Updated: Sep 30, 2021
Since the relaxation of COVID lockdown we have been very busy with small groups and families on activity days - running sessions in places like Stickle Ghyll, Church Beck, Scout Crags and many more venues throughout the national park.
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On Friday we had the chance to go back into the mountains. The high temperatures meant we chose a trip to Dow Crag. Dow is an east facing crag close to Coniston, meaning a hot day or an extra jacket can be useful.
It is one the biggest cliffs in Lakeland and the perfect venue to go mountain cragging. The walk in is amenable and fast from the Walna Scar car park. Within 50-60 mins you can be stood at the mountain rescue box underneath the crag after plodding up the steep scree that lies between the cliff and Goats Water.
We climbed Murray's route. This route heads over a polished slab with a few awkward moves, before heading rightwards to a cave belay, and weaving its way across the crag before topping out. From the top of the buttress, the descent rake can be picked up; this will take you down back to the base for lunch and route number two.
Our next route of choice was Arete, Chimney & Crack on A Buttress. This time we climbed with our rucksacks on, with the intention of going all the way to the top and walking off from there.
The first pitch was probably the stand out pitch for me. The arete is a delight to climb; good holds, solid rock and perfect gear all the way to the belay - about 27 metres of brilliant climbing.
From here the route heads left across to a cave belay and then round to the chimney which is over quickly. High hands, high foot and a big pull and you are soon pulling over the chockstones and onto the belay.
More rightwards traversing follows before ascending the crack to the top. Upon topping out we had some scrambling to complete - steadily moving together with coils on is a skill in itself but essential to safeguard ourselves on this steep mountain terrain.
Upon summiting Dow Crag, we packed up the ropes and gear and called it a good day in the mountains.