing. Sam K, Dave Ca and Dan S swinging leads enroute to the top and Martin P enjoying an injury-free climb with Dave M. Matthew D, having arrived at the hut with Dave Ca but recovering from an achilles problem decided to walk up to Allen Crags, then via Glaramara to the top of Corvus where he met Dave M and Martin. The steep and direct route down to Seathwaite rounded off an epic outing to promote his rehabilitation.

Derek W with Stefan I and Jenny G headed directly for Shepherd's Crag where they managed several climbs, including Little Chamonix (VDiff). A fine introduction to Lake District rock for Stefan. Elise P, Alex D and Charley S also climbed at Shepherd's initially at the Brown Slabs area before teaming up with Giles C for an evening start to the weekend lecture series on the upper crag.

Phil and Virginie arrived at Borrowdale in the afternoon and went for a local sunset walk. David Cu arrived after shopping in Keswick and dashed up to Skafell Pike summit before returning to the hut in the early evening. Everyone gradually made it back to the hut and settled in for the weekend. The after-hours session of Giles' lecture series, having a relatively high altitude venue and a long walk to the car park, resulted in a near call for a headtorch finish which was good going for early July. The rest of the group arrived over the evening and plans were made for the following day.

For Saturday morning everyone had teamed up and the initial ideas of big multi-pitch climbing routes were modified due to the possibility of showers. Raven Crag was to receive a lot of attention with John L, Dan C and David Cu heading for Corvus then Ewart P, Derek and Stefan climbing Raven Crag Buttress (VDiff). Giles, Elise and Alex also made for Raven Crag Buttress, continuing the lecture series and routing there via the direct ascent to abeam Glaramara summit before dropping down into the valley and the base of the crag.

Two teams set their sights on the other side of Coombe Gill, opposite Raven Crag at Glaciated Slab where there's a good selection of single-pitch and reasonable grade climbs. Emma with Jenny and Dan S, Dave Ca with Sam K climbed various routes in weather that remained cool but remarkably good.

On Saturday morning Charley was feeling tired so after a long lie in ventured for a local, solo walk up to Allen Crags and down the ridge to Thornythwaite Fell. A leisurely stroll compared to Carwyn who set off early on the same route, reversed, but continued from Allen Crags up to Skafell Pike and then onto Great End before returning down the Grains Gill path to High House. A tremendous walk and at an impressive pace which could have been easily mistaken for one of the athletes taking part on the 24 peak challenge.

Dave M, Phil H, Virginie H, Martin, Kate A and Matthew all walked and scrambled up to Skafell Pike via the Corridor Route. The weather was perfect for a pleasant, sociable walk and there were very few people around until the main path was reached. When descending towards Grains Gill the group met up with Carwyn and continued together. A rain shower passed over at about 2pm so waterproofs were deployed but were all dry again before getting back to the hut. The walk was another big test for Matthew and proved to be no match for our bio-mechanical Goth Twin.

The Saturday afternoon and early evening gathering proved to be very sociable and enjoyable. An early start and tailored intentions for the day meant that most were back at High House in good time to enjoy the outdoor ambience in warm sunshine. But where's Giles, Elise and Alex? The lecture series was apparently continuing, however, the team made a perfectly timed reappearance just as the Ecuadorian baked, boneless guinea pigs were about to be served. The evening passed eceptionally well with plenty of healthy food, just a bit of drink and all sitting down together in front of a warming stove which, thankfully, Derek had lit on this occasion.

Sunday morning was a mass mobilisation to clear up the hut, tidy all our gear away and move on to the next part of the programme. Big thanks to everyone for helping out and getting the whole place squared away before we left. And to Matthew and Dave Ca for finishing the job and locking up.

The weather forecast for Sunday was for showers again so it was a lottery decision to pick a venue for climbing or walking. Several of our group decided that home was the best option. Some went to climb on the eastern edge of Cumbria, Near Shap at Gouther Crag. It rained as they arrived so Cafe 66 became their updated objective. Martin and Dave M climbed a couple of routes in good weather on Brown Slab at Shepherd's Crag before dropping into Keswick for a cup of tea. Phil and Virginie stayed local, walking up to Green Gable and across to Honister where they met Matthew and Dave C. Matthew and Dave were remaining in the area, having an extra night in Dave's van and walking up Blencathra on Monday.

So, in spite of the forecast weather, the Club had put together another successful and enjoyable trip to reflect upon. Conditions were not so bad as it could have been, however, the flexibilty shown by everyone meant that achievable goals were set and the end result was very satisfying. There were several club members on the trip new to rock climbing and multi-pitch routes as well as the club trip environment and hut accommodation. Everyone was welcome and all had a part to play in the success of the trip. Thanks to all for coming along and for sharing time, experience and knowledge and helping in many ways to ensure that everyone had something to be pleased about.

Where next? See you there!

Cheers! DaveM

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One Comment

  1. Charley Schaefer

    I could barely keep track of what I did myself, so well done keeping track of 22 people, Dave – once again a great trip and great trip report!

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