For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee weekend I was originally planning on heading to Pembroke to go sea cliff climbing with my parents however the weather had other ideas and due to a forecast of wind, cloud and rain we played a game of hunt the good weather. As in general the good weather was up north we headed up to the lake district to go scrambling and rock climbing there, but we were armed with guide books for Snowdonia, Yorkshire and the Peak District in case we had to chase the good weather around in the north.
The best forecast of the week was on Monday so we went for a mountain scrambling day in the sun and headed up to Great Gable via Napes Needle. Here we did a modification to the classic grade 2*** route which involved ‘Threading the Needle’, scrambling up Eagles Nest Gully, Arrowhead ridge and finishing up Pinnacle Ridge on Westmorland crags. It was a fantastic day out and the weather was clearing throughout the entire day and after the first half an hour we spent the entire day in t-shirts in the sun.
It was fantastic being out on dry rock in the sun with fantastic views over the Lake District which was looking very green. The gully was a bit chossy and loose however once we got onto Arrowhead ridge the scenery was just fantastic with some great albeit short scrambling. For the entire morning until we reached the summit we hardly saw another person which was fantastic, though once we got to the summit we just met a wall of people walking up ‘the easy way’ so we made a small modification to the descent to ensure we headed down a less well trodden route to avoid the crowds. Once we got back to the campsite after a 6 hour day instead of relaxing we changed into our climbing gear and then headed out climbing (see next blog post).
On Wednesday the forecast for the morning was rain and clearing up as the day went on so we had a lie in and then started walking up towards Langstrath and another classic Lakeland scrambling of Cam Crag Ridge, grade 2***, with the hope that during the walk in it would clear. This however didn’t happen so we started scrambling in the rain, I am used to wet rock due to scrambling all winter in all weather conditions though there was mutterings from my Dad of disliking wet rock! We found an overhang just after the first bit of scrambling to shelter from the rain from and eat some lunch. When we emerged from the shelter the rain started to easy and stopped while we did the scramble and the cloud base lifted just enough for us to get some great views from the top. We took out time heading down as it was starting to become fairly warm and where we were sheltered from the wind it was very pleasant being out on a hill with no one else around with stunning views up Borrowdale. It was just great being able to be out on a day with a low cloud base and rain due to the Lakes having low level scrambling rather than having to head up high into the cloud and see nothing. Once we got back to the campsite we packed up to go home and then on the way stopped off just up the valley to do some more climbing! We finished climbing at 9pm before starting the drive back to Bristol, we must be mad!