Climbing guides found for: Whitbarrow
Chapel Head lies on the Witherslack Escarpment, facing south-west above Witherslack Hall School, about 10 kilometres south-west of Kendal. It is often in condition when the Lakeland crags are under a watery deluge.
Most of the early routes at Chapel Head Scar were put up on the Lower Crag which has now been relinquished, from a climbing point of view, under the new access agreement. In 1972, or even earlier, several of the routes were ascended during fleeting visits by various climbers, the earliest of these that has been identified was Unknown Groove, which was reputed to have been the work of Ian Roper. The first concerted exploration of the crag however, was started by Al Evans, who climbed Passion Play and Dandelion Wine, which could easily have become classics. These were soon followed by more routes on the Lower Crag by various combinations of Evans, Parker, Ainsworth and Cronshaw. Unfortunately, although many of these were very good climbs, they are not now accessible.
Chapel Head Scar lies within the Whitbarrow Local Nature Reserve, which has important semi-natural woodland, butterfly populations and limestone grassland along the cliff top. The statutory site is managed by the Lake District National Park Authority and is wardened on a regular basis. The Park Authority requests that climbers take particular note of the following good practice requirements:
This is a small quarry situated adjacent to the A590 just south of High Newton. It has two climbs which are well worth 20 minutes effort on the way to, or out of, The Lake District. Climbers are asked not to park on the grass verge below the crag.
Although Humphrey Head came to prominence as a sport climbing venue, many of the more traditional climbs are also very worthwhile.
Paul Pritchard and Phil Kelly ventured up into Edgar`s Arch one day in 1986 with a view to looking at the aid route across its arch. Pritchard ended up by leading the crack above the start of the aid route, on-sight, to give The Job.
The crag lies at the western corner of the southern end of the Whitbarrow escarpment, directly above the hamlet of Mill Side. The routes are steep and of high quality and are generally adequately protected, mainly with bolts. Most of the loose skin of rock has now been removed from the existing routes, but there may still be a few places where care is necessary.
Les Ainsworth and Dave Cronshaw opened the door to the crag in 1972 after a fruitless day at White Scar by climbing Pioneers` Cave. Attempts to get anywhere on the central section were abandoned because they were doubtful about the rock quality and concerned about the lack of natural protection. Two years later Al Evans with Dave Parker put up the partly-aided Pathfinder.
This is the small limestone crag (shrouded in trees) that lies 300 metres right of White Scar, on private land, and is somewhat dwarfed by its big brother.
The first two routes on the crag, Cryptic Cripple Club and Dry Gin, were put up in 1986 by Dave Bates. Mark Liptrot then visited later in the year and claimed the remainder of the routes.
The crag is owned by the Landowners of Crosthwaite and Lyth, who are keen to conserve the area for flora and fauna. At the time of writing, access is not permitted.
Scout Scar is the limestone escarpment five kilometres west of Kendal, which has been known improperly as Underbarrow Scar in previous editions of the guidebook. The rock is fairly sound with little seepage. It is quite sheltered and provides excellent training for `the pump`. The crag provides a mixture of traditional and sport climbs.
The crag saw its first action way back in the last century, by a local horseman called Hodgson. The story goes that he was riding back from the pub in Brigsteer (obviously drunk), when his horse apparently decided to go back for another one and promptly leapt off the summit, taking poor Hodgson with him; the crag is known locally as `Hodgson`s Loupe`.
A visit to the crag can easily be combined with a pleasant walk to Lord`s Seat or elsewhere on Whitbarrow.
Most of the routes that have been recorded are the work of John Shepherd, Karl Lunt, Tom Phillips and Andrew Hinton during 1991 and 1992. The only exceptions are White Groove in 1996 and Worlds Apart in 1997, both by Dave Cronshaw and Les Ainsworth.
The crag is owned by Forest Enterprise whose managers are happy to permit climbing.
The slopes to the foot of the crag have been extensively quarried to leave steep tiers of shattered rock separated by steep grass slopes and unstable scree. Nevertheless, access to the foot of the natural crag is possible, though it is a serious venture, which makes it probably one of the most difficult inland crags to get to in England. However, those climbers who are willing to negotiate this somewhat hazardous approach will be rewarded by some good climbing.
The first free route was added in 1973 by Dave Cronshaw and Les Ainsworth who, hungry for adventure, put up Stride Pinnacle. The same pair returned in 1977 and after numerous abortive attempts to gain the base of the crag via the scree slope, they finally made it, only to discover that the only means of escape was by climbing Puppy Dog Pie, the name of which reflects perfectly the non-quality of the climbing involved.
The crag is owned by the Landowners of Crosthwaite and Lyth, and is managed by English Nature. The landowners are keen to conserve the area for flora and fauna. The crag is an important site for peregrines, ravens and buzzards, and in the past, there were seasonal climbing restrictions during the nesting season from March to June. However, climbing is currently not permittd by the owners.
The main crag is bounded on its left by a long broken ridge, Long Ridge, which gives many pleasant variations at around Diff. If the ridge is followed in its entirety, it gives the longest vertical route in the Lancashire Area.
Little is known about the early easier routes, though it is likely that Arthur Hassall did many of them, including the classic Moose. Iain Greenwood soloed Missing Words and Al Phizacklea soloed Wild Winds with a knotted rope alongside. During 1987 Les Ainsworth cleaned and climbed Cartmel Groove then returned in 1988 with his daughter Aly to add Jess. In 1992, Brian Davison visited the crag and climbed the last obvious line, which, for some unexplained reason, had been completely overlooked by locals, to give the interesting W.