A FREE-climber tackled 100 extreme Lake District crags in one day to pay ‘homage’ to the area he grew up in.

Widely regarded as Britain's top all-round rock climber, James McHaffie, who was brought up in Borrowdale, took on 2,976m of rock climbing in a 19 hour period.

Inspired by climbing legend Ron Fawcett, who soloed 100 climbs in the Peak District in 1986, the idea for the challenge had been bubbling away at the back of the 33-year-old’s mind since 1999.


James, who now lives in North Wales, said: “I was deeply touched by the level of support given by people both on the day and in congratulations afterwards on what I’d seen as a personal pilgrimage through some great memories of the Lake District.

“Some climbs were big, some were tiny, some were clean, some were filthy but all were in the most fantastic landscape.

“When I was a teenager most of my climbing involved soloing on the cliffs in the Lake District. I was keen to pay homage to the Lake District in the same way Ron did in the Peak District.”

Starting at 3.40am on the day of the summer solstice, June 21, the longest day of the year, James took on Central Buttress, on Scafell, before running across the Lakes covering, among others, Piers Gill Crag, Sergeant Crag Slabs, Neckband Crag, Heron Crag, Shepherds Crag and Pavey Ark.

It wasn’t until 10.15pm that James finished after completing Angel’s Highways on Castle Rock, near Keswick.

“I knew it would involve moving fast, recovering well and having lots of endurance which all play to my style of climbing,” he said.

“There were a few challenges such as finding a suitable route through the Lakes.

“Thanks a lot to everyone involved before, during and after for having some faith in a somewhat out there idea.

“If you get the chance go and climb in the Lakes.”

PHOTOS by Henry Iddon

The 100 crags

Central Buttress, Heatwave 95, Shaun & Haley, Sleeping with the Stars, Piers de Piece, Wheel of Misfortune, Fastburn, Gillete Direct,Razor Crack, Gandalf’s Groove Direct, Sweeney Todd, Cut Throat, Aragorn, Intern, Gimmer String, Capella, Poker Face, The Confidence Man,The Future’s Bright, Slab Ridge and Arête

Nibble Nibble, Bright Beck Corner, Confusion Wall, The Tinkerer, Little Jack, Asphasia, Quicksilver, Holly Tree Crack, Deathstroke, Between the Lines, Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now, Flamingo Fandango, Big Foot, The Question, Little Corner, Barefoot, Joie Pur, Traverse of the Frogs, Amistad con el Diablo, Bleak How Buttress, Cellulite, Cholesterol Corner, Supermodel, Reassuringly Stocky, Praying Mantis

The Sting, Paint it Black, Zombie in the Dark, One Across, Fuel Crisis, Driving Ambition, Desmond Decker, Rough Justice, Sudden Impact, Red Neck, Mule Train, Black Icicle, Porcupine, Hippos Might Fly, Straight and Narrow, Grasp, Poop & Clutch, MGC, Shanna, Aaros, PS, North Buttress, Imago, Jaws, Conclusion, Brown Crag Grooves, White Noise, Rack Direct

Rack Finger Flake, Water Torture, Bold Warrior, Gibbet, Guillotine, Gauntlet, Widowmaker, Mort, Balancing Act, Light Fantastic, Pussy Galore, Munich Agreement, Optional Omission, Nightmare Zone, Berlin Wall, Stranger to the Ground, Rogue Herries, Mackanory, Green Eggs and Ham, Reward, Romantically Challenged, Pinnacle Wall, Final Giggle, Harlot’s Face, Thirlmere Eliminate, Wingnut, Angels Highway.