Navigation, barefoot walking and multi-pitch climbing in the Lake District.

Pashley and I drove up to Langdale to meet Laura and Sarah for a day of navigation training. We enjoyed some great weather and fantastic views on a walk around the Langdale Pikes, whilst I taught the ladies all I could about contours, handrails, bearings, timing and pacing. My boots were off within a few minutes of leaving the road and Pashley soon followed suit.

Misson Impossible!

Misson Impossible!

Pashley, Laura and Sarah on Pavey Ark.

Pashley, Laura and Sarah on Pavey Ark.

The following day began with a luxuriously late start and a leisurely stroll up Lingmoor. I left my boots behind, Pashley’s boots were soon in her pack and Laura joined in too. Two more converts to the joys of barefooting in the mountains! Every step has a meaning, you feel a deep connection with the ground and nature gives you a free all-day reflexology treatment. Try it out…

The Langdale Pikes from Lingmoor.

The Langdale Pikes from Lingmoor.

As nature intended...

As nature intended...

Pashley and I said goodbye to Laura and Sarah after coffee and cake in Ambleside. Then we went to the Golden Rule for a pork pie and a pint. Back in Langdale, we ended the evening in the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel and walked out out of the pub to find one of the most beautiful starry skies you could hope to see.

The night was just too good to miss so we packed bags with climbing gear, sleeping bags and mats, a stove, coffee and porridge oats. We walked along Mickleden and up Rossett Ghyll to sleep near the col and stare at the stars. The sunrise brought a warm and bright morning that we enjoyed over coffee and porridge. Simply sitting still and enjoying the view for hours was a pleasure.

Our bivvy site for the night and breakfast perch for the morning.

Our bivvy site for the night and breakfast perch for the morning.

We finally got moving at mid-day and walked up to the base of Bowfell Buttress to climb the classic route right up its centre. It may be polished but it’s still great fun and furnished with bundles of huge, positive handholds. We climbed the route in 5 pitches and it provided Pashley with a good opportunity to learn more about multi-pitch ropework and belays.

Bowfell Buttress

Bowfell Buttress

Climbing with full packs for the first time in a while was a good reminder of how it raises your centre of gravity and makes you feel very heavy indeed!

Pashley on the tricky traverse.

Pashley on the tricky traverse.

We reached the top of Bowfell and were greeted by a warm and orange sun low in the sky. The views that evening were wonderful…

Looking south from the summit of Bowfell.

Looking south from the summit of Bowfell.

Thanks to Andy Docker for this last photo. Here’s a link to Andy’s Flickr page. Take a look at the rest of his Bowfell sunset shots. They’re very good and you need your whole screen to really do them justice.

Posted: October 14th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Barefoot, Lake District, Mountain Walking, Multi Pitch Climbing, Navigation, Trad Climbing | No Comments »

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