Sunday, August 30, 2015

Warm up on Herdus and Great Borne

For our holiday in the Lake District we stayed at Hollins farm near Ennerdale Water. Not far from Ennerdale bridge this is a peaceful area of the lakes away from the hustle and bustle. Hollins farm is a busy working farm with cows and sheep. Staying in the cottage we saw the vet examining one of the bulls a truly awesome beast! We saw some of the sheep being tagged and the arrival of a new tup. It was an excellent opportunity to see a working farm in action. It looked as though our holiday might have a damp start, however we siezed an opportunity to get into the hills.

We were dropped off at the village of Croasdale not far from the western end of Ennerdale water.

We headed up a very good path along Gail Beck with the objective of climbing Herdus and Great Borne.

Bowness Knott and Ennerdale water in the distance.

The western end of Ennerdale water. On the far shore you can observe an area of crags known as Robin Hoods seat.
The western spur of Herdus.

Before starting our ascent of Great Borne we proceeded along the main path, instead we headed off too Floutern Tarn. This tarn nestles high under Great Borne's northern crags and is close to the highest point of the pass over to Ennerdale.

Walking to the end of the crags we aimed for the col at the end of the eastern spur of Great Borne. On the way up we had the occasional stop for bilberries.

Mosedale and the hill known as Hen Coombe.

Arrival at the Great Borne. K and L made easy work of this it's certainly a great hill for a first day out.
Posing...  note the tell tale bilberry juice stain on the finger tip!

Our view of Ennerdale water from Herdus.

We descended Herdus via its western spur. On the way up we noticed lots of signs saying private land so we had to head back towards the path along Gail Beck. We eventually wandered over the fields to our cottage at Hollins farm, a great first day out.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

A Tour of the Edge of Kinder

Training for the Edale mountain rescue team 9 edges endurance run is drawing ever near to its conclusion. A good description and account of the route is given on

It was a bright but windy morning and my plan  was to run around the edge of Kinder Scout. I struggled up the Nab and along Golden Clough to the start of the Kinder southern edge. Once you're on the plateau you can just enjoy the run it's so beautiful. Passing by old favourites such as Jaggers Clough, Blackden Brook and Fairbrook. Fairbrook Naze looks wonderful, I stopped here for a quick swig of water.

Reaching the Pennine way there are more people around but again the views of the Kinder reservoir and the downfall are splendid. From Kinder low I ran onto Edale rocks and joined the path following the southern edge.

It was good to run along to Grindslow knollit completed the circuit, but I guess it could be argued that a did not truly run the edge... take a look at the contours and make your mind up! The route continues along Grindsbrook and then back along the southern edge again. This was a most enjoyable 19.5 mile run.

Full details of my route are on MapMyRun

A  map is shown below

Friday, August 21, 2015

Climbing in Snowdonia: Tremadog

With  my family heading south for the delights of the seaside I headed to Wales for a couple of days climbing. However, the weather outlook did not look promising and we had to think about a variety of options. It seemed possible that the rain might hold off for a few hours and we finally decided to make for the Dinas Cromlech or Carreg Wasted crags in the Llanberis pass.  After an early morning start and breakfast near Chester, we arrived at the foot of Carreg Wasted at 1030. The rain was becoming more persistent and the crag looked decidedly damp and greasey. Opting not to climb in the wet we decided to head away from the mountains and the weather they attract. We headed towards the coast.

On the way to Porthmadog we saw the Eric Jones cafe on the left and an impressive crag on the right. That crag was the well known crags of Tremadog! Here it was dry and the weather was certainly an improvement on the mountains. We parked near Erics cafe and walked 200m down the road (toward Tremadog) a convenient gap in the fence and undergrowth allowed us to wander through the woods to our selected route Poor Man's Peutery on Craig Pant Ifan. This climbing route is named after the well known Peutery ridge on the Mont Blanc Massif.

I lead the first pitch up the initial groove, the climbing was great, thinking through the moves I made it to the first stance and belayed against a tree. I'd encourage anyone attempting this route to not be put off by the some of the dirt on the rocks. The next pitch took us higher up the groove, pitch 3 was a straightforward traverse to the finale pitch. The picture below shows a climber near the nose which the climber traverses onto to end up into an exciting exposed situation (image courtesy of go outdoors).
While I was waiting to second the finale pitch, the first drops of rain made an appearance. After climbing onto the slab there was some good climbing up the cracked slab (reminiscent of Millstone edge). A view looking down the route is shown below, the climber can be seen stepping out onto the nose.
The following day was very wet, we decided that we'd prefer to climb and headed for the Indy Climbing wall at Llanfair PG. on Anglesey. After an exhilarating  climb talked of further climbing plans including a possible trip climb Lliwedd

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to the Crag A Visit to the Roaches

It was great to get out climbing again, the Castle Mountaineering Club (CMC) were meeting at the Roaches so we took the opportunity to visit this splendid crag. I normally borrow a climbing guide but on this occasion I wanted to make sure I chose I sensible route and be in the right place for taking my two youngsters climbing. So we purchased the Western Grit Rockfax guide it looks like an excellent tome covering routes in many great areas.

We turned up at the Roaches and met a good number of friends for the CMC our first route was on the upper tier and is called heather slab groove. This was a nice easy route to practice our techniques. Before the start of the main route, there was a short wall and a wide ledge, for the main belay. This provided an opportunity to make sure my two young rock stars knew exactly what to do. I set this up exactly like a multi-pitch mountain route.

First pitch completed successfully, great time to do the actual groove it was enjoyable for me to ascend the Dif. and then build the belay. Louis, tied into the middle of the rope came up first, followed by Keisha.  We all had a great climb for Keisha this route is far too easy!

I placed a top rope on the route known as rooster we took turns to climb this route with Keisha taking photos whilst Louis climbed. We all had a lot of goes on this slab it was good for all of us to climb.

A warm up at the bottom of the Rooster

Using the ascender to self belay on the slab

Louis kept a hold of my rucksack, a weight to make it easier for me to take in slack and ascend the rope.

A figure of eight knot with a stopper knot for tying in on the rope.

Louis ascending the slab

Louis lowering off.

The skyline buttress at the Roaches

Celebration poses on the ledge part way up the slab! Note, belay tied off.

Keishas rock boots.

The belay for the top rope anchor.
One of the anchor points was threaded around a boulder.

Keisha and Louis made a friend, Scout.

Tittesworth reservoir.

Hen Cloud.

 We walked over the top of the upper tier and found a good scrambling route through the crag, a good end to the day. On our return we passed a house which Keisha and Louis suggested should be a  good location for Castle climbing club meets because of its crenellations. We wandered down to the roadside for an ice cream.