Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lakeland Classic Rock Routes

Traversing below the pinnacle on a very wet Troutdale Pinnacle (S)

Fancying a challenge acrobats Jane and Lisa headed north to enjoy an 'Indian summer' in the Lakes attempting to climb the 15 Classic Rock routes from Ken Wilson's stunning coffee table book. An ambitious itinerary involved some 45 miles of hill walking and plenty of four star climbing over 3 long days. Sunday morning saw us at Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale climbing the classic Little Chamonix (VD) as the sun burnt the mist off Derwent Water. Our next route Troutdale Pinnacle (S) at Black Crag was rather wet with a waterfall running down the crux pitch which slowed us significantly but perfect timing saw us back at the bags as the rain arrived. The forecast for the beginning of the week was pretty bad but spirits were still high as we set up for the trek up to Gillercombe Buttress (S). The rain soon cleared and we enjoyed plenty of sunshine as far as the base of the route. Greasy rock again slowed us and darkness and torrential arrived together two pitches from the top. We made a quick decision to bail and one long and wet 60m abseil took us down into the gully and an easy scramble down to the bags. A sheltered campsite was quickly found on the valley floor and we settled in for the night.

The next morning gave blue skies and light winds. We opted to miss out the routes on Pillar and traversed over Green Gable aiming for Napes Needle (HS), Needle Ridge (VD) and Tophet Wall (S). However by the time we reached Sty Head Tarn an unrelenting wind was driving heavy rain down the valley and we ended up retreating to Langdale for hot chocolates in front of the fire in the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

The forecast for the Tuesday was far better so we headed back round to the quick drying Shepherds Crag to get some climbing done. We made quick work of Donkey's Ears (), Eve (VS), Kransic Crack Direct (HVS), ?? () and The Grasp (E1) before retreating to the cafe. Bacon sarnies and hot chocolate arrived just before the only shower of the day signifying the end of a very adventurous 3 days.

Enjoying the exposure from Troutdale Pinnacle (S)

The unique Donkey's Ears on Shepherds Crag

Entertaining the locals at Shepherds Cafe!