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Lake District Climbs and Scrambles
Lake District Climbs and Scrambles
Lake District Climbs and Scrambles combines the best scrambles and easy climbs in the Lake District with great walking loops to give twenty superb 'mountaineering' days out on the Cumbrian fells.Each route runs from valley floor to mountain top, with the ascent - and often descent - made via a classic scramble or climb.
Scrambles at grades 1 to 3+ tackle ghylls, ridges and crags, with Lake District classics such as Jack's Rake and Sharp Edge sitting alongside lesser-known gems like Sourmilk Gill and Crenation Ridge.
Paperback; 174mm x 120mm
Phhotographs and maps throughout
Book review by Steve Matthews of Bookends.
Lake District: Climbs and Scrambles: Mountaineering Days Out on the Lakeland Fells by Stephen Goodwin. Vertebrate Publishing. £16.95.
For Stephen Goodwin, a good day out includes "scrambling up to a high crag, climbing an airy ridge or tiered buttress, continuing over a mountain top and finding an interesting route back to the valley". You can expect to be out for eight to ten hours and you must be prepared to carry two fifty metre ropes, with a basic set of nuts, extenders and three slings and two or three medium-sized cams "for the harder routes".
This is a guide for climbers who love the hills. Stephen offers twenty days out walking, scrambling and climbing. You could be walking twenty kilometres and making your way up rock climbs which the enthusiast describes as severe or "v.diff", but, whichever route you take you'll have a good day out in the country's most spectacular scenery.
Sour Milk Gill and Grey Knotts Face is a mere seven kilometres, but it does include the Letterbox. That Letterbox is a slit that gives entry to a crevasse on Gillercombe Buttress. It's a route for the stout of heart, but not the stout of body, and it can prove challenging and contorting for the tall and thin. But it offers its rewards: "As height is gained the climber looks out from chimney cracks and broken aretes" and, ideally, the day finishes as "the sun dips to the Irish Sea".
However, before you bathe in that roseate sunset you have to negotiate that fabled Letterbox. The instructions are quite precise. "Take off your rucksack and slot it through on the right into the crevasse. . . . Now, climb through the letter box facing out from the crag - and thrutch up the crevasse, hauling rucksack to land on the top of the block." After thrutching, belaying and chockstoning, you have to avoid getting too embedded in the crevasse. This is the sort of book you'll be glad you read before you ventured on the expedition.
And there to show you that it can be done is a picture of Phil Goulding, a red helmet protruding up above hunched blue shoulders, rucksack at his side, sandwiched - that's my technical term - between two rock faces so close together that any upward movement looks well-nigh impossible.
But that's the pleasure of a good day out with Stephen Goodwin.
The twenty routes are described in all the necessary minute detail with maps and diagrams. Photographs show the rock faces with disconcertingly easy red lines twisting and twining their ways to the summits. Other pictures show Stephen's friends perched precariously on vertiginous heights. Eric Parker scrambles up Dove's Nest. James Berwick doesn't look down as he makes his cautious way up "Grooved Arete's sensational top pitch".
The seven other routes in Borrowdale and the north-west Lakes take you for a 12 km walk over Corvus and Cam Crag Ridge, and for a moderate climb up Ruddy Gill and round the Dove's Nest Circuit. You can also venture in Stephen's company to Intake Ridge, Needle Ridge, Lorton Gully and Bannerdale Crags. There are six further circuits in the Langdale and Ullswater areas and another half dozen in Dow, Wasdale and the south-west Lakes.
They are all described with a boyish enthusiasm for the entertaining and interesting scrambling and climbing and a relish for the beauty of the surroundings - "becks tumbling between junipers, holly and rowans, the seemingly sheer rock-face of Pavey Ark reflected in Stickle Tarn and the undulating moor stretching three kilometres from Blea Rigg to Silver How."
You never know. Stephen Goodwin might even persuade you to squeeze through that Letterbox.
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