Climbing Club head up to Langdale
20 Apr 2016
Report by James Mason and Lorna McBride, Year 10
On Friday morning, we met at the outdoor pursuits centre at 9am ready to go to the Lake District. We arrived at the YHA before dinner, with just enough time to move our kit into our rooms and look around the hostel. After a dinner cooked by the lovely hostel staff – a pleasant change to the normal cooking and washing up routine – we headed out to a nearby bouldering spot.
To make the most of the remaining sunlight we took a short drive to Langdale boulders where we enjoyed a few hours of bouldering on prehistoric rock, with lots of routes to be attempted. There were opportunities for everyone – regardless of experience. It was a welcome relief from the long – and slightly cramped – bus journey, and was great to be able to climb on our first day. As the temperature dropped and it started to get too dark we headed back, in time for a little table tennis before bed.
The next morning, some of us woke up early for a quick run up the fell by the hostel to catch the sunrise. After a chilly start, we had soon made the summit. With great views of the fells around and even a barn owl, it was a brilliant start to the day. We then headed back down for breakfast. The wonderful staff at YHA Langdale cooked us a full cooked breakfast, perfect after the run. We then packed all our kit for the day into the bus and headed off to Lower Scout Crag, a popular nearby crag.
After a morning of varied climbing and even a somewhat interesting problem of squeezing through a tight crack in between two boulders, we headed back down to the base of Stickle Ghyll and ate our packed lunch preparing for a tough scramble in the afternoon. After a deceivingly simple start, we clambered down into the ghyll to take a photo. From there came an afternoon of hopping over boulders and climbing up wet rocks, crossing back and forth over the river on an interesting route. Finding ourselves at the bottom of a ten meter waterfall, we decided it would be a fun challenge to climb it. Some of us, a little warm from the walk, decided to cool down in the waterfall, which was all very well until it started to hail not too long after.
We continued up to Stickle Tarn, with an impressive view of Pavey Ark, where we stopped for a group photo precariously balanced on top of some rocks in the water. We then headed back down on the easier route along the path, only slipping a few times on the wet rocks. We got back in time for an even bigger supper of pizza which was greatly appreciated and enjoyed. This was followed by some great games of table football, darts and some table tennis, for those with some hand eye coordination. We then went to bed, exhausted from a full day of exercise.
We woke up for another early start on Sunday to get to Honister slate mine for a challenging via ferrata. This was very cold at the beginning but we soon warmed up. Leaping over the vertical edge, scrambling up ladders and crossing the wire bridge, we all had a great – if slightly scary for a few of us – morning. Despite the temperature apparently being below zero, some of us even managed to wear short sleeved t-shirts. We then headed back down, getting lovely views across to Pillar and surrounding peaks and promptly left for the journey back to Cambridge. Accompanied by some interesting music, and the usual disagreements over music taste, the bus journey lasted around 6 hours, with brief breaks in true climbing club fashion. We arrived back early which was great, if a little surprising. Everyone had a great time and we managed to fit a lot of variety into a short trip.