May 10, 2008 George Foster

Lakes Japery

I’ve just got back from 3 days in the Lake District, England’s premier bastion of mountain trad (if you can excuse the hyperbole). Living so close (about a 2 hour white knuckle bomb-burst from Stirling) means that you can easily get down there for an extreme day trip, however with the prospect of a favourable forecast and free accommodation a group of us decided to ignore university exam-time pressures and essay deadlines to spend some time getting on some of the best trad in the UK.

Unfortunately due to ball-breaking walk-ins and general laziness i didnt manage to get many pictures, at least not till the last day when all the sun had disappeared anyway! Sorry! Also due to laziness i will only give a mucho shorto version of events.

Day 1:
Arrived at Shepherds Crag, Borrowdale (via some wrong turns) to skin-melting heat and proceeded to get on some decent little routes like Fisher’s Folly (VS) and Kransic Crack Direct (HVS) as well as joining the crowds on the (hesitant to say) classic that is Chamonix (S) which if you ask me is a polished load of rubbish (sorry but i’m not joking this time). Further along the valley a relatively little known (except on the gossip mill) beast called George Ullrich was busy going for the onsight of De Quincey (E7) on the awesome Bowder Crag…..but you’ll have to wait to see the upcoming film by Dave Gill to find out what happens – sounds bloody cool though!

Day 2:
Hiked the path to Gimmer Crag, Langdale to scare ourselves on some multi-pitch. It was hot. We were knackered. Still though we managed a couple of decent routes each between the 3 pairs. Tom and Jake managed a fine ascent of an E1 which scared the shite out them apparently (though i don’t believe it myself – they’re too cool for school when it comes to trad). Me and Paddy managed to get on the wrong route ending up on some ‘variety show of death’ involving thin slings draped over spikes and at times even thinner climbing. I’m not ashamed to admit i had ‘the fear’ BIG-TIME! Its all character building though! The ‘weaker’ team of Dave and James aka the ‘Eh Team’ seemed totally unfazed by anything inspite of having not done much in the way of multi-pitch before, crushing some classics as they stormed upwards. Honestly inspiring stuff. Some old dude fucked his ankle falling off Spring-time (E2) and had to get stretchered off but seemed in very good spirits, providing some awesome banter where others would have passed out!

Day 3:
Knackered. Hiked up to Black Crag, Wrynose Pass. We all pottered around on some easier stuff. The man of the moment Tom upped the ante with a pretty audacious ascent of Glass Slipper (E2) (okay so its relatively soft but its bold as lightening) given that he’d only onsighted his first E1 a week before! Check oot the pics below.

Comment (1)

  1. Despite knowing Langdale pretty well, I had my first climbing experience there a couple of weeks ago. Nice place. Not sure that scary trad is really for me though!

    I was quite surprised at how polished some things were….but maybe I was just being naive!


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