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LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING 3,000 boulder problems, variations and link-ups from Font 2 to 8c

Ù 

Over 70 venues

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700 colour photo topos

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Detailed crag info, including parking GPS coordinates

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GREG CHAPMAN

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING

Greg Chapman began climbing in the Lake District during the mid 1990s, however it was on the limestone outcrops of the Silverdale area that he discovered his passion for bouldering a few years later. Cutting his teeth on the now hugely popular but then littleknown problems of John Gaskins, he began to notice and plug gaps across his local stomping ground. This overwhelming desire to develop and document new areas began a 20-year obsession with the Lake District National Park and its surrounding countryside: developing new areas, expanding existing ones and in the process climbing over 1,000 new boulder problems in the region. He started the LakesBloc website in 2003 to document the ongoing development, and the site is now synonymous with Lake District bouldering.

Ordnance Survey maps for selected mountain crags

Ù 

For the latest information on bouldering in the Lake District, visit lakesbloc.com

GREG CHAPMAN

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING

Lake District Bouldering is the long-awaited guide to bouldering in the Lake District National Park. Written by Greg Chapman, one of the pioneers of bouldering in the Lakes, it features almost 3,000 individually numbered problems and dozens of variations and link-ups at over 70 venues. Greg created the LakesBloc website in 2003 with the sole aim of providing the very best online information relating to bouldering in the Lakes and surrounding areas. Lake District Bouldering builds on LakesBloc and brings together this huge amount of information in a comprehensive guidebook for the very first time. This guide is split into five sections: South-East, South-West, North-East, NorthWest and South Lakes Limestone. Featured crags include old-school venues such as the Langdale Boulders, the Bowderstone, Woodwell and Armathwaite; recently developed areas such as the Harter Gold Boulders in Dunnerdale and the Stirrup Stones in Wasdale, and nationally significant spots including Carrock Fell, Kentmere and St Bees Head. Each crag features detailed access and approach information, including GPS coordinates for parking and crag grid references, together with conditions information and local knowledge. Alongside superb action photography, there are over 700 colour photo topos, plus overview and topo maps. A reference section with Ordnance Survey maps is included for selected mountain crags, and a detailed appendix includes every­­thing you need to plan a visit: tourist information centres, cafes and pubs, campsites and accommodation, gear shops, climbing walls, and useful websites.

Front Cover  Greg Chapman on The Secret Garden, Jopplety How (page 464). Photo  Julia Entwistle. Vertebrate Publishing  Sheffield www.v-publishing.co.uk

www.v-publishing.co.uk

£36.95


Dedicated to Maia


GREG CHAPMAN

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING

Vertebrate Publishing, Sheffield www.v-publishing.co.uk


LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING First published in 2019 by Vertebrate Publishing. Vertebrate Publishing Omega Court, 352 Cemetery Road, Sheffield S11 8FT, United Kingdom. www.v-publishing.co.uk Copyright © 2019 Greg Chapman and Vertebrate Publishing Ltd. Greg Chapman has asserted his rights under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as author of this work. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN 978-1-910240-73-1 All rights reserved. No part of this work covered by the copyright herein may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanised, including photocopying, recording, taping, or information storage and retrieval systems – without the written permission of the publisher. COVER  Greg Chapman on The Secret Garden, Jopplety How (page 464). PHOTO  Julia Entwistle. All maps reproduced by permission of Ordnance Survey on behalf of The Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. © Crown Copyright. 100025218. Design by Nathan Ryder, production by Jane Beagley. www.v-publishing.co.uk Printed and bound in Europe by Latitude Press. Vertebrate Publishing is committed to printing on paper from sustainable sources.

For the latest information on bouldering in the Lake District, visit lakesbloc.com


Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 A legal bit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 What’s in and what’s not . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Names and first ascents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Safety statement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Mountain Rescue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Access . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Behaviour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Respecting the rocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The Countryside Code . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Stars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Grades . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Map key . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Useful information . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 SOUTH LAKES LIMESTONE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Silverdale Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Warton Crag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hyning Wood . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cringlebarrow . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Woodwell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Trowbarrow Quarry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fairy Steps & Shuck’s Lair . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Farleton Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Farleton Fell & Newbiggin Crags . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kendal Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hell Moss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minor Areas  South Lakes Limestone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

20 24 27 34 36 39 53 59 72 75 90 92 94

SOUTH-EAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Kentmere Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Kentmere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Settle Earth Boulders (Longsleddale) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 Brant Fell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133 Langdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136 Langdale Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139 Chapel Stile Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145 Little Langdale & Wrynose . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154 Blake Rigg Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156 Long Crag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158 Long Scar & Black Crag Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161 Cold Pike . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171 Coniston . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182 Virtual Crag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Lad Stones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189 Coniston Coppermines Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 Dow Crag Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217 Minor Areas  South-East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232

SOUTH-WEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Furness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Humphrey Head . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Birkrigg Quarry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Duddon Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stonestar Boulder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Seathwaite Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dunnerdale Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Harter Gold Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eskdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Horsehow Crags Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heron Stones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sampson’s Stones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Miterdale Forest Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eskdale Fisherground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mon Boulder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wasdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Overbeck Boulder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stirrup Stones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minor Areas  South-West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

236 240 243 248 250 252 255 269 281 292 295 301 305 317 323 336 338 340 343 350

NORTH-WEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Borrowdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Bowderstone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Langstrath Boulders & Cam Crag Boulders . . . . . . . . . . Sour Milk Gill & Gillercombe Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Honister Pass Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ennerdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ennerdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . West Coast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St Bees Head: North . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St Bees Head: Fleswick Bay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . St Bees Head: South . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minor Areas  North-West . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

352 356 359 367 377 391 396 399 406 409 435 447 462

NORTH-EAST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Haweswater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gouther Crag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patterdale . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Threshthwaite Cove & Rolling Rock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thirlmere . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Thirlmere Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Binka Stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Penrith Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Swarthbeck Boulders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carrock Fell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Eden Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Armathwaite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Minor Areas  North-East . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

466 470 473 478 481 486 489 494 496 499 503 538 541 548

Ordnance Survey Maps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 552 Graded list . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 556 Problem index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 560


LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING – INTRODUCTION

Introduction With varied landscapes, intricate geography, disparate beauty and diverse geology the Lake District and its surrounding area arguably offers up more variety than any other single bouldering area in the UK. This wondrous region plays host to an astonishing array of rock: an assortment of volcanic goodies scatter the central fells and valleys, sandwiched between the Triassic sandstone playgrounds of the north and the Carboniferous limestone gems hidden amongst the South Lakes bluebells. From excellent roadside venues such as Woodwell, the Langdale Boulders, the Bowderstone and Carrock Fell, to the adventure bouldering of the western fells and coastline, the Lake District has it all – and it’s all worth savouring. Despite its popularity as a honeypot tourist destination, as British bouldering destinations go, the Lakes is often portrayed as something of a backwater. In the main this is due to the area being relatively newly developed, with perhaps 80 per cent of the areas featured in this book being discovered or properly developed within the last 20 years, and many much more recently. On top of this, a number of the best, lesser-known areas are accessed via a complex and sometimes slow road system which can seem antiquated when compared to that in other parts of the UK. This should not put you off; to the contrary, it’s all part of the magic.

For me there’s something different about bouldering in the Lake District – a quiet calm that sets it apart from the more established destinations. Sure, the region contains the extensive, roadside venues required to be considered a truly great climbing destination, yet the hoards of babbling spotters and pre-chalked lines commonplace in parts the Peak District, Yorkshire and North Wales are for the most part absent here. In much of the Lakes, adventure and bouldering still walk hand in hand. Blue-sky days come and go, and you can have entire crags (even major ones!) to yourself. I’d like to think that the essence of bouldering in the Lakes is not just about getting the tick or the adulation of the crowd, but about enjoying the whole experience – the tremendous climbing, the winding roads, the incredible settings, the tranquillity, and even, dare I say, the walk-ins. To paraphrase Alfred Wainwright, no one ever came down from the Lakeland hills without feeling in some way refreshed, and the better for their experience … of course he never carried three crashpads up Scafell! Whether you choose to fully immerse yourself in the Lakes bouldering experience, seeking out the hidden treasures of the high fells, quieter valleys and smugglers’ coves, or simply dip in and out of the high-class, easily accessed mainstream venues, you won’t be disappointed. Greg Chapman Lancaster, March 2019

t THE AUTHOR ON THE FIRST ASCENT OF TRACI LORDS AT THE LAD STONES IN 2003 (PAGE 191)  PHOTO: TOM BURNS

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING – INTRODUCTION

7


LANGDALE JON BASSINDALE ON THE OVERHANG, LANGDALE BOULDERS (PAGE 140)  PHOTO: BASSINDALE COLLECTION u


A591

Shap

39

1km

A592

M6

Grasmere

A591

38

Ambleside

Windermere Coniston

Tebay

CHAPEL STILE CIRCUIT

A6 LANGDALE BOULDERS

Staveley

A5 93

A592

KENDAL

Broughtonin-Furness

37

Elterwater Loughrigg Tarn

A5 90

M6

36

Grangeover-Sands

Elter Water

Kirkby Lonsdale

43 B53

Ulverston

Chapel Stile B5343

Torver

Skelwith Bridge

ESKDALE

90 A5

AMBLESIDE

Carnforth

Little Langdale Tarn

A593

137


LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

Langdale Boulders

Access and Approach

ASPECT: SOUTH  APPROACH: 2 MINS ALTITUDE: 100M  GRID REF: NY 314 058 PARKING: 54.443533, -3.058763  OS MAP: OL7

Climbing is permitted by the farmer but NO DOGS please. The Bottom Block hosts some ancient rock art on its east face and although there are a few historical boulder problems here, please DO NOT climb on this part of the block to help preserve this rock art.

Right by the road, at the heart of arguably the Lakes’ most frequented valley, the Copt Howe erratics, or Langdale Boulders as they are more commonly known, hold a special place in the history of Lakeland bouldering. Along with the Bowderstone and Kentmere’s Badger Rock, these fine boulders have historically been the outdoor training hub for generations of Lake District climbers. While their roadside access and social setting will have been the initial draw, the rock is the key factor to their longstanding appeal. An immaculate, glaciated volcanic tuff, it is both rough and perfectly featured to provide a wonderful climbing medium. The problems are varied in style but for the most part require a technical edge, and, while the mid-grade climber is best catered for, there is something for everyone, no matter what grade you operate at.

Enter Langdale and follow the valley road (B5343) to Chapel Stile. The boulders are a further half mile up the valley and are easy to spot (through a gate) in a field to the left of the road. Park in the lay-by on the right, just a few metres past the boulders.

Conditions The boulders face south and, with a gentle breeze, dry almost instantly after rain. They do get plenty of sun though, so the harder lines are best attempted on cool, cloudy days.

LE GDA LAN

100m

LANGDALE BOULDERS

B5 34 3

CHAPEL STILE CIRCUIT

Gre at L ang dale Bec k

Chapel Stile

B5343

SKELWITH BRIDGE AND AMBLESIDE

t THE AUTHOR ON STEFAN GROSSMAN (PAGE 140)  PHOTO: JULIA ENTWISTLE

LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

139


LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

7 8 6 1 2

4 3

9 5

10

TOP BLOCK 1

Stefan Grossman  7c  ÙÙÙ The blunt arête right of the wall starts from head-height holds and features classy, yet knacky, moves on great rock. The sit-start comes in from a big hold low down on the right and makes for a more complete line at 8a.

2

E rasure  7b+ A tight line, but an interesting problem well worth including. Backhand a small edge (LH) and jump to the sloping mouth-like hold on the lip of the overhang. Pull through the short headwall to finish. The described jump start must be observed for the full tick.

3

 he Overhang  6c  ÙÙ T Use an undercut in the small overhang to pull up and then left. The sit-start is 7a+.

4

The Crack  6a  ÙÙÙ The jagged crack is the easiest way up the face and a minor classic.

5

a 7 SS. The wall right of the crack starting on a big hold. Once established use an undercut and edges to reach a pocket just below the top. The crack is out.

6

140

The Pocket  6c+  ÙÙÙ A much-sought-after mid-grade classic. Use holds in or around the crack to gain the pocket, then go direct to the top via numerous small holds.

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING

12 11 13

7 7a+  Ù Start as for The Pocket but this time move left to a sharp edge then up to a small pocket in a crack before gaining the top. 8 6c Use a good hold to pull up and rock left, then up to the top. 9 7a From an obvious good hold traverse the crack rightwards and finish up problem 8. 10 7c+  Ù From the wall, traverse right via thin stretched moves, link into the previous problem and finish via this.


21

20

18

17

19

16 15 14

11 3+ The scooping slab. 12 5+ A worthwhile eliminate which climbs the centre of the wall via a thin vertical crack and without the major break. 13 6c SS. A bottom-heavy problem which gains the sloping mantel via a burly start followed by an easy finish.

25

22

24 23

14 6a SS. Straight up the short, rounded arête. 15 4 The shallow groove. 16 5+ Straight up the short wall to a tricky mantel.

21 6a A L–R lip traverse.

17 5+ Up and slightly left to the lip.

22 B  ack Boulder Left  7a A locals’ eliminate. From two shallow pockets for handholds and only smears for feet, pop for the top.

18 6b+ Dyno to a pocket over the lip, then mantel to finish.

23 B  ack Boulder Centre  3 Blunt arête.

19 4 Another quality crack climb.

24 B  ack Boulder Right  2 The right side of the block.

20 6c Start as problem 14, but once established traverse rightwards across the face, and below the lip, to problem 19 and finish up this.

25 E d’s Traverse  6a+ Traverse the crack and face holds to top out up the nose facing the road.

LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

141


LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

36

26

27

28 30 29

BOTTOM BLOCK 26 L ast Wall  6b+  Ù From an undercut and obvious sloper move up and left to sloping finishing holds. 27 T  riple Dyno  7b  Ù From two good low edges, pop to the big ledge; now dyno to the big hold on the nose (slightly left), before finally dynoing to the top (the crux). 28 6c+ SS. Traverse left across the face and finish up problem 26. 29 6c+ SS. A tricky start is followed by an awkward mantel. 30 7a+ From a big hold move right to reach a hold below the lip on the short arête. Drop down then move right into the crack and finish up this. 31 3  Easy crack.

142

LAKE DISTRICT BOULDERING

32 6a+ SS. A pleasant wall climb on positive edges and sidepulls. 33 5 The face left of the blunt arête. 34 4+ The blunt arête moving left at the top. 35 7a+ SS. From the bottom-left side of the blunt arête follow a line of obvious titled edges to meet the top on its centre left. 36 6c Start up the blunt arête then follow the lip of the block leftwards, all the way round on to the west face, before crossing the wall below the lip of the block for the final couple of metres.


36

Rock Art No Climbing 34

33 35 30 31

32

37 38

MANTEL BOULDER & ANDY BOULDER 37 6a SS. From the jug, mantel the block. 38 6c  Ù SS. Situated on the small boulder in front. From the lowest point on the south face, traverse the sloping lip from right to left with a tricky top-out on the north end of the block. JANA LIHOCKA ON PROBLEM 21 (PAGE 141)  PHOTO: JON BASSINDALE

LANGDALE – LANGDALE BOULDERS

143

Profile for Vertebrate Publishing

Lake District Bouldering - Sample Pages  

A few sample pages from our climbing guidebook Lake District Bouldering. Includes the Langdale Boulders section. More info on our website: h...

Lake District Bouldering - Sample Pages  

A few sample pages from our climbing guidebook Lake District Bouldering. Includes the Langdale Boulders section. More info on our website: h...

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