2006/02/24--26 Record of scrambling/walking in the Lake District (by Masa)

[Japanese / English]


Lake District/Borrowdale/Great Gable, Derwent Water
Jon M., Greame, Adam H., Nick, Abi, ..., Masa
2006/02/24--2006/02/26 (2 nights)
  • 2006/02/24 Leicester ...(car)... Bowderstone Hut
  • 2006/02/25 Hut ... (car) ... Seathwaite ... Styhead Tarn ... Napes Needle ... Green Gable ... Great Gable ... Hut
  • 2006/02/26 Hut ... Shepherd's Crag ... Gowder Crag ... Falcon Crags ... Keswick ... (car) ... Leicester
Bowderstone Hut
  • 2006/02/24 Clear
  • 2006/02/25 Clear
  • 2006/02/26 Cloudy then rain


On Saturday in the last weekend meet, four of us (Jon, Graeme, Adam and me) went scrambling to Climber's traverse (Grade 2), following my suggestion. I myself have never visited nor seen Napes Needle before. So I wanted. The weather forecast for Saturday was cold and possibly a bit snowy. So Jon and I carried crampons and all of us carried an ace ixe.

It turned out to be a fantastic day out!! Personally it was my best day out in the Lake District. Great scenery, exposure, solitariness, clean air, a sense of achievement, varied surrondings, friends to share, and an added spice of the past history — everything was there! Adam had not had any experience of that kind of "mountaineering" before, and said later, when he was asked how the day had been, It was absolutely fxxxing brilliant. So he seemed to have enjoyed the day really a lot, and to be now interested in mountaineering ever ;-)


Climber's traverse along Napes Needle was good (we traversed from east to west). I had to belay Adam in climbing up and to lower (or belay) everyone down to the other side, and I myself abseiled, for the down climbing part was snowy and wet. I was glad that we had racked up long before.

After Napes we scrambled up the Sphinx Ridge and it was even better. We moved together in my lead, roping up, with occasional pitched climbings. I practically soloed all the way with big boots comfortably, so Grade 2 was probably appropriate, considering the difficult (a bit snowy) condition. The exposure there was really good, the scenery was sensational under the blue sky, unlikely in the Lakes!

After the end of the scrambling section, a short walk lead us to the summit of Great Gable. By that time the weather had been changing quickly into a blizzard. The ground was covered with a layer of hard snow, and gave us a feeling of hard-core ;-)

The temperature was not really low, only 0 deg at the summit, but the wind-chill was considerable. I appreciated my soft shell, and was glad that I bothered taking a full-face hat and pair of goggles.

The navigation in our decent was rather tricky with a quite limited sight and the ground covered with snow in a hard blizzard. We took an ice axe (but not crampons). I dog-lead Adam, because it was his first wintery experience. I was not used to dog-leading, and anyhow dog-leading is a quite demanding technique, so I was glad that Jon was there, as he was up for navigation and leading us. And our decent went well.

It was the day. Sounds good? In fact I did not feel very well during (and in fact before and after) the weekend due to a persistent cold, and probably because of that, I am not feeling well still now. But I am really glad I decided to go there. It was all worth it!

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