Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Scotland, England, but sadly not Wales

With a few days off to climb with Ben I'd wanted to go and enjoy the sea air and climb at Pembroke, unfortunately the very wild weather forecast meant that we had to more flexible with our plans.

Day 1 - We started off with a day trip to Clifton in Scotland (Dumfries and Galloway). We spent a hot and sunny day climbing single pitch granite routes overlooking hills, moor and the Solway Firth - idyllic.

Clifton's fine granite
He also met an odd local here, a guy called Paul who declared it was his local crag, but didn't seem to know where any route started from. He'd pop up out of the bracken in his tight white muscle vest and ask if he could watch us, then disappear again when he got bored to go off elsewhere and start self belaying up another route - interesting. I'd highly recommend this crag and you can get the topo/information all from John Biggar's excellent website (a great resource).

Climbing from the jungle

Day 2 - The weather looked dodgy, with the Lakes being the best bet. We drove into Langdale in the dark swirling clouds and thought 'what have we done' as it had looked brighter in the East on the drive over. A short detour to the metropolis of Ambleside allowed the weather to brighten and rock to dry.

The magical Raven Crag
Back in Langdale at Raven Crag we climbed Pluto, which has been on our hit list for a number of years. Its a brilliant HVS with 3 contrasting pitches which are all challenging in there own ways. We'd been on it a number of years ago, but it had started to rain as we sat on the ledge before the crux last pitch so we'd had to bail up another route in the rain.  Today all went well, and he got up it with only a little wobble trying to cross a wet 5a section near the top!

A climber starting the 2nd traverse pitch of Pluto (rubbish picture from  a long way off!)
Photogenic climbers under instruction 

Ben on Evening Wall
Day 3 - The idea had now been for a day trip to Wales to climb in each country, but sadly the weather dictated that this would be a silly idea, with lots more rain coming North through the day hitting Wales at lunch time. Again the Lakes looked the best bet so I managed to persuade Ben to head to Gimmer Crag.

Nearly there.. looks warm at Gimmer

Gimmer is my favourite mountain crag in the Lakes and feels quite big and remote nestled at the end of Langdale, one hours walk from the car. Our plan was to climb Kipling Groove, a classy HVS I've wanted to climb for years. When we arrived Ben shot up Asterisk to warm up, but basically it didn't 'warm' us up, as it was very cold and breezy. There were a few teams climbing but we were under prepared for the weather, it was probably around 12 degree's, windy and cold.

Ben at White Crag
Neither of us were enjoying it so we headed back to lower elevations and climbed 3 enjoyable routes at White Crag, which neither of us had been to before. This is 300m lower than Gimmer and was nice and warm! An added bonus was that the KMC were meeting here tonight and we bumped into Cliff and Judith from the KMC. I highly recommend Right and Left Trouser leg routes here - although be warned the right is a little sparse on gear.

Cliff breezing up an HVS/E1
So a great 3 days, but I still have a dragon to slay at Gimmer (as Cliff would say)..... will I ever get on/up Kipling Groove.....

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