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Mike Clark's Reports

Edition of 31/8/2007

Mike Clark, Lakes, August 2007

Lakes, Mike Clark, August 2007

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Clark"
Newsgroups: uk.rec.climbing
Sent: Wednesday, August 29, 2007 1:24 PM
Subject: [TR] August Bank Holiday in the Lakes

Camping with the CCCC at Turner Hall Farm in the Duddon Valley, Lake District.

The August bank holiday meet of the Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club was held at Turner Hall Farm in the Duddon Valley.

On Saturday 25th August myself, Jane B, Pete D and Liz M set out for a days scramble. We were accompanied by Leslie who was out for the walk only. We made our way across the valley bottom to the start of our first scramble. We then scrambled up Throng Close Buttress Grade 1*, which was enjoyable and with good views of the valley, then upon reaching the top of the buttress we walked across to Seathwaite Tarn to join Leslie for lunch. After lunch Leslie and Liz set off walking back whilst me, Jane B and Pete D dropped down to scramble up Little Blake Rigg Grade 2 *. A nasty loose boulder on the initial nose gave me a great fright when it nearly pulled off with me holding on! I stood there unable to easily go forward or reverse the move and Jane had to lower a rope to assist me past the awkward move. We then scrambled up the rest of the route accompanied by another couple we had met at the bottom of the route who were taking along their dog which seemed quite at home scrambling (although it did cheat a little on route finding and had assistance for some of the moves)! After completing this scramble we then descended again and scouted out White How Crag, but didn't do any routes, partly out of apathy but also a decision reinforced by the onset of light rain. At this point we had a slippery clamber down steep slopes to escape the crag and then we walked back to the camp site in a light rain shower. That evening we went to the pub in Seathwaite for beer and an evening meal.

Sunday 26th August Jane B, Liz M, Pete D and I walked over from the camp site the short distance to Wallowbarrow Crag where we met with Alan Scowcroft who had driven over from Yorkshire. This was to be my first time out cragging this year and Alan had offered to lead me up some of the Wallowbarrow classics. Alan and I climbed Digitation 48m MVS (4b). We were then joined by Andrew R who had come over from the camp site with Stephanie and their two children. Andrew and I then seconded Alan on Nameless 63m MS (3c) and after lunch Thomas 57m S (4b). Then we retired for a well earned couple of beers in Seathwaite before saying goodbye and thanks to Alan. In the evening a group of us cooked on the camp site and sat around chatting until it became too cold and we retired to our tents.

Monday 27th August after packing away the tents and leaving the camp site we drove across to Cockley Bridge and then walked to Cockley Crag (Jane B, Liz M, Simon C and myself). We'd never been to this Crag before and it wasn't in our (Jane's and mine) guide book, but it was in Liz's more recent one. The walk across to the crag took about 20 minutes with an easy ford of the stream and then an electric fence to negotiate. When we arrived at the crag the rock looked sound and inviting, all of the routes being one pitch. Jane and Liz climbed Cock-a-Leekie 12m D whilst Simon led me up Cockroach 9m MS. Liz M then complained that her knees had had enough for the weekend and set off for a slow walk back to the car whilst Jane and I continued to second Simon on Cock-au-Vin 9m HVS (5a), Coxwain Balls 10m MVS (4a), Cockburns Revenge 13m MVS (4a) and Crafty Cockley 11m HVS (5c). Although on this later route Simon had seemed to hesitate and carefully choose the moves both Jane and I seemed to get up it far to easily for 5c and I wonder if we might have used some moves that were not intended to be on the guide book route? We then both failed to second Cockley Rebel VS (4c) which involved an awkward off-balance and strenuous move up into a niche before mantling into a second niche. We both admitted defeat and Simon had to abseil to retrieve the gear. After lunch we then finished off with Cock-Up an 11m HVS (5a) on which Simon took 3 leader falls before completing the route. The first leader fall had stripped out the runner on his second rope, but fortunately I managed to hold him on the other rope by also taking up some extra slack as he fell by sitting down at the same time as locking off the belay device. On his fourth go Simon managed to place a bomber runner out to his right on the second rope and then made a tricky move back up leftwards to complete the route. I then seconded up and removed the gear which involved a delicate traverse right and then back left to retrieve what looked to be a very good runner. Then Jane did the route on a top-rope making it look very straightforward, especially since she wasn't forced into traversing out rightwards to retrieve the gear!

We agreed this was a brilliant days cragging on good rock with excellent friction and that our rats were well and truly fed for the day. We then walked back to the car to meet Liz and drove home to Cambridge stopping on the way at Alan's near Skipton in Yorkshire for a cup of tea and also to drop off a piece of gear I had acquired the previous day. After chips in Skipton we had an uneventful drive back to Cambridge arriving home at about midnight.

CCCC website

Mike --
o/ \\ // |\ ,_ o Mike Clark
<\__,\\ // __o | \ / /\, "A mountain climbing, cycling, skiing,
"> || _`\<,_ |__\ \> | immunology lecturer, antibody engineer and
` || (_)/ (_) | \corn computer user"

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