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Scrambling is one of our most popular activities and is possible at all times of year in the Lake District. In summer we have a variety of styles varying from ascents of clean, dry rock buttresses that are like very easy rock climbs through to water filled ghylls, which can be full of character, often vegetated and sometimes very wet and refreshing on a hot summers day.
There is a gradual transition to winter conditions meaning scrambling can be enjoyed in all seasons including in winter, when it might be too cold for full on rock climbing but we don’t yet have full on snow and ice conditions. Because the climbing is generally easy we can move fast and keep warm, but still enjoy good sport with more exposure and vertical excitement than hill walking, and we can use the footwear and equipment to suit the prevailing conditions. Scrambling in full on winter conditions becomes “Winter Mountaineering” with ice axe and crampons; and this is described as a separate activity in its own right.
Two of our most popular serious scrambling excursions that are both possible throughout the year are Pillar Rock by the Old West and Slab and Notch, and Dow Crag B and C Buttresses. We often use Jack’s Rake in descent after scrambling elsewhere on the Langdale Pikes, and of course the mega classic round of Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn is ever popular. We favour doing this in winter under snow when it might be less busy and also require crampons, and we can make an atmospheric approach up Catstye Cam Gully.
The Napes on Great Gabel is a scrambler’s paradise and not far away is the imposing Scafell with a host more possibilities. The nearby Ill Ghyll is hard and reserved for the connoisseur of such adventures. Some of our favourites in the North Lakes are Lorton Gully, Grassmoor, Sandbed Ghyll and of course the easier and popular Sharp Edge.
These are just a few of the boundless possibilities and there are a huge number of hidden gems. It just goes to show that although it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to go on exciting, far flung trips, you don’t have to travel around the world to have a lot of fun! Some of the best adventures can be found close to home, and we are lucky enough to live in the English Lake District.
Our aim is for you to develop your own skills as a safe and proficient mountaineer whilst scrambling with us. People are often keen to learn about procedures and rope work for scrambling, roped moving together, placing protection, setting up belays and belaying techniques. We often combine a scramble with some abseiling to complete a full and varied day. You can come for a day, a weekend or longer,
We normally run this activity in the Lake District but we also have extensive experience mountaineering and climbing in the scramblers paradise of Skye, and we are always happy to discuss your plans for adventures in all parts of the UK and worldwide. Please contact us for more details!