Review: Scrambles in the Lake District South by Brian Evans. Published by Cicerone. £14.95

ON the BBC radio programme “Excess Baggage” broadcast in June 2005 my good friend Peter Linney from Knaresborough, who was the Wainwright Society Secretary at the time, was climbing Skiddaw in the Lake District with Sandi Toksvig the programme’s presenter, mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington and broadcaster and writer Muriel Gray.

During one of their conversations in the programme, Peter mentioned that there are three types of outdoor enthusiasts – Ramblers, Scramblers and Danglers!

Ramblers are walkers who stick to mainly recognised paths in the countryside and on the fells, scramblers often deviate from these routes and take to crags on the fells or gills by streams and danglers ore those such as Sir Chris who climb rock faces using ropes and safety aids.

This updated book by Brian Evans (first published in 1982) is for this middle group of scramblers and features 126 scrambling routes in Southern Lakeland. The book covers eight areas; Langdale, Easdale, The Coniston Fells, Duddon Valley, Eskdale, Kentmere, Longsleddle and The Howgill Fells.

The routes are described valley by valley and have a map reference referring to the start of each route. They are also graded from 1 to 4, with grades 3 and 4 usually requiring a rope to be carried and used on some part of the scramble. For the route descriptions themselves there are sketches of the crags or gills showing the route to be followed and there are a number of full colour photos included as well.

Prior to the routes themselves, there are pages on What is Scrambling; Dangers; Equipment and Rope Techniques; Scrambling Techniques; Types of Scramble; Conservation Awareness; Using the Guide; The Routes; Access Conservation and Bird Restrictions. This final section is included as often there are nesting birds on the crags where the routes are located.

There are two appendices at the end of the book, the first being an alphabetical index of the routes and the second a star grading allowing the reader to see which routes the author considers to be the finest.

Brian Evans has been a writer and outdoor enthusiast for many years and has five other Lake District Guides to his name. This revised book by him brings up to date these scrambles in the southern part of the Lake District and is an absorbing read for anyone who loves this part of the UK even for non-mountaineers.

by John Burland