What Exactly Is Scrambling?

Blacks Outdoors2 min readWalking

This summer, we want to encourage you to take on new challenges. Here, David from our Gateshead store tries to convince you to try your skills at scrambling.

Scrambling takes you into parts of the mountains others never get to see, you can gaze out across familiar landscapes with a whole new perspective, couple that with a great sense of achievement and it gives a new, fresh angle to a classic walk or hike.

What exactly is scrambling?

Any time you find yourself walking along particularly rocky terrain, the kind where you have to use your hands, you’re scrambling.

Scrambles grade from 1 to 3, with 3 being the hardest. After that you’re essentially climbing. So logically, grade one is the best place to start. It's best to do some research on the area you’re going to, find yourself an area to scramble and start packing.

What will you need?

For a classic grade one scramble, you won't need much more than you usually would for a day hill walking, there shouldn’t be any need for ropes or harnesses, just a head for heights and a sense of adventure.

As you move up to grade 2 and 3, the scrambles are a bit steeper, and a bit more challenging. A short climbing rope, a harness and the skills to use them can be wise to have just in case you need them. A decent pair of gloves are essential for protecting your hands and a helmet is vital, not just for if you slip or fall, but as protection from falling debris above.

Where to start?

Helvellyn’s Striding Edge in the Lake District is a grade one classic and one of the best in the region. It offers stunning views and the scramble is of decent length, it is well worth making a day of it.

Sharp Edge on Blencathra is also a classic route. Another grade one, but a bit more difficult than Striding Edge, nevertheless it makes for a great but quite short day out, which is great if you want to do a bit shopping in Keswick afterwards.

One of my personal favourite scrambling areas is Pinnacle Ridge on Saint Sunday's Crag. A grade three with great views of Ullswater and Helvellyn. The walk up to the ridge is quite tricky, and the scramble itself is not for the faint hearted.

Scrambling offers a more athletic and challenging alternative to hiking and is one of the most fulfilling activities to attempt in the hills. Getting into it is simple, find yourself a route, pack your camera and get yourself out there, and don't forget to let us know how it goes!

Have you had a go at scrambling? Do you want to find out more? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages now.


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