Langdale Extreme Rock ticking

Jake’s climbing adventures have taken him to many of the finest crags in England and Wales (and further afield) but apart from a couple of Borrowdale excursions, he’d never climbed in The Lakes. With a couple of days to kill, and a forecast of wall-to-wall sunshine, we decided to start putting that right. A 1pm rendezvous at Kendal ruled out a few options, but we hatched an ambitious plan to make the most of the afternoon with a trip to Langdale.

Sweaty conditions on the plod up to Gimmer
The crag hoves into view

Eastern Hammer, E3 6a, is a stiff warm-up, not that it seemed to bother Jake – here he is contemplating the crux having arranged good gear.

… and heading for glory into the finish of Kipling Groove, above all difficulties.

The RAF were kind enough to arrange a fly-past to mark the occasion.

A handy rap point means you can easily nip back down for a second bite of the cherry, so we set off up Eastern Hammer’s sister route: Equus, E2 5c. I’d previously been put off by the committing pull over the initial overhang, so was more than happy to let Jake continue leading duties.

The groove above is an absolute technical delight!

Ropes coiled by 7pm and two Extreme Rock ticks in the bag – you’d think that would mean beer-o’clock, but Jake had other ideas.

Picking out the overgrown path through rampant bracken, we made our way down to Raven Crag and Jake was geared up and ready to go again beneath Trilogy, E5 6a. It’s an imposing wall of overhanging brown, slatey rock, with Trilogy taking the black menacing corner up its left side.

The technical crux is probably the second 10ft, heading through a blank, steep wall to reach the “sanctuary” of a rather ancient peg (soon supplemented by a good wire).

There’s a steady supply of more ironmongery for the rest of the pitch, with generally good holds and even the occasional “rest”, but it’s relentlessly steep! An absolutely stunning pitch, well worthy of its place in Extreme Rock.

The last of the rays over Side Pike

Finally time for a pint, just before last orders at the ODG. Not a bad afternoon’s work!

Bad light (and tired arms) stopped play!

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