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Climbing in the Lake District

The Lake District is one of the most well known climbing regions of the UK with climbers attracted to the region from all over the country due to the great Lakeland crags. With the Valley of Wasdale located underneath of the Lake District Mountains there are plenty of places to climb including the actual mountain peaks themselves of Scafell, Scafell Pike, and Great Gable.

One of the great climbs begins at the ascent point of the Napes Needle that is situated on the flanks of the Great Gable which was named originally by William Haskett Smith back in 1886. At this point it became a landmark within the world of British climbing and is still thought to be one of the first official rock climbs of the country.

It is often thought that Scafell Pike is the highest crag on the Lakeland Fells and as such would also be the highest point in England as well. However, in reality the highest peak in England is actually alongside Scafell which sports more crags and is also considered to be the Lakeland Climbing forcing ground.

The crags of Scafell were actually the location of where Bottrill began his breath taking ascent of the Scafell Crag back in 1903 making him the first person to ever climb that piece of slab. Another great step forward came in 1914 when Siegfried Herford made the very first documented ascent of the Scafell Crag in the Central Buttress.

Since this time period about three generations of different Birkett’s have left their own piece of climbing history on the Lakes. Most recently Jim Birkett left his own piece of history by tackling the Lakes extreme grade by ascending to the top of Castle Rock and the east Buttress of Scafell.


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