Climbing Stoat’s Crack on Pavey Ark with Kelvyn

5 09 2012

Since leaving my full time job as a guide on Monday 27th, I have not had a day out walking, climbing, scrambling….nothing! My time has been filled with either working in an outdoor shop in Keswick, or setting up this beautiful new venture of mine. If you keep an outdoors man indoors for too long he is sure to get cabin fever, and I just needed my outdoor fix!

Kelvyn asked me a few days ago if I was free anytime soon to head out for a climb, and I jumped at the opportunity, especially as the weather was being so good! We opted to meet in Langdale as it is half way between where we both live, and from there we would make our choice as where to climb. It didn’t take much thinking, we were going to head up to Pavey Ark.

Pavey Ark is the biggest cliff face in Langdale, holding the possibility of a 160m climb! Until today I had never climbed on its crags, and it was something I had wanted to do for a long time. Pavey Ark is usually also dripping wet, so today was a great opportunity to get a route done.

We opted to climb Stoat’s Crack, a 5 pitch, 112m Hard Severe (first climbed in 1933 by Record and Jenkins). After walking up the good path by Stickle Ghyll in the morning heat to Stickle Tarn, we made our way to the start of Jacks Rake where our route started. Kelvyn has recently got back from a 6 week adventure in the Alps, so you could say his climbing head was well and truley screwed on! This was the opposite to mine, as for various reasons (including getting married….and no I wouldn’t have rather been climbing than marrying Naomi! :p ) I had not had the opportunity to climb all summer, so Kelvyn took the first pitch.

The first pitch was a bit soggy but we could see it would soon improve. We opted to put the first 2 pitches together to make one 36m pitch. Kelvyn, as always led in fine style. I climbed this first pitch tentatively and Kelvyn could sense from my reaction (and the series of sounds I had made while climbing!) that he was going to be leading the entire route. This is where many people would probably think they were having a shit time of it, but t be honest I was expecting to be a little dubious after so long not getting any personal climbing done, and I was glad to be outdoors!

Kelvyn cracked on up the route and the sun kept on beaming down on us. The route is described to have a ‘mountaineering air’ to it, and that it did, it was a fantastic route. After the 5th pitch we scrambled over the top of Pavey Ark to meet the descent path.

Soon enough we were back at the shore of Stickle Tarn sorting our kit and enjoying the afternoon heat. A fantastic day out, as it always is with Kelvyn. Roll on the next outdoor hit!