Monday 24 August 2015

Andy Stratton's Guided Scrambling Course in The Lake District. Thursday 13th August 2015 - Day two.

After a great day out learning scrambling skills and trying out all three grades of scramble the previous day, Iain was back out the following morning for Andy's second day of Guided Scrambling in The Lake District.

Andy liked the idea of Iain's plan to pretty much scramble all the way from the floor of the Langdale Valley to the summit of Harrison Stickle - the highest summit in the group of peaks known as The Langdale Pikes.

In order to do this, we started off scrambling five minutes walk away from the National Trust Car Park at The Sticklebarn Tavern on a route known as Pike How (grade 2).

This route starts off with an interesting scramble up two buttresses low down on the ridge before a bit of a walk leads to the final summit buttress of Pike How. Wherever possible, Iain added more interesting ways up these buttresses to make sure Andy got some quality scrambling experience.

Photo one was taken about 10am and sees Andy at the top of the lowest buttress on Pike How. Photo two sees Andy some three hours later as we approached South Central Buttress - our second scramble of the day and the direct approach to the summit of Harrison Stickle up its most interesting ground.

South central buttress is a grade 3 scramble, so therefore, it is steep and committing. Scrambles at this grade are almost rock climbs, so Iain was required to"pitch" the route in about 4 sections.
The first part of South Central Buttress goes up the white rocks (above & to the right of Andy's head in photo two) to a big grassy ledge. The route above here goes up a pyramid of rock which steepens & tapers towards its top - at which point one follows  the line of a steep groove leading up right (the crux).

Above here, one arrives on a bilberry ledge where the usual route goes down right, around a corner; and then leftwards up another steep groove to arrive on a buttress top. However, another line goes straight up from the bilberry ledge (the direct finish) to arrive pretty much at the same point on the top of the aforementioned buttress. From here, the normal route goes around the corner to the right and back up left, we took a more interesting line and a steeper route straight up the short wall above. Photo three sees Andy as he appears over the top of that final wall - having climbed the whole route very well indeed!
We reached the summit of Harrison Stickle at around 2:30pm so that left us time to do a third route in descent. We traversed round from Harrison Stickle, across under Thunacar Knott to reach the head of Jack's Rake on the south face of Pavey Ark.

Jack's Rake is well known as the Lake District's most famous scrambling route and it takes a fine rising line up the front of Pavey Ark. Graded one, Iain personally thinks it is under-graded as many people get caught out on the initial section which starts off as easy scrambling in a comforting groove, however, at the top of this section, the route steepens and what is left of the groove becomes difficult forcing people out left on to what are often wet & slippery rocks where a slip will see a person plummet several hundred feet to the foot of the face! Above here, the route levels off and apart from a couple of difficult steps, becomes much more straightforward. Photo four sees Andy as we headed down the upper section of the route. Stickle Tarn is below in the distance.

The final photo about this post regarding the second of two days of Guided Scrambling in The Lake District sees Andy at the foot of Pavey Ark after another fine day out.

During his two days of Guided Scrambling with Iain, Andy got to enjoy some exposure on some of the areas best scrambling routes to be had in The Lake District. His two days cost him only £160 per day to work one on one with an experience Mountaineering Instructor. The fee of £160 per day applies to one or two persons.

Andy thoroughly enjoyed his Scrambling Skills Training Course in The Lake District and you can read his comment on our testimonials page. If you would like to book your own guided or Scrambling Skills Training Course in The Lake District with us then contact us here. We look forward to working with you!

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