Lake District Climbing Venues for Beginners
Hutton Roof is a friendly venue to start you off on your climbing
adventures; it is a small limestone escarpment ten minutes drive from
junction 36 of the M6. The base of the cliff is flat and grassy which is
perfect for picnics and there is a variety of climbs to tackle for beginners. Some of the
more popular routes are suffering from a little polish but the majority of
the holds are positive. The limestone pavement on the top provides plenty of
solid threads which are great anchors for your belay.
Black Crag and Long Scar are fifteen minutes from the top of Wrynose Pass. On a calm, sunny day they are a great place to climb with stunning Lake District views across to Windermere and the Coniston fells. The very rough and grippy volcanic rock is incredibly positive to climb on and there is plenty of rock that has not been included in the guidebook which provides much scope for exploration. It can feel quite exposed on a windy day but wrap up warm and you won't be disappointed.
Upper Scout Crag in Langdale offers the perfect introduction to multi-pitch climbing. A short, steep walk from the road leads to the base of the crag. Route 1 follows a ramp and slabby grooves to a block belay, then the second pitch climbs an exposed arête on small but positive holds. Take care not to belay too far back as this can make communication tricky. The descent route follows a narrow grassy path to a short scramble down into the gully.
Little Chamonix on Shepherd's Crag in Borrowdale gets its name from the rock architecture surrounding the route that is said to be reminiscent of the famous Chamonix Aiguilles. It is the second pitch that provides the real meat of the route: here a corner leads to a large block where a tricky move gains access across a slab to an arête. An optional belay can be taken on 'the saddle' before steep moves lead up the exposed head wall to the belvedere.
Corvus is traditionally described as a "route for all seasons". This six pitch mountain route is graded 'difficult' and offers excellent, varied climbing all the way up. The first few pitches can be linked together to speed up access to the famous hand traverse which follows an exposed line of flakes out leftwards, providing an excellent photo opportunity for the bold leader. It is best to carry your rucksacks on the route for lunch on the top and a pleasant walk down or quick visit to the top of Glaramara.