Borrowdale and Buckden bound

great outdoors: Members of Clitheroe Mountaineering Club take a well-earned break during their day meet at Buckden.
great outdoors: Members of Clitheroe Mountaineering Club take a well-earned break during their day meet at Buckden.

Twenty-five members of Clitheroe Mountaineering Club enjoyed the continuing wintry conditions in the Lake District during their March weekend visit to the High House climbing hut at Seathwaite in Borrowdale.

On the Saturday one group set off up Grains Gill and Ruddy Gill to reach the foot of Great End, a large crag forming the north-eastern end of the Scafell group of mountains. Here members climbed Central Gully, probably the best-known winter climb in the district, via a series of steep snow ramps interspersed with two short ice pitches to emerge from the gully’s right branch on to the summit plateau. From the summit a descent was made to Esk Hause and back to the hut via Styhead Tarn.

The Styhead Pass route was also used by another party to access Wasdale Head for a steep, unrelenting climb up the south-west ridge of Kirk Fell, probably the most direct route to a summit in the Lakes. Here members headed east to Beck Head for another gruelling walk to the summit of Great Gable and on to Green Gable, before descending Aaron Slack back to Styhead Tarn.

On Sunday groups set out to enjoy views from a variety of peaks in the Borrowdale area including Scafell Pike, Glaramara and Allen Crags, and Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts. Another party headed to Gowder Crag, the steep, imposing buttress rising out of the trees on the east bank of Lodore Falls behind the Lodore Hotel, to climb Fools’ Paradise, a 113-metre rock route graded Very Severe.

At the club’s recent Sunday meet, members set off from Buckden car park and walked up the path by Buckden Beck. This is an interesting path which goes through limestone scars and past several waterfalls to reach the old lead mine. The party had a brief stop there and then carried on to Buckden Pike.

On the top it was cold and snowing lightly, so the group didn’t linger but carried on down to Cray and then along the lower path passing the bottom of Crook Gill towards Hubberholme. From there members walked to the bottom of Strans Gill where four people continued the walk to Yockenthwaite and then back to the footbridge where the path crosses the Gill.

The other five people did the Strans Gill scramble and everyone met up at the footbridge. Everyone then walked back along the high level path to Cray and Buckden Rake back to the cars.

The club’s next indoor meeting will feature an illustrated talk about Broad Peak and Mount Damavant by John Roberts, and will be held at Clitheroe Cricket Club tonight (March 21st) beginning at 8 p.m. Non-members are welcome to attend. This will be followed by a day meet in Kentmere this Sunday (March 24th) leaving the council offices car park at 8 a.m. Further details may be obtained from Humphrey Johnson on 07836 328730.