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A unexpectedly glorious climb in Lakeland's walled valley
[1 Edition]
The Herald - Glasgow (UK)
Author: Thomson, Alan
Date: Jul 29, 2000
Start Page: 11
Abstract (Document Summary)

[George Shields] had arrived in Langdale in a typical Scots raiding party, sussed the testpiece and climbed it free, no piton, no problem, on sight. The short-sighted Pat Walsh, Shield's compatriot and contemporary, later told me he once missed the delicate right traverse beneath the bulge on Kipling, tried to climb direct and took a mighty but safe flyer on the rope. Nostalgic days Yes, but that Bowfell crux. Walt Unsworth, who writes engagingly of BB in Classic Rock* says: "I need not dwell on the famous crack pitch which comes next, except to say it is an awkward little bastard." This from the urbane, cultivated Walt could be off-putting and luckily I had not the coffee-table book to hand.

West Cumbria, its hill farmers, the National Trust and their friends have done well to conserve a unique and sensitive landscape for coming generations. Mind you, the fact that this walled valley, girded by some of the best and most frequented crags in Britain is graced with three admirable pubs, the Old and New Dungeon Gyll and the Stickle Barn, is itself a triple-star commendation. And not one missed by its regular invaders, the drouthy hillwalking/climbing federation. In fact, that stone purist, Allan Austin, in a recent edition of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club guide to Langdale, refers to the historic dedication of those who developed the local plethora of exceptional routes:

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