Raven Crag Langdale

May 15, 2008

We decided last week that if the weather was ok we’d head to Raven Crag Langdale around 4pm in the afternoon. The weather was great so 4 of us set off, with another three people due to rendevouz with us at the crag.

On the way there I realised that I’d left my camera at home, so no photos today. After parking in the National Trust car park we slogged up the fellside for 10 minutes to the base of the crag. I’d seconded Bilberry Buttress (70m VS 4b 4c 4c) a year ago and fancied leading at least some of it this time, so partenered with Tony T, I scrambled up to the real start of the first pitch.

I got 3 bits of gear in on the left of the crack, a nut on the right, and a cam in the crack itself, and I could clearly see the handhold on the right that I had to make, but after three attempts, had to conceed defeat and back off. Tony took over and unlocked the pitch with an arm jam in the groove. Following, I did the same, and suddenly it was straightforward.

The second pitch has two nuts in situ that have proved impossible to remove, and as they’re there I clipped them. After backing up the top nut, I saw the moves needed and headed for the superb handhold. It seemed relatively easy after the first pitch.

The final pitch has an awkward start up a groove, then it’s straightforward climbing to the top. Setting up the belay, I noticed a space about a metre square where recently rock had been. In fact, the whole of the top pitch of the climb has a slightly dubious feel.

To descend the choice is either to walk over the top and right, or traverse right along the grassy terrace onto the top of a large block. From there it’s a v diff downclimb with a long stretch to reach the lower block, easy really, but if you slip, it’s a long way to the base of the crag.

Finished off with a pint in the Old Dungeon Ghyll – another great evenings climbing.