Whether you are new to traditional rock climbing or are looking for some of the hardest routes in the country, you will find both easy roadside climbing and long days at the mountain crags. Bouldering also offers a wide variety of rock types, grades, and locations, and quality sport climbing is available in the South Lakes.
As much as we like ticking off things, there are many tick lists available, and ‘starred’ routes in guidebooks are a good indication of the most popular routes. The best routes and crags for your abilities and the conditions can be determined by some local knowledge about the climbing area. Thus, here is some useful knowledge for climbing on different rock types:
- Borrowdale Volcanics: In the Lake District, most crags are volcanic rock formations that are labelled as Borrowdale volcanics. The complex volcanic geology has resulted in a variety of rock textures; some of the crags have a smooth texture, while others are abrasive with large crystals. When climbing in damp weather, it can feel quite bumpy climbing on the smoother rocks, which are often quicker to dry and have less vegetation.
- Granite: In the beautiful and remote valley of Eskdale, granite is an ancient igneous rock found in small outcrops. Despite its rough texture and clear lines, granite is a very aesthetic rock. It is best climbed in cooler conditions since friction-based climbing will be much easier when the rock is cold and grippy. As a result of easily spotting cracks and other rock features, it is sometimes easier to read routes from below. You will either see obvious crack lines with good gear placements or nothing at all.
- Slate: Slate originates from the heating and compression of mudstone during metamorphism. In the Lake District, you can climb great routes in slate quarries, but it is always a good idea to research your chosen routes. Some routes in slate areas have been extensively re-equipped recently, offering brilliant, well-bolted climbing, while others have widely spaced or old bolts. Climbers can choose between steep 3D climbing and delicate slab climbing.
- Limestone: On the outskirts of the Lake District, limestone outcrops are good places to practice trade skills if the weather is bad in the mountains. In addition to being smooth, shiny, limestone can also feel groggy when damp, although it usually dries quickly. Indoor climbers prefer this style of climbing because it offers a wide variety of uncut holds and vertical or gently overhanging climbs.
- Gabbro: It is best known for creating the Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. However, it also provides some excellent bouldering in the Northern Lake District at Carrock Fell. Cold conditions make all the difference when it comes to the rock shredder. As you get used to Gabbro’s style of climbing, there are often special sequences of moves that you need to figure out. Thus, try not to fret if the grades seem stiff at first. It is becoming easier to locate the small tracks between the boulders as the area becomes more popular, despite the boulders being scattered across the hillside.
- Invest In The Right Gear So You Do Not Waste Your Money On Rentals: The cost of renting gear each time you climb will push you into poverty. The best long-term investment is to purchase your own gear if you plan to climb for the foreseeable future. However, you do not need all the gear just yet. Most likely, you may not climb outdoors enough to justify spending hundreds of dollars on certain items.
These are what you need right now:
- Beginner climbing shoes
- Chalk bag
- Harness (sport climbing only)
- Belay device (sport climbing only)
- Locking carabiner (sport climbing only)
- Climbing brush (optional)
- Helmet (recommended if climbing outside, but not mandatory)
- Avoid Buying Gear You Do Not Need: Be patient and wait until you absolutely need it before you purchase it. You should also know that most climbers accumulate their gear over a long period. Everyone’s situation is different, but many new climbers may not need the majority of these things at first.
- Find a Partner in Climb: Getting started in sports can be intimidating, so get interested in joining a team with someone you know. Connect with your climbing gym’s other beginners and exchange numbers. In sport climbing, you will need a partner (or partners) as you will be required to belay one another. You can usually find someone to hold your weight once you are at the gym, but you will find that going to the gym is much easier if you have someone to go with you.
- Take Up a Climbing Class or Train with a Gym Group To Make Climbing a Routine: If you want to stick with climbing more and be serious about it, you can join a class or a training team at your gym.
The following blog walks you through the best ways to climb different types of rocks. To learn more, browse through the list of experiences, either instantly book your dates or enquire to book on Beyonk. All you have to do is turn up and enjoy! If you have any questions about any specific experience, send a message and our providers will aim to get back to you as soon as possible.