Haven’t climbed with ‘Batesieman’ for a while so it was great to meet up for a trip to the southern Eden Valley. The best way to start a visit here is to come off the motorway at Tebay [J38] and enjoy a coffee or even breakfast in the Truckstop cafe. This morning, being a Sunday with few trucks, they were virtually empty. Quite roads lead through sleepy villages to King’s Meaburn where a lane drops down to a ford which at present is still suffering damage from last years floods. The concrete has been washed away and only 4x4s risk a crossing of the River Lyvennet. Apparently in 1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie crossed here to rendezvous with his troops in Shap, but he does seem to have been everywhere.There is parking and a short walk past an idyllic cottage brings you to the crag hidden in the trees above the river. The crags real name is Jackdaw Scar which becomes apparent as the raucous birds greeted us, occasionally one would fly out of a crack and there was excrement everywhere.The crag is unusual in that there is a base of eroded sandstone below the steep limestone walls. There are several bays which made for easy orientation even for us and we soon spied out possible lines.
The sun was just coming round onto the faces and all fears, mainly mine, of a cold hands day disappeared. In fact the weather turned out perfect for climbing in this lovely setting. What followed was a great afternoon romping up a variety of routes. Juggy cracks of all widths, flakes and blocky walls on steep solid limestone which seemed to give excellent friction, the sandstone band at the base adding to the interest. A couple and child arrived and set up camp below the crag, whilst the couple climbed the boy entertained himself in the trees and stream – an ideal family venue. We lunched by the ford and rounded the afternoon off with an exciting ascent of that flake.
Even completed the day with a pint and a curry. Perfect.
For the record…
Bay Rum VD TD Corner VD Percy Throwup VD Kirsten Wall HS 4b Scarlet Lyvenett MVS 4b The Flake VS 4c.