Bouldering: St. Bees

Just after a great day cragging in Eskdale and a glorious spell of warm sunny weather, the rain and cloud typically returned.

Characteristic graffiti carvings at St. Bees on the soft sandstone

I was gutted, rather naively setting my hopes on climbing in sunshine everyday in the Lake District – unlikely! However, after a few days of moping around, I took advantage of the late evening light and a lull in the drizzle to check out some bouldering at the South Head, St. Bees.

A perched block at South Head, St. Bees

I have to admit, I am not a fan of sandstone, finding it friable and dirty, but needs must, so I set out to explore under the characteristic red cliffs around the headland from the beach. After a bit of poking around here and there and a few lacklustre attempts, I found some good slabs, arêtes, and traverses to get the pump going and work on my footwork.

A good little cove for traversing training

I have to admit, it was quite enjoyable and I discovered some nooks and crannies for training that are almost on the doorstep. However, it is not exactly attractive, puffing and heaving under the dank, dripping cliffs, but certainly effective.

I will be back.


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