Wednesday 22 April 2015

Guided Scrambling Courses in The Lake District. Saturday 18th April 2015.

Last Saturday, Iain was out with Ben and Becky Wilson from Manchester. The pair enjoy hill walking and regularly stay at a base on the edge of the Lake District. Recently, they have been trying some easy scrambles such as Jack's Rake, Striding Edge and Sharp Edge all graded at 1.

Both were keen to see what scrambling at grade two and above was like so Ben booked Iain's services for a day of guided Scrambling in The Lake District.

They certainly picked a good day for it as you can see in all of the photos. Last Saturday was very warm and very still in Langdale and ideal for any activity involving climbing or scrambling on rock!

Iain hatched a plan to guide the pair up two routes that would ultimately lead on to the summit of Harrison Stickle - the highest top of the Langdale Pikes.

The first route - Piked How, is listed in Lake District Scrambles South as a grade two scrambling route.

Conveniently, this scramble starts within ten minutes of the National Trust Car Park adjacent to the Sticklebarn Tavern in Langdale and winds an interesting route through a series of buttresses low down on the ridge leading to Harrison Stickle. As with most scrambles, it is easy to vary the grade to suit the needs of the clients and in photo two, we had gone off the "official route" in order to climb an interesting looking rib just below the summit of Piked How itself.

So that was the first scramble over; and this route had kept us occupied for three and a half hours. Iain had set just the right level of challenge for the pair who had thoroughly enjoyed themselves so far. What next? A bit of lunch followed by another grade two scrambling route..or grade three perhaps?

Inspired by their success so far, Ben & Becky were both keen to try the challenge presented by a grade three scramble. So, we headed up the grassy slope in photo three to attempt South Central Buttress on Harrison Stickle which takes a line up the buttress - literally right above Ben's head!

South Central Buttress feels noticeably steeper and more exposed than Piked How - hence the grading. The route ascends steep white rocks to a grassy ledge and then one ascends a rock pillar before moving steeply up rightwards on to a Bilberry Ledge.

Once here, a direct finish  takes you up a groove slanting rightwards from the top of the ledge; and on up over steep rocks to the final easy buttresses or you can descend the ledge slightly and then reascend via a steep groove to actually arrive at the same point as the other groove - just below those steeper rocks!

Today, either variant would have been fine in the conditions, but we chose to follow the traditional line which skirted rightwards around that steepening; and we then followed the pleasant ridge above (photo four) a short distance to it's conclusion at Harrison Stickle's summit.

The weather had been great all day and the views from the top of the Landale Pikes were magnificent. Ben & Becky had enjoyed a progressively more challenging day out with Iain Scrambling in The Lake District and were very pleased with what they had achieved.

This was their subsequent feedback from their day out with Iain.

"We spent a day with Iain doing guided scrambling in the Lake District, and it was fantastic. We are new to harder scrambling, and Iain tailored the day perfectly to suits our ability. When climbing on more difficult grade 3 terrain, Iain made us feel safe and at ease, which meant we felt more confident and thoroughly enjoyed our day. We got great value for money, and Iain even provided us with some great photographs. Iain's experience, knowledge and enthusiasm for the outdoors are second to none and we would not think twice about recommending Iain and Kendal Mountaineering Services. We'll definitely be back!"

Our Guided Scrambling Days in The Lake District cost just £80 per person for a full day out in the mountains; and as it happens - that is considerably cheaper than this pair were quoted for this day by another local provider! Contact us here to book your scrambling course, we look forward to working with you.

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