Arrowhead Ridge Direct

Despite an acute awareness of how little I climb now by comparison to years gone by, it never fails to surprise me how routes which I once considered simple - easy enough for a pleasant solo in fact - can present a surprising challenge these days. Although looking back at my notes scrawled in dog eared guide books shows I actually had to retreat twice from this classic VDiff (once with the snow covered holds and verglass coating the slab beneath the Arrowhead, and once in torrential rain), before climbing it in good conditions in 2005. I later soloed it - completely absorbed in the airy moves as I passed along the narrow ridge late one summer evening. On this day, the temperature lower than expected, climbing in boots and with packs, once again the route proved good value.
Approaching from Wasdale Head along the familiar track, towards a familiar view of The Napes. A quick stomp up the track to Styhead and then the traverse back beneath the crags which remains remarkably vague in places despite the traffic.
Gearing up and looking at the line that leads directly to the Arrowhead which can be taken directly or via a traverse to either side.
In surprisingly cold conditions I quickly lost all feeling in my hands and had to retreat a few meters to warm up, the delight of hot aches painfully familiar.
Tim on lead, just beneath the Arrowhead...
...and crossing the strid on the easier but excellent upper section of the ridge.
We continued via excellent scrambling on Westmorland Crag to the summit before dropping back down to Styhead...
...Sphinx Rock high above marking the western extremity of The Napes.


Ian said…
That looks a cracker Will!

Kind regards
Will Herman said…
Hi Ian - it is - like a miniature alpine ridge and lovely climbing despite feeling extremely rusty!
Will Herman said…
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