Jun 08 15
In another day of two halves Paul and I set off early (ish) for Gimmer Crag, hoping optimistically to catch some sun. It was certainly sunny (and thus sweaty) on the walk up to Gimmer. But as our luck would have it, the clouds were building and a stiff breeze was rising. We could see big rain storms sweeping across Coniston and further south too. Maybe the vegetable patch wouldn’t need watering when I got home after all?
Our first objective was Spring Bank, an amazing E2 created by our friend Mike Mortimer in 1979. As the sun had said good bye, welcoming in the clouds and a cold wind, we both froze! So it turned out to be our only route at Gimmer this day – we retreated back to the valley where it was still summer! We sat at the New Dungeon Ghyll with a cold drink and felt hot in the sun! Where had the sun been earlier? Hiding!
Paul reaches over the roof for those good (?) but small (!) holds
Having visited our third crag of the weekend we thought a quarry might be a good fourth venue! But wait, we’d only brought the Langdale guidebook out with us – we’d have to make use of Paul’s encyclopaedic knowledge of routes and visit somewhere he knew well… We chose Cathedral Quarry. Paul used to be a bit of a “slate head” (his words, not mine)!
After some mucking about finding the right tunnel to get access to the quarry we entered a midge heaven. Out of the wind, sunny and warm, yet damp from the permanent pools of water!
There are (and have been for years) two goldfish in the pool – weird!
We only did one route as we didn’t have a guidebook and Paul could only be sure of the grade of Night of the Hot Pies (E1). Even this was scary enough – after 15m of easy climbing the route trends left over the arch, adding 20 extra metres of exposure down to the chamber and pool in the picture above!
As we got back to Ambleside, and entered an area with mobile phone reception, I received a text message from Colin; “I am looking forward to all the new reports on the blog. Reading about excitement, adventure and really wild things will do me good. Failing that, gardening.”
So Colin – I hope the peregrines, tree climbing, cold fingers and midges all go someway to addressing the first request. If not, maybe you’ll be interested to know that none of the rain storms did pass near Kendal, so the vegetables etc. did need watering when I got home. They are all growing well.
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