Sunday, 5 June 2011

Get the Goat

After a few weeks (well a month) of no climbing it was time to get back on rock but true to form the fine weather mid-week was forecast to head downhill for the weekend. With a threat of the Peak (yuk!) I had a ring round and Simon was up for a trip over to the Lakes and Goat Crag especially now that it's had a recent clean up. A check in the guide shows that the last time I climbed there was to do Footless Crow with Ed Cleasby, just 24 years ago! Some time after this a rumour began circulating that I'd soloed it - definitely not true!!

Heading over we passed through a series of heavy showers along with some interesting cloud formations near Kirkby Lonsdale.

Weird clouds above Kirkby Lonsdale

As we neared Keswick however the skies were definitely lighter so down to Grange and head through the campsite and flog up the steep slope that I don't remember to the foot of the crag. I was surprised to see the biggest prize in Lakeland trundling still in place.

Having not climbed for ages I was happy to let Simon lead the first, crux, pitch. There was a bit of drizzle on and off through the climb but it didn't affect the climbing too much.

Simon at the start of the steep section of the first pitch

My turn to follow and the steep crack doesn't feel like the crux, the moves on to the ramp feel far harder. My lead next and the guide talks of a blank wall but it isn't too bad, neither is the groove leading to the stance. The stance I'm not happy with: two pegs, two Friends and two wires - all between the crag and a large hollow sounding block!

A team on the third pitch of Preying Mantis

I suggest to Simon that the next two pitches could be combined but he decides to stick to the script so I get the top pitch which is pretty good climbing though I'm glad it's not raining. Then it's time to abseil off - I've never walked off from this crag and don't know anyone who has.

Lethargy took hold and rather than do another route at the crag we decided to head over to Quayfoot Buttress, unfortunately by the time we got there it had begun to rain in earnest so we decided to call it a day and head home. Still I'd finally managed to tick off the Lakeland section of Hard Rock - only took 29 years.

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