Patterdale – 17th to the 19th of May 2024

Over the weekend of the 17th to the 19th of May the club ventured to Patterdale for another super, spring trip organised by Oli B. The George Starkey Hut in Patterdale was our base and it's central location was ideal for access to the fells and climbing venues. The weather was on our side, almost unbelievably pleasant, allowing for a full schedule of climbing and fell-walking.

To make the most of the weekend on Friday morning Martin P picked up Dave M in Langdale where the latter had spent the previous week. The weather was mild but overcast and slightly damp so a scramble up to Crinkle Crags via Crinkle Gill and Crinkle Crags Buttress was the order for the day. It was a very pleasant, grade 1 scramble although when navigating the upper section, owing to the mist and cloud, we deviated off-route so the entertainment value was perhaps more than originally intended. After reaching the top of Crinkle Crags we made a visit to Bow Fell summit before descending The Band to the Old Dungeon Ghyll and then driving over to Patterdale.

Oli B, Wes, Jenny and Faith travelled together on Friday evening and couldn't resist calling in for fish and chips when passing Penrith. Paul M and Emma arrived at various times later in the evening, however, only Martin and Dave made it to the pub to eat on Friday.

Saturday morning was glorious and the forecast was to remain so. Emma and Paul went on a mission to Black Crag in Borrowdale to climb the classic Troutdale Pinnacle (S). The nearest parking bay had a couple of spaces and there was nobody ahead of them at the crag. Amazing! A fantastic climb, unrushed with no queue behind and very much enjoyed by both.

Oli, Jenny and Wes headed to White Ghyll in Langdale. Due to a steep walk-in the crags here were likely to be less busy than the popular areas in Langdale but offered several attractive climbs. Hollin Groove (HS 4b) and Slip Knot (VS 4b) were both climbed by the three.

Dave, Martin and Faith remained a bit nearer to Patterdale. Faith was on her first trip to the Lake District so a fairly steady walk up to Grisedale Tarn and across to Helvellyn was considered to be a pleasant introduction.

The paths were generally quiet until nearing the top of Helvellyn. The summit and Striding edge were terrifically busy. However, our descent of Swirral Edge was a good choice and Faith led the way, totally enjoying the experience.

Passing through Glenridding without calling into a traditional British hostelry would have been a failure on Martin and Dave's part to ensure that Faith's introduction to Lakeland fell-walking was complete. There was no problem in achieving all of our aims for the day with several extra chapters for good measure. Thankfully Faith did not insist that we adopt the South Korean end of day procedure and no towels were required.

Everyone arrived back to the hut in the early evening and other than a few sneaking away, very briefly to the pub, the majority were engrossed in preparing the veggie curry feast for the night. This was another outstanding and sociable meal for all. So much food that we had enough for at least one extra random Yorkshireman visitor and more. The weather forecast for Sunday was once again perfect so no late night tonight. Emma, Faith and Martin would have to leave for home in the morning. Everyone else would go climbing at Gouther Crag near Shap.

We had anticipated that Gouther Crag would be a quiet, off the beaten track, backwater sort of venue. When we arrived, however, there were at least half a dozen other groups of climbers. None the less, we were able to fit in with the crowd and accomplished some of the better routes on the crag. Oli, Jenny and Wes first climbed The Fang (VS 4b) followed without delay by Kennel Wall (S 4a) being 3 star and top 50 climbs. Paul and Dave opted for the Slab Start to Truss Buttress (S 3c) which was a great route to test your confidence in friction.

The timing for the weather closing in could not have been better for us. The rain started within a minute of us driving away at the end of the day. Testing the friction between rock and shoe would not have been much fun after that point, even if you climb in Pirelli Wets.

The weekend was, once again, a tremendous success. The Lake District in spring is full of life and we had the weather to be able to see it all up close whether from on the crag or on the fells. There were some very satisfying routes climbed at crags not visited by us before, an approach to Crinkle Crags never seen by anyone before and a wonderful introduction to the Lake District for Faith. Thanks to everyone for coming along, for enjoying the weekend and helping to make it work so well and especially to Oli for organising the trip.

Cheers all! Dave M

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One Comment

  1. Nathan Richmond

    Looks like a brilliant weekend! 💪

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