A hot and sunny August Bank Holiday Sunday. A prearranged trip to a high mountain crag for this day. Buttermere or Scafell the choices given, so I chose Scafell, thinking that the parking would be better: it may have been, but despite an early start the traffic along the lake side was snail slow,
Donkey’s Ears, Shepherds Crag
Listed as a Very Difficult ie easy climb in my 1990 Borrowdale Guide, and Severe in my 2000 edition, V Diff if pitch 4 is omited. Pitch 2 is not VD in my, admittedly elderly estimation, either the delicate slab or the gross and tight overhang between the Ears themselves, which I'm glad to report
Eliminate A, Dow Crag
Voted one of Britain's top 100 climbs, and done on about the first fine day in this Cumbrian summer. Used to go up after work, but now struggle up in the afternoon, returning today to Goat's Water at about the same time we used to arrive on the way up. Harder than we thought when done on a colder
Broadrick’s route direct, Dow Crag.
Broadrick's route was put up in 1899. We should have known better: such vintage climbs graded Hard Severe are always harder, and the first pitch of the direct is the same as its parent. (RW Broadrick was killed on a rope of four in 1903 on Scafell, there being no proper belays then) My guide of 1993
The Crack, Gimmer Crag
A classic climb dating from between the wars. Its co-protagonist Graham Macphee commented on the staging of hard climbs as time goes by, " An inaccessible crack- The most difficult climb in the Lake District - An easy day for an undergraduate" . This climb shows clearly that with ageing this works
Holly Tree Corner, Black Crag.
Black Crag Borrowdale. My guidebook of 2000 gives this two stars, so on a lovely midge free spring evening we set out on this five pitch VS climb. Later we found the stars had gone. The first pitch is ungraded, so I led off on thin holds on a dry mossy slab. Due to one or all of the following: