Borrowdale – Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 June 2022

The good weather forecast for Cumbria was noted at the end of the previous week and Sam Kett along with Dave Mannion, being free for both Monday and Tuesday, put together a shortlist of possible objectives for Borrowdale and kept faith in the met office.

The forecast held or even improved and on Monday morning the A66 traverse was the first achievement, accomplished with no delays. By 11am we had pitched out tent at Chapel House Farm Campsite near Rosthwaite and were setting off for the walk in to Raven Crag. The first climb, Corvus (D) took just over 2 hours and was a perfect introduction to the area. The down climb from Raven Crag is deteriorating and needs careful negotiation where, nearer the bottom of the crag, the path is largely washed away.

Being a long midsummer day we had sufficient daylight to climb a second route, this time Raven Crag Buttress (VD). A very pleasant route, much better than expected and well worth considering should your preferred choice be over-crowded. We carried our gear with us on this route so from the top we could exit east via the south end of Combe Gill and Rosthwaite Fell then descending to Blackmoss Pot, a popular swimming spot, before walking along the track to the campsite. We reached the tent just after 8pm.

After a good night's sleep in our luxury boudoir and a hearty breakfast we made good time to be at the car park for Troutdale just a few minutes after 9am. Shortly after 10 we were climbing Troutdale Pinnacle (S) using twin ropes today in order to reduce the number of pitches where possible. The route was in very good order, polished in places so easy to follow but great, sustained climbing from start to finish. Unusually, there were no other climbers on the same route at any time while we were there. The walk down was in good condition and leaving the car in the same spot we had sufficient time for another climb along the road at Shepherds Crag.

Sam was having a go at leading the last climb so Jackdaw Ridge (D), being of suitable grade and nearest to the car was the ideal choice. The multitude of options on the route and lack of obvious polish made the climb a good test for a first lead with twin ropes as it forced the leader to make decisions and plan ahead while trying, in vain, to interpret what exactly the guide book was talking about. Good fun.

A short descent on a good path had us down to the road and back to the car by just after 4pm. Sadly, there is no parking allowed at all by the farm at the base of Shepherds Crag and the cake shop is no more. A short drive up to Keswick gave us time for a quick visit to Needle Sports, the lakeside and a coffee shop as well as taking in some of the other useful landmarks for Sam's first visit to the town and the Lake District.

In summary, we had a brilliant 2 days of climbing. The weather couldn't have been kinder and the choice of routes worked well in every respect. Thanks Sam, look forward to the next trip!

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