The first Lakes Festival of Climbing ropes up this weekend with the idea of reinvigorating the art of climbing the region’s high crags.
The festival is based, sensibly, at a pub – the Newfield Inn – at Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley. The idea is to draw climbers away from the usual honeypots of Borrowdale and Langdale and onto the rocks of the lesser known valley.
The British Mountaineering Council’s local team has sorted route information and the venue, with the promise of good beer, good climbing and good weather, though promising the last in the Lake District is a long shot, even in the middle of June.
Organisers of the festival said: “The Lakes Festival of Climbing began quietly at a BMC area meeting in the Golden Rule [pub] in Ambleside in October 2007.
“Someone lamented the demise of climbing on the high crags of the region, and an idea was born.
“A few months later, a team based in the very same pub was turning the idea into reality. In the course of our discussions, we sorted out a suitable valley, a great pub, some fine ales and some good weather.
“The aims of the weekend are simple: we want to promote climbing away from the honeypots of Langdale and Borrowdale; we want to demystify the high crags of the region – they're actually friendly, warm places that are more rewarding than, say, Shepherd's or White Ghyll.
“We want to impart our enthusiasm and knowledge of these areas to you and we want everyone to have fun at a crag they’ve never been to before. The BMC’s local team will be providing the venue, the information and the weather. All you need to do is to turn up with some of your mates for a weekend of climbing, socialising and entertainment.”
Just to avoid confusion, the base for the festival is Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley, not its namesake at the southern end of Borrowdale.
The weekend starts on Friday night with Chris Plant's Celebrity Climbing Quiz at the Newfield Inn at 9pm
Details of the event are on the Lakes Festival of Climbing website.