My Top 10 Favourite Lakeland Crags #5: Shepherd’s Crag, Borrowdale

Ideas by Chris, words by Anne

Shepherd’s Crag is one of the busiest crags in the Lake District, and deservedly so. It has everything:

  • easy access
  • quality routes across a wide range of grades
  • quick-drying rock
  • a mix of single pitch and multi pitch routes
  • a fantastic position overlooking Derwentwater
  • a great café right next to the car park

What’s not to like?

 a classic view of little chamonix

a classic view of little chamonix

Here are a few of my favourite routes to get you started

Donkey’s Ears

First climbed: 1947 / Current grade: HS** / Length of route: 67m / Number of pitches: 3

A somewhat meandering route with some interesting moves and a decisive final pitch

Little Chamonix

First climbed: 1946 / Current grade: VD*** / Length of route: 71m / Number of pitches: 4

The uber-classic of the crag, with great positions on the top wall, a few tricky moves to get you thinking. A must if you don’t mind waiting in the queue.

Brown Slabs Direct

First climbed: 1948 / Current grade: VD*** / Length of route: 36m / Number of pitches: 1

Well-worn but great climbing – gets lots of sun so a good choice on a cold day

The Bludgeon

First climbed: 1957 / Current grade: E1 5b*** / Length of route: 54m / Number of pitches: 2

Not to be underestimated, great climbing in a fantastic position

 at the top of little chamonix

at the top of little chamonix

Fisher’s Folly

First climbed: 1955 / Current grade: VS 4c*** / Length of route: 25m / Number of pitches: 1

Can be done as one pitch or two, but watch out for rope drag if you do it in one

Kransic Crack Direct

First climbed: 1956 / Current grade: HVA 5a*** / Length of route: 20m / Number of pitches: 1

Excellent climbing, well-protected and varied

Adam

First climbed: 1955 / Current grade: HVS 5a*** / Length of route: 40m / Number of pitches: 1

Strenuous and direct, but well-protected

Eve

First climbed: 1951 / Current grade: VS 4c*** / Length of route: 50m / Number of pitches: 3

More technical than Adam, with some great moves

 having fun at brown slabs

having fun at brown slabs

MGC

First climbed: 1958 / Current grade: E2 5c** / Length of route: 20m / Number of pitches: 1

Popular, steep, strenuous, needs a positive approach

Brown Crag Grooves

First climbed: 1959 / Current grade: E1 5b** / Length of route: 40m / Number of pitches: 2

A sustained pitch, take lots of Rock no 1’s

Finale

First climbed: 1965 / Current grade: HVS 5a*** / Length of route: 34m / Number of pitches: 2

Top end HVS, strenuous and sustained with good gear

Ardus

First climbed: 1946 / Current grade: MVS 4b*** / Length of route: 42m / Number of pitches: 2

Saves the best until last

How about you?

Do you have a favourite route or a memorable experience at Shepherd’s Crag?