13 July 2011

Three days in the Lakes - Part two

Three days in the Lakes
Part 2 – Helvellyn via Striding Edge
Tuesday 10th May 2011
On the morning of our second day the weather forecast was for rain with it brightening later so we used the opportunity to go into Keswick and purchase a pair of replacement boots for me from the world famous George Fisher shop. On the way up to Keswick we stopped off and took a look at the Bowder Stone, a famous Lake District land mark. The Bowder stone is a 30ft high, 2000 ton rock that was deposited in the Borrowdale valley by a glacier. It has a set of steps that allow you to climb onto the top and it's base is used by climbers for bouldering, the handholds on its it's sheltered underside dusted chalk with climbing chalk. The stone was deserted, probably due to the heavy rains that stayed with us into Keswick and down to our start point at Glenridding.
Starting in the main car park in Glenridding we followed the road out of the village, up past a camp site and youth hostel and up into onto the fells. The first part of the walk is a steep, dull ascent up onto Birkhouse Moor. The walk up was punctuated with frequent breaks and the view back out over Ulleswater was very impressive. Fortunately our interpretation of the weather forecast appeared to be excellent with us reaching Birkhouse Moor in glorious sunshine.
I was surprised by the lack of walkers making the ascent, we had been warned that Helvellyn was a very popular destination and that it was likely to be very crowded, however we met very few people on the entire walk. We trekked across Birkhouse Moor and up onto Grisedale Brow, where we stopped for some lunch and to fortify ourselves for the forthcoming crossing of Striding Edge, sheltering from the wind under the rocks of 'hole in the wall', which the start of Striding Edge.

The approach to Helvellyn via Striding Edge was spectacular and the crossing was one of the most exhilarating experiences of my walking career so far. The wind had whipped up and were walking on the ridge line in a near constant south-easterly blow. Several years ago Scott & myself had found ourselves on a misty Crib Gocht on Snowden and this was a similar experience, but at a lower height, with a greater sense of safety. The ridge itself was excellent with great views on either side, a solid and obvious path, but with great thrills, without ever being in any real danger of coming off the ridge. There are one or two medium difficulty scrambles up and down various rock chimneys, onto the final steep assent up onto the top of Helvellyn.

We met a group on the way down, who looked decidedly uncomfortable and appeared to have had quite a bit of trouble finding the way, so much so that they missed out Striding Edge but taking one of the lower, easier paths below the scarp, a real shame, but given the strong winds a sensible decision as they appeared to be unhappy with the climb down. We followed the crampon scarred rock path up onto Helvellyn onto a very blustery summit and made for the multi-sided shelter at the top. There we rested our weary legs, impressed with ourselves at having tackled such an exciting & exhilarating scramble to the top.
The views from the top of Helvellyn are awesome and we managed to find a couple of similarly wind swept walkers to record our moment of triumph. We took a southerly route down and right onto Swirral Edge. This route down was similar, but less taxing than Striding Edge, but the views were just as good. It was sad to think that only 6 months before a walker had slipped and fallen to his death on this route, and this knowledge focused our minds on making a cautious decent down Swirral Edge and onto the path down to Red Tarn.
Stopping for a few minutes at Red Tarn and looking back up to to the summit of Helvellyn and looking across to Striding Edge, it was easy to see why this is one of the UK's most favorite walks. The walk down and round Birkhouse Moor to Glenridding was uneventful, but very picturesque and was an excellent counter to our adrenalin filled ascent, allowed Scott and I to catch up on conversation that had not been possible over the previous lung busting day and a half. We finished our walk with a well deserved pint in a pub in Glenridding and it was then back to the youth hostel for some funky dinner.

Thanks to Jon Hymus for his second of three articles.

12 July 2011

H7 Info and events

Slack line - High line
30th July will see Ross attempt his Highline walk. Keep this date free to join us for a picknick and to support Ross.

Sam Johnson Interview
Rev Climbing team leader, BMC SE regional representative, passsionate climber and Revolution climbing wall manager. Keep watching for our First H7 interview with Sam.

Monthly indoor wall climbing
First Sunday of every month - Afternon trip to Revolution clkimbing wall in Broadstairs
Every second wednesday night climbing at Arethusa in the evenings

Upcoming trips

We will be heading to Snowdon mid wnter for some winter skills training ICe axes and crampons to the rescue- Dates to be announced

We are currently looking into the viability of a summer trip to climb Elbrus July next year. More info as soon as we have it.

Stay tuned for loads more to come !!!!

2 July 2011

Melloblocco 2011 - Largest Bouldering comp in the world - Official video

I did an article some time back about Melloblocco. In ITaly it is the largest bouldering competition on the world. Here is the official comp video. 14 min worth so get a brew, chilax and wrap your head around this.It is not just another climbing video. Sit back, take in the experience and get a feel of what this is all about.

Enjoy !!!