Monday 25 April 2011

Guided hillwalking, The Lake District. Easter weekend 2011.

Susanna Freeman and her partner Martin, travelled to the Lake District for the Easter weekend having booked in to one of the area's many hotels.

They decided that they wanted to climb some of the area's many mountains. Scafell Pike was on their tick list and Sharp Edge on Blencathra sounded good.

They had arrived by train and hence had no transport with which to get about; and they needed someone to help them achieve their objectives.

Fortunately, someone recommended Kendal Mountaineering services to them; and they contacted Iain to discuss their requirements.

As usual, we were happy to help. We don't do set courses here at KMS - you tell us what you want and we will do
our best to make sure you get it.

As it happens, Iain is one of the best mountainwalking guides in the Lake District. He can say that with confidence - having completed his first round of the Wainwrights (as the hills are often known) by the age of 19 and having reascended many of the Lake District's fells many times since - with or without walking or scrambling parties. You won't find anyone who knows these mountains better!

Anyway, Iain was happy to collect Susanna and Martin from their hotel, give them a guided mountainwalking experience and return them to their accommodation each day. On Saturday, we ascended Scafell Pike from Seathwaite in Borrowdale (first photo) doing a round robin - ascending via Grains Gill (photo two) to Esk Hause and from there on to Great End and then on to the summit via Broad & Ill Crags. As can be seen, it was cloudy and Iain was a little wary of the MWIS weather forecast which said thunderstorms were a possibility in the afternoon. Mountain tops are not the place to be in such weather!

However, it remained dry until the early afternoon and we even got views! Iain was not expecting this, but as we crested Great End, the clouds parted and there was our destination in the distance. There was cloud all around - above and below, but for an hour Scafell Pike's summit was clear.

As we descended north to pick up the Corridoor Route we were soon back in cloud and were not to get any further views until we got to Styhead Tarn by which time it had started spitting. On the return drive to Bowness on Windermere it started raining quite heavily and we had the ususal Bank Holiday Weekend travel problems.

Sunday, as forecast, was a glorious sunny day for day two of the pair's Lake District Guided Mountainwalking experience - we could see everywhere!

The day was warm, dry & sunny and there was a light breeze all day which was just enough to keep us cool. Photo four shows Martin & Susanna having just reached the col above Mousthwaite Combe. Behind them is our destination - Blencathra (also known as Saddleback due to the shape of the summit) and sharp Edge - our point of interest.

A little over an hour later, after a brief lunch stop at Scales tarn, we were heading up on to Sharp Edge accompanied by many other Easter weekend hillgoers.

Photo five shows Martin & Susanna enjoying the exhilaration of Sharp Edge's crest. Iain made a point of having the pair helmeted & harnessed up in case we needed to make the transition to short roping - a scrambling technique and Sharp Edge is a classic Lake District Grade one scramble!

Given the pairs previous experience (they have ascended Kilimanjario, Toubkal and Aconcagua - to mention a few "holiday trips") Iain was quite confident the rope wouldn't be needed - they both happily breezed across the ridge and thoroughly enjoyed it. Hard hats & harnesses off, we soon arrived at the summit of Blencathra where the views all around were stunning!

The final photograph here was taken at the western end of Blencathra's main ridge looking east - back towards the summit. Iain had given Susanna & Martin the options of 4 possible descents back to the car at Scales and they had chosen this one.

From here we descended Blease Fell to the intake wall at the foot of the mountain and then walked back, along it's foot crossing the deeply cut ravines of Blease Gill, Gate Gill, Doddick Gill and finally, Scaley Beck before arriving at the back at the car at Scales.

Susanna and Martin thoroughly enjoyed their weekend of guided Lake District mountain walking with Iain and hope to return another time - Helvellyn, with its famous edges could be on the agenda.

If you are interested in having a guided Lake District Mountain walking experience then contact us at Kendal Mountaineering services and remember - if you need transport, we are happy to arrange this for you. Additional pictures from Susanna & Martin's weekend can be viewed here.

No comments: