Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Friday, 19 October 2012

Scrambling. Nitting Haws

With: Glyn Mitchell

Weather: A mild showery autumn day, when the sun shone it was very pleasant

Where: Borrowdale, Lake District

Derwent Water from Kettlewell - Looking Good

Days out with Glyn (who is In2venture's Technical Advisor for all things mountains) are always a highlight - his love of the mountain environment is infectious; his coaching excellent and company first class! Yesterday morning we met at Kettlewell on Derwent Water, the aim of the day was to progress my personal rope work & leadership on steep ground skills to something a little higher than the standard needed at the Mountain Leader award. 

Given the unsettled weather forecast we switched our venue from the planned Pinnacle Ridge to Nitting Haws. The scrambling at Nitting Haws is described in several publications including:

Scrambles in the Lake District Volume 2: Northern Lakes

50 Best Scrambles in the Lake District 50 Best Scrambles in the Lake District

Depending on which book and which edition the scramble is graded from 1* through 2 to 2*

After leaving a car at Kettlewell we drove on to Grange, a place I have often driven past but never stopped at before, which is unfortunate and will now change, as it is well worth a visit. We got ready, full waterproofs from the outset and headed off along the road following the sign to Hollows Farm. Through the camping field beyond the Yurts is a stile on to rough fell, A short distance saw us amongst the rocky slabs & outcrops that mark the beginning of the scrambling. Harnesses, & helmets on; rope & metal work sorted - time to start.

This is not really the place to describe the route of the scramble, it is well covered in the two books referred to above, save to say that after a series of rocky slabs and steps the main event is the section shown in the picture above where the route proceeds around the holly trees just to the left of centre of the photograph,

We spent the morning looking at kit; considering movement i.e. where to put your feet; spotting; verbal coaching; confidence roping; moving together on the rope; selection of belays; body belays; direct belays; use of slings; nuts; knots; ascent; descent; traversing & how to keep it all slick!! A good few hours passed in no time and we finally made off the buttress when a longer period of rain set in.

All good - thoroughly enjoyable!!


  1. Looks good. Glad you're seeing the light and spending a bit more time above ground - couple of years too late for me to make the most of it with you.

  2. Hey Paul
    Yeh. Being off-centre has made life a lot more flexible in some ways. Would love to get out with you & generally have good availability at the moment. Think you would like the route above (have you done it?).
    Not sure whether I have your email on my home system but will try to get you directly. If not please message me (email address is on the contact page of this blog). Take care, Mal