>A quiet Autumn Day


After the battering received on Saturday, Sunday dawned considerably quieter. The high winds had abated and the horizontal rain had been replaced by clear (ish) blue skies. Destination: Black Crag, Borrowdale.

Autumn shades over Derwent Water

Its been a while since I was last at this crag, despite the fact that it is easily one of the best climbing venues in Borrowdale. Soaring out of the secluded valley behind the Leathes Head Hotel, all of the routes contain at least 3 or four decent pitch lengths and most dry reasonably quickly.

And on all the visits to this crag, i’ve never climbed the one route that is the main draw for many – the Classic Rock tick of Troutdale Pinnacle, which as its inclusion in the mighty book would indicate is one of the best routes of its standard anywhere.

Steph on pitch 3 of Troutdale Pinnacle

Weaving its way up the right hand side of the main buttress, it contains a mix of easy slabs, steep corners and of course the airy and now, highly polished finish of the Pinnacle itself. 5-6 pitches of enjoyable climbing and with few other teams around the perfect leisurely route for a Sunday morning.

Topping out

By the time we got back to the base of the crag it was past lunch, the thunderous roar of an RAF Search & Rescue helicoper was buzzing overhead (plucking someone from the adjacent fell) and there was a jangle of at least a couple of teams around. Time for one more route that afternoon.

The choice, one of several direct assaults up the Pinnacle, Troutdale Pinnacle Superdirect. An enjoyable HVS 5a route which strikes a direct line upwards, with two enjoyable and slightly more technical final pitches.

There is plenty more to go at, from VS to E3 – including some real uber classics. All can be found in the FRCC guidebook.


About Richard Talbot

An accomplished fell-runner as well as being a keen climber and mountaineer. Since 2005 he has worked for the UK based manufacturer Mountain Equipment and is currently Director of Product. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years.
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