Wednesday 10 August 2016

Guided Scrambling days in The Lake District. Coniston area. Tuesday 9th August 2016.

This report is about Guided Scrambling in The Lake District - on dry rock for a change, most of our recent reports have been about Ghyll Scrambling - a very different sport on very wet rock!

Michael Dunkley lives & works in London, but visits the Coniston area generally around once a year to stay in a friends cottage there.

Michael contact us a few weeks ago asking if there was any scrambling that could be done in the area as it was something that he wished to try out -  nothing too hard, but something that would provide a reasonable amount of challenge for him.

Iain suggested starting at the Walna Scar Car Park and linking three scrambles that would ultimately lead on to the top of the ridge of the Old Man of Coniston - a real scrambling adventure day.

Photo one sees  Michael approaching Iain's boot! on the great little scramble - The Bell (grade 2). The Bell is only a ten minute walk from the Walna Scar Car Park (in the distance in the photo) and can be seen on the approach as a rising rocky crest.

A grade 2 route is only of moderate seriousness, but the bell is still  best done roped for novices. It is possible to take easier or harder lines up the successive rising rocky outcrops that eventually lead to easier angled slabs at the summit.

We put The Bell behind us in little over an hour and then walked a kilometre across to the foot of Low Water Beck  (grade 3). Low Water Beck is a more serious proposition following the line of the stream coming from Low Water - either in it or right beside it! Michael (in photo two) had already had one slip on damp greasy rock just below where this photo was taken so it was as well that he was attached to the rope and being belayed by Iain!

Photo three sees Michael surmounting the final rock buttress to be climbed on the scramble of Low Water Beck and here we were "off route" according to what is described in the guide.

The upper part of Low Water Beck, provided rock conditions are dry, allow a number of variants to be taken up rocky buttresses rather than following the grassy rakes that actually avoid them.

Michael seemed to be scrambling with ease so Iain decided to push him on the these steeper & more exposed variants which would be more towards Rock Climbing at "Moderate" standard. Some sections were definitely beyond grade 3 scrambling - let's put it that way!

Our final photo from this report about a Guided Scrambling Day in The Lake District sees Michael high on our final scrambling route of the day - Brim Fell Rib (grade 2) with Low Water behind Michael and the path snaking up to the summit of The Old Man beyond.

Upon reaching Low Water, we had sat down for a bite to eat & drink and within a few minutes, it started raining very heavily!  This nearly put paid to the plans for the final scrambling route, but then it cleared out almost as quickly as it started and by the time we had walked the short distance to the base of the final scramble, the rock was dry once again!

Michael paid just £160 for his Guided Scrambling Day in The Lake District with Iain - a knowledgeable and experienced Mountaineering Instructor who was able to come up with a good plan for Michael's day out and also encourage him to try harder stuff when it became clear he could manage it. As well as covering the cost of Iain's guiding, the fee included the provision of a helmet & harness too.

Scrambling routes allow you to take the most exhilarating ways to mountain summits. Contact Iain here to book your Guided Scrambling Day in The Lake District, you won't be disappointed! 

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