I’ve been wanting to climb on the Langdale Boulders for years. Ever since I moved from mostly climbing trad to mostly bouldering, they have been on my list of places to climb. Famous, iconic and right in the heart of one of the Lake District’s most beautiful valleys. The Langdale Boulders are one of those places I’d seen pictured in climbing magazines, in guidebooks, and on the wall of the café in one of my local bouldering walls. My climbing trip to the Lakes gave me the perfect opportunity to go. A weather forecast of intermittent showers on my last day of the trip also meant that climbing at a venue with a two-minute walk-in seemed like a sensible idea.
The Langdale Boulders really didn’t disappoint. A gorgeous location, with views of the fells, and entertaining climbing. There was a great crack climb on the Top Block that I really enjoyed, and a tricky blunt arete on the Bottom Block that I was pleased with myself for completing.
The one downside to my visit was that a few of the easier problems were still damp from earlier rain, and so I ran out of problems to try in my grade range. I decided to head over to the Blake Rigg Boulders in Little Langdale.
Unlike the Langdale Boulders, this is somewhere I’d not heard of before reading the guidebook, but the guidebook description was appealing. It describing the Blake Rigg Boulders as a minor, but easily accessible circuit, in a scenic location, with good landings, low-grade problems, and rough rock. I found that was true.
Getting to the Blake Rigg Boulders involved the (sometimes steep) drive to the car park by Blea Tarn on the broad saddle between Great Langdale and Little Langdale. I then walked around the bottom edge of Blea Tarn, with its great views of Pike of Blisco. The bouldering is on two boulders a few minutes’ walk south of the tarn. One boulder sits on a rise on one side of a stream, while the other sits on a rise on the other side. I chose the East boulder because it looked slightly easier to get to. It was a great boulder of rough rock, with a really fun problem going up its stubby nose.
I might have tried out the West Boulder, but the wind was getting strong enough to lift my main bouldering pad off the ground and it was starting to rain. I quickly packed up my stuff and headed back to the car, pausing occasionally to enjoy the views.
3 thoughts on “Langdale Bouldering”
What made you change from trad to bouldering? lack of partners? getting more climbs in in a day?
Mainly lack of opportunities to do trad climbing. I think you really have to do a steady, regular amount of trad climbing to be good at it. If you don’t, not only is it more likely that the trad grade you climb at will go down, you also become less practiced, and so less quick / efficient as a trad climber. My opportunities to do trad climbing were reduced by other commitments, not living close to trad climbing venues, and getting rained on when I did try to go climbing. Bouldering is more flexible. It’s easy to practice at a climbing wall, and it’s more forgiving discipline in relation to gaps in climbing on real rock. However, I probably wouldn’t have started moving more into bouldering if it weren’t for starting a family, as it is considerably more straightforward to go bouldering with young kids than it is to do trad climbing.
Good point about the kids and very true!