Three Scrambles in Lakeland

Jack left our Club some 23 years ago, emigrating to Australia. Our loss. I've been up Pinnacle Ridge many many times since then, and therefore, on a very infrequent get-together, it seemed only right to offer Jack the lead on the crux corner which (for most folks) is best roped. Especially given his far superior ability.

This plan returned to my advantage, because just as we reached the base of the ridge (about 1.5 hrs up the mountain) a soft rain commenced. Ach, well. Helmets and harness on, and away we clambered in our 3-season hiking boots. By the time we got to the harder corner, leading to the pinnacled crest, the rock was getting fairly damp. Jack used a bit more gear that the dry average !

After the abseil and the upper section of ridge, the rain (obviously) ceased. We took afternoon tea. With surrounding summits wreathed in murk, we turned left and back down to our accommodation.

Owing to a last-minute deal, it was barely more cost to have bed & breakfast at Barton Hall, near Pooley Bridge, than to stay in a hostel. Spot the difference in the pictures.

It's a long way round to Wasdale, which explains why Yewbarrow was the only mountain in the Lakes I had never climbed. Apparently it has a rather fierce reputation amongst non-climbers, because the standard routes at either end are both scrambles. No gear needed though.

The way up was an interesting 1/ 2 clamber on sound rock.

At the north end of the ridge, Stirrup Crag has been “written up” not least by Alf Wainwright who talks of having left “a trail of blood”

In truth, we downclimbed it without incident. “Downclimbed” is the word though... it is necessary to pay attention and not make any unconsidered moves.
An excellent mountain, with two interesting scrambles and great views. But not all that big. From Stirrup Crag we extended the day and headed north across Red Pike and then swung right over Pillar to descend eventually to Wasdale Head...... making an 8 hour round trip.

Down the end of Borrowdale and east a bit. Cam Crag Ridge is graded a Mod rock climb (FRCC) and Gr2 *** in scrambling guides.

From a previous ascent, I knew that the frequently-roped crux corner is short-lived with good holds (though you defo wouldn't want to fall off it). We reduced weight by leaving behind helmets and harnesses, taking only a short rope and some runners. But also a long sling apiece, to make Dulfer Seats around our bodies when the moment came. That worked just fine.

The ridge begins with pleasant rounded blocks, grippy and with good holds.

After a while, comes a levelling out, and a stop for lunch. The little corner (avoidable) may be a 2-move wonder:- but below it is a 20-foot fall onto rocks, so best put the rope on.

Further up, with the rope put away, we found the ridge steepening at two or three places into quite high rock steps. It really would not do to become inadvertently detached. However there was a seemingly inexhaustible supply of spikey holds. “I could really use a good hold just there.”... and one appeared. A bit like soloing a 3 or 4 at Harrogate..... but bigger.

We estimated the overall rise at 1000 feet or so. After taking in the view from the top (and Second Lunch) we traversed the hillside for about 1 Km, to Glaramara summit.

Indeed, this has its own little scramble. Like a little chocolate after your meal.

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply