With fine weather promised for the end-May bank holiday weekend, many people made their way to the Borrowdale Chapel House Farm Camp Site, to enjoy the second-to-none climbing and walking opportunities on offer in the northern Lake District. Wendy and John (Chuck) arrived Thursday night. On Friday they climbed at Shepherds Crag, doing Fissures Folly a truly enjoyable VS followed by the world class Little Chamonix VDiff. They then went for a walk along Catbells returning to the car along the shore of Derwent Water enjoying fabulous views along the way
Sara came early Friday night; followed by Leticia (new), Sarah G and Sarah W; and Rick and Angela. Then Alamin, Olfa, Maryka, and Marion (all new) in the early hours. On Saturday morning, walkers Sarah G, Wendy, Leticia and Sarah W started at Seathwaite. Leticia and Sarah W turned right up the waterfall to walk the ridge from Green Gable to Great Gable, descending to Sty Head, then following up to Sprinkling Tarn and on to return to Seathwaite. Wendy and Sarah G took the valley route up to Sty Head. Weather reasonably good, though a little murky on the tops. Owing to no mobile reception ( 😮 ), Alamin, Olfa, Maryka and Marion failed to meet up with the rest. They made a latish start and followed a valley path that started past the Farmhouse. They walked for a few hours, and Marion and Alamin tried to create a rock bridge for Olfa and Maryka to cross a stream!
Meanwhile, Alix, David and Bea had arrived, as had Tom, Eileen, Niamh and Orla; both parties set up family camps. Climbers Alix and David walked two hours to Napes Needle, to tick an objective that had been on the list for twenty years (by the HS arete and classic summit block route). After a baking hot start to the day, the mist rolled in just as they were starting the summit block – adding to the already considerable atmosphere. Sara and Chuck climbed at Shepherds again, doing Eve followed by Adam, worth going back for with great climbing on the final pitch of both of them. Sara finished the day by climbing Fissures Folly on Chuck’s recommendation. (Rick and Angela also went climbing, though where exactly is lost to posterity.)
By the evening, Margaret had driven over from Penrith with barbecue supplies. A combination of burger grilling, pot boiling and sociability took place. Alamin, Olfa, Maryka and Marion had dinner at the local pub in pretty Stonethwaite. It was only through the ingenuity of actually talking in person ( 😉 ) to the daughter of the campsite owner that late in the evening they managed to find everyone.
Sunday was incredibly beautiful and sunny. David and Chuck enjoyed a lie-in, setting off at the gentlemanly hour of 8:30 am, and after some deliberation deciding to head to the almost mystical Pillar Rock, for which Rick and crew had departed an hour earlier. Getting there involved driving to Buttermere over the Honister Pass (taking note of the slate mine). Then hiking over the pass next to Haystacks down to next valley and then up to the Rock – overall a walk in of over two hours. Once there, they spotted the others just starting an interesting-looking traverse approach, Rib and Slab. Alamin was paired with Sara and followed Alix and Angela up. After much discussion, Chuck and David ended up climbing the bold North West Route MVS. This party only got back to the campsite at 10.15 pm.
Meanwhile, large group headed off to climb Scafell Pike: Margaret, Leticia, Olfa, Maryka, Marion, Eileen, Sarah G, Wendy and Sarah W. They walked to Sty Head, then up the reasonably quiet Corridor Route, before greeting the hoards invading each others body space on the way up from Wasdale Head. From the summit most continued the ridge walk towards Great End, but Sarah G and Wendy returned the original route. Visibility was outstanding. Tom, et al. went canoeing In the evening, several people ate at the pub; others cooked.
On Monday, Tom and Alix went to Raven Crag, visible in the valley above the campsite but still a long hot walk. Shunning the classic Corvus for a nine-pitch Mild Severe route Summit Route, they had a ‘good mountaineering day’ – especially after Pitch Seven failed to reveal itself. Others undertook gentle walks. Leticia headed north to walk up Borrowdale, then veered left to climb Castle Crag, offering fine views over the valley. Sarah W took a similar short stroll but stuck to the river ending up at a coffee shop in Grange. She bumped into David and Eileen, with Bea, Niamh and Orla, bound on a climbing a different lump. They later appeared in the café for ice-cream, where Sarah G also showed up. Meanwhile, Rick and Angela climbed at Bucktone How, near Honister Pass. (Chuck, Wendy and Margaret remain unaccounted for.) Alamin, Olfa, Maryka, and Marion took it easy with a lunch in a nice pub off the road to Keswick before heading off back home
Alix, David and Bea stayed on till Tuesday, when they walked over Bleaberry Fell and High Seat above Derwent Water. The weather maintained its astonishing warmth and stability, and all went home feeling sunburned, slightly desiccated and very happy.