Wednesday 18 November 2015

Guided Scrambling Days in The Lake District. November 14th 2015.

On Returning from holiday in Myanmar, Iain had a few bits of work to look forward to, however, the weather here in the UK has been somewhat stormy, wet and cold since his return.

In Iain's ideal world, we would jump straight from a warm, dry, sunny Summer, straight into a cold, snowy, frozen and sunny winter! We can definitely do without this wet & windy transition period that is Autumn, but whilst it discourages most people from going out - some others are still really keen!

Andy Stephenson proved to be one such person. We have met Andy before in a recent post about a half day of Guided Rock Climbing in The Lake District. Andy enjoyed this session with Iain so much that he booked  a full day out of Guided Scrambling  in The Lake District with us and we got out and ran this last Saturday.

Photo one sees Andy at the foot of Low Water Beck, a popular grade 3 scramble  in the Coniston area of The Lake District.

Photo two sees Andy enjoying the rather wet first pitch of Low Water Beck. Originally, Iain wouldn't have considered going here given the MWIS forecast for the day - winds 30 - 50 mph with gusts of 70! Low cloud, snow above 600 metres, rain becoming torrential by dusk! It sounded pretty grim really!

However, upon our meeting of Saturday morning it was apparent that the forecast hadn't materialized; and water levels in the streams were actually quite low!

Because of this, Iain decided to take Andy over to the Coniston area where there were a number of scrambles at low level - just in case the wind did pick up; and as conditions appeared to be much better then forecast, he though that Andy might as well be started on a grade 3 route which he was sure would be well within his capabilities!
Andy certainly enjoyed Low Water Beck. The route was challenging in the wet and every section had to be pitched. As a leader, Iain avoided the exposed rib on pitch three which is poorly protected in terms of "runner" placements for a climbing leader. Whilst that wouldn't normally matter for a competent scrambler such as Iain, today the rib was covered in slime. Iain felt it would, however, be fine for Dave to attempt it with the security of a top rope and he managed it without difficulty!

The first part of Low Water Beck goes up steeply and very close to the water, the second part is less steep, but in places, almost as wet. The scramble continues right behind Dave in photo three; and on the right hand side of the water-slide before continuing up a giant slab - basically an island in the watercourse. Then, the final wall is surmounted to the left of the stream by a choice of two routes - if conditions are dry!

We were finished this route by around mid day and the weather had remained better than forecast - to this point at least!

After a bit of lunch we headed back down into the valley and across to "The Bell". This "mini mountain" has a fine rock rib rising from its southern side which is given grade 2 in the Cicerone guide - Scrambles in The Lake District South. Dave can be seen halfway up the second pitch on this route in photo four.

By 14:30, we had also put The Bell behind us and although the cloud had come down somewhat and the drizzle had started, we still had time for one last scrambling route before darkness set in around 16:30.

We walked back to the car at Walna Scar Car Park and then drove down through Coniston and up Coppermines Lane to park next to Church Beck (our main Canyoning venue) to get on to another grade 2  scrambling route - Mouldry Bank.

We scrambled up here and then continued on up the fine rocky nose of Rascal How  (a recommended continuation) descending in the gathering dusk and arriving back at the car at around 16:15.

Dave thoroughly enjoyed his Guided Scrambling Day in The Lake District with Iain - just as well considering he had driven all the way over from Hull and then camped in Langdale for a night either side of his day out! Dave would go on to have something of an epic getting out of The Lake District the next morning as the area was fairly well flooded after a night of heavy rain. If you want to see some photos from the flooding in South Lakes then visit the Kendal Mountaineering Services Facebook Page to view Iain's report about an excursion in the floodwaters the next day!

Dave paid £160 for his Guided Scrambling Course in The Lake District with Iain. The price is the same for 1 or 2 persons and includes  the provision of helmets, harnesses and guiding by a Mountaineering Instructor. If you enjoyed reading about this great day out and fancy trying scrambling for yourself then contact us here - you won't be disappointed!

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