BLOG: Shepherds – the Marmite crag by Dave Sarkar


Dave Sarkar making the bold start on the excellent HVS Delight Maker, Shepherds Crag.


Shepherds, you either love it or you hate it. I have mates that loathe and despise it, but just like Marmite I love it. Is it the fact that it’s dry in the wettest valley in England? Is it the great cafe underneath it? Is it because it’s all of 4 minutes to get to?

It’s all those, but mostly I love the shear variety of routes on offer. It’s not popular for nothing – I’ve taken the kids to Browns Slabs, On sighted E2’s and E3’s, top roped (but neglected to lead) E6 and done loads of brilliant HVS’s. It has something for everyone and there will be very few weekends during the year when no-one is there, unless it’s raining of course.

Saturday saw us arrive at 9.45am to find the car park filling up fast! The Airforce MRT were there so we could safely throw ourselves at everything with wild abandon and there wasn’t a wet streak to be found anywhere! We did several routes at HVS/E1 of which Delight Maker HVS was the best. A cracking route that goes in between Adam and Eve tacking in some very bold climbing with spaced, but good gear. Nowhere hard, just a steady and confident head needed, easpeciall at the start of the 2nd pitch where bold climbing up an arete leads to some great slab climbing.

I am beginning to run out of routes at HVS – E2 here, so we moved on over to Quayfoot Buttress to climb Crypt Direct E1 5b.

Sunday saw us run away from Yew Crag Knotts in Buttermere due to cold (I’ll be back though as it has a great bunch of super looking E1’s) and a quick couple of hours at Castle Rock, where we continue the bold slab climbing theme by doing Gazebo HVS 4c. All felt very autumnal. Winter’s coming!

Essential kit list

Helmet – Black Diamond Tracer

Shoes – Boreal Storm

Cams – DMM 4CU

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