Today, with a bright and warm start, I headed up with Mike who I had introduced to climbing in Wales a few weeks ago for some mountain cragging. And what a day. At points I needed to remind myself that I was on a route in the lakes and not the Alps. Change the Wasdale valley for a glacier and it would have looked the part.
We first headed up Needle Ridge directly behind Napes Needle. With a polished and steep first pitch the ridge then became thinner and more broken. We wound our way round the pinnacles and over the steeper sections and after about 5 pitches we were at the top of the harder climbing. I then shortened the rope and we short roped along the rest of the thin ridge and round some exposed sections and onto the saddle between the descent gullies. A great Alpine like route.
We then descended down the gully towards the sphinx rock and then headed up Arrowhead ridge. The first pitch was steep and exposed with a small belay. The second pitch was a delicate traverse across a steep face and then to the arrowhead with another small belay. Above the arrowhead the ridge became more broken and a few pitches later we were weaving our way along past more spires and rocky steps to the top.