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Would you climb Napes Needle?

Napes Needle is a pinnacle of rock on Great Gable, which is one of the most impressive mountains in England’s Lake District.

The Needle presents a serious challenge to rock climbers, not only due to the dizzying prospect of standing on its summit, but because of the overhang that must be conquered before one reaches that point.

Indeed, it was the conquest of Napes Needle in 1886 by Walter Haskett Smith that virtually created the sport of sport climbing. There had been climbers before his time, but Haskett Smith’s example, and the publication of his book “Climbing in the British Isles” in 1894, encouraged others to take up the challenge and led to him being dubbed the “father of English rock climbing”.  

High crags and rock faces had long been admired for their grandeur, but now it became common for people to do more than simply look at them.

Napes Needle has been climbed thousands of times since Haskett Smith did so, although I – for one – have not been tempted. If I can’t walk to the top of a high hill with the aid of nothing more than a pair of stout boots, a map and compass, I’m just not interested!

(FYI – I did not take this photo, which has been taken from a copyright-free course)

  • Are you a rock climber?

    • Yes
    • No
  • Would you be tempted to climb Napes Needle?

    • Yes
    • No

What do you think?

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Written by Indexer

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5 Comments

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  1. wow.
    There is a rock in Wisconsin Dells Wisconsin that people used to climb like that. It has two distinct parts and those who were brave (or crazy) used to leap castle rock.

    I would prefer to photograph others that climbed thank you!

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