Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Open Season

Over the weekend I managed to kick off my mountain route season with an ascent of one of the Lakes most celebrated climbs – Corvus. This classic route scales the shady buttress of Raven Crag in upper Borrowdale in 10 contrasting yet equally enjoyable pitches. It was on my mind that the sun probably doesn't actually touch the face at this time of year because of its aspect but as the route is graded Diff, I was hoping most of it could be done in gloves! Thankfully, somebody at the met office left the heating on and it was in fact surprisingly mild, I actually broke into a sweat on the walk-in!

Looking up the line of Corvus (Diff) on a gloomy Raven Crag

Perhaps we should have picked a route on the other side of the valley?

Looking down the slimy second pitch groove with Dad just setting off.

The route climbs a series of clean slabs and walls on the left hand side of Raven Crags’ vegetated buttress, taking in some fine situations and entertaining pitches. The highlight of the route is undoubtedly the famous ‘hand traverse’ on pitch 7 – a short exercise in burling and peddling across an otherwise holdless wall. In rock shoes it would be a doddle however in ‘big boots’ the polished footholds are anything other than secure, that combined with the large hand holds make this section very entertaining for whom ever is belaying!

Pitch 6 up the wonderfully clean rib. The sunshine is up there somewhere!

The famous 'Hand Traverse' pitch - yes the 'footholds' are as good as they look!
The final 'scoop groove' on the last pitch

The rest of the route follows a fine line of cracks and finally up a scooped groove to the finish. Although not at all hard, its a wonderful route and deserving of every of its 3 stars (even with the polish!!).

Dad topping out with the moraines of Combe Gill far below

Sometimes the sun does shine in the Lake District. It definitely makes all those rainy days well worth it!

No comments:

Post a Comment