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Picco Harrison Integrale
The beauty of being a member of a big climbing group like yorkclimbers.com is that you meet a lot of climbers who are members of the big national clubs who own a network of climbing huts. This allows us the usage of basic reasonably priced accommodation as and when we require it.
The weather this week had been dire but George and I had spotted a gap in the persistent rain, the only decent day of the week was Friday.
Thursday night we pulled into Raw Head in the rain normal for the Lake District, as usual the superb Fell and Rock Climbing Club (FRCC) hut was almost empty with only two people rattling round it all week so we have a couple of beers, supper and the usual late night conversation.
Our objective for the next day is combination route known as ‘The Picco Harrison Integrale’ here is a description from the Langdale climbing guidebook.
“For a real mountaineering day after the Scout crag routes take in the routes on Upper & Lower White Ghyll continue across for a route on Pavey Ark (Tarn Crag optional)followed by a contour round to the West face of Harrison Stickle and a route to the Summit in the evening sun. This will give you 1400 feet of easy rock to the final summit with hardly any descent on the route.”
As we have a big day planned we wake early to find it’s still raining, kill time with a hearty breakfast of sugar puffs and coffee, by eight o’clock it’s looking promising as forecasted so we set off with one fifty metre half rope and a chopped down rack of climbing gear.
The steep almost vertical crags soon dry of in the warm sunshine and by the time we arrive at our first destination Lower Scout Crag it’s very climbable First route is called ‘Cub Groove’ graded Very Difficult (VD) highly polished and very little gear, being close to the road this venue has been trashed over the years by countless guided groups.
The second route on Upper Scout Crag is called ‘Route One’ another VD very pleasant linked two pitches into one fifty meter run out, we then traversed the hillside into the next port of call White Ghyll.
Here we had a big choice of routes an opted for ‘Slab Route One’ graded Severe (S) and something I have not done before, the guide book describes it in four pitches so I lead it in two to save time, once again a very pleasant route.
Traverse across to Tarn Crag and ascend another ‘Route One’ graded Difficult (D) but felt more like a scramble, up to Pavey Ark and I am feeling the need for something a bit more interesting but George announces he is tiring so we opt for ‘Crescent Climb’ Moderate (M), two pitches and we follow the hordes up the classic scramble Jakes Rake.
Our route continues with a traverse around to the south west face Harrison Stickle, George is fading fast and wondering where the hell I am taking him, this crag is a bit of adventure climbing and I am requested to find the easiest way up. We do a variation of ‘Porphyry Slab’ another VD, three pitches and it deposits us a few meters below the summit of Harrison Stickle our final objective for the day.
A long descent back to a now empty Raw Head , cook a meal, cough up a fiver for the night and drive home knackered and contented that we made the most of the day because its going to rain again tomorrow.