Black Crag, Langdale

We had a made drive over from Cockermouth (managed it in 1:15, not bad going) via a many winding road and then up the Wrynoss Pass. Parked at the top but forgot to look for the Three Shire Stones.

A short walk-in (easiest of the week) leads straight to Long Scar. However we had been there for not long when up turns a group of 20 school kids from Redcar. It was mildly funny at times (especially the one who spent about 20 minutes telling everyone she was stuck, couldn’t make it, wanted to come down etc. SHe made it in the end though).

We managed to squeeze in two routes before they got started, Platt Gang Groove (Diff) and Sam’s Saunter (VDiff) (had to really with a name like that). They where both very enjoyable, and apparently some people think they are graded to low (i.e. they should be VDiff and Severe respectively) but I couldn’t see it myself.

Next I just had to do Katie’s Dilemma (Severe) as my sister is called Katie. This was a lovely route, the best of the day and a joy to behold. It got a couple of stars too if I remember correctly.

After this we abandoned the noisy kids to their fun and headed over the top to Black Crag. We did a very nice VDiff on the right of the needle called Skye Ridge. Then things went downhill for the last route of the day when we decided to do The Needle (VDiff). It was a nightmare. Tricky start with little protection and lots of ackward balancing before finally getting up into a horrible chimney (behind the needle) where you have to stradle between the back of the needle and the wall and slowly edge yourself upwards. I found the start of the chimney quite hard, feeling fairly squashed, but Caroline hated the top, where her shorter legs meant the increased distance between the needle and the wall was much trickier.

All in all a lovely crag, and I think there is still more we didn’t get round to doing (Glass Slipper buttress has some good routes on apparently, and there was a Mod on Long Scar that got tons of stars and would make an ideal easy lead for Caroline.)