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The Wanderer - Issue#06 - June 2013
UK map The Altitude Edition Dear member,

This month we're casting our eyes upwards in search of climbs and walks that will literally take your breath away! In Britain we have a wealth and variety of rock faces, crags and boulders that can challenge everybody from new beginners to seasoned veterans. Luckily, YHA's network of hostels is superbly placed to help you make the most of each of them.

So, before you pack your chalk and your non-stick shoes, read on to find out a few of our favourites. Or take a look back over any of our previous editions here.
YHA Hathersage
YHA Hathersage YHA Hathersage YHA Hathersage is situated in a bustling Derbyshire village popular with fans of outdoor activity breaks, literature lovers and history buffs alike. It's just what you want from Peak District accommodation – cosy, comfy and perfectly placed for hiking and climbing.

This Victorian house sits on the edge of the White Peak Way circular walk, overlooked by Stanage Edge; the rocky rim of what was once a gigantic dome of millstone grit and is now a climber's and boulderer's heaven. At approximately 4 miles in length and 458m at its highest point, Stanage Edge is the largest of the gritstone cliffs, and probably the most renowned. These days the unique moorland scenery is as popular with location hunters as it is with climbers. It was used as a location in the blockbuster 2005 Pride and Prejudice film with Keira Knightley, as well as BBC's production of Jane Eyre in 2006.

Of course, with more crags than an ageing rockers face, the Peak District isn't short of great climbing spots. There are more than 10,000 recorded climbs (and growing every year), so whether you're an enthusiastic beginner or world-class athlete, you're never far from your next adventure.

Plus, if the weather changes, it's also good to know that the hostel is only 700 metres away from the station on the Manchester to Sheffield train line. Get your adrenalin kick by heading to Climbing Works in nearby Sheffield – a great place to build up your skills and confidence in a safe (and warm) environment.

Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Rich Discover more

YHA Llanberis

Head for heights Originally an old quarry master's house, YHA Llanberis Hostel boasts stunning views of Snowdon summit, the surrounding mountains and Padarn Lake and Country Park. With cooked breakfasts, a packed lunch and hearty evening meals, there's all you need to power you through a day on Britain's highest mountain.

Britain's third highest mountain also happens to be our favourite. At 3,560ft, Snowdon (or Yr Wyddfa, meaning "the throne" in Welsh) has been captivating tourists eager to prove themselves and say "I did it" since at least the 1780s. Even Sir Edmund Hillary and his team trained here before their Everest expedition in 1953. These days though, thousands of people conquer Snowdon each year.

There are six main routes to choose from, of which Llanberis Path is the most popular, and some say the easiest. Setting off straight from the hostel it takes roughly 3-4 hours to reach the top, taking in some of the shapeliest of British hills and the Clogwyn Du'r Arddu syncline (a remarkable geological feature formed over thousands of years) along the way. Adrenaline junkies enjoy it here too; the annual Snowdon Race, which uses this route, has been completed in a record time of less than 40 minutes from start to summit!

Everything a climber could wish for is right here in this relatively small area: mountains, crags, sea cliffs, hundreds of traditional climbing routes, plus sport climbing too. And, if you're all out of steam, you can even let the Snowdon Mountain Railway do the work for you. Based on German and Swiss engineering practice, the railway has helped visitors to save their legs and reach the peak from Llanberis station at the mountain's foot since 1896.

Insider tips from Hostel Manager, janet Discover more

YHA Llanberis
Crib Goch Featured article:
Morning on Crib Goch Ben Lerwill on the inspiring Crib Goch, close to the Llanberis Hostel
Crib Goch, early on a still morning. The air is crisp, and the sun sits low in a clear blue sky, spilling light and warmth over the Snowdon Massif. To be here, to breathe this air, to see these mighty slopes and ridges in their silent morning finery, to look around at the peaks and see not a soul but your friends: these are gifts. They're reasons why hillwalking holds such reward; and all the more so when the experience is spiced up by an element of scrambling.
There's a visceral thrill to using both hands and feet to haul yourself up masonry. Scrambling is required to get up to Crib Goch, as well as to cross the arĂȘte itself. Snowdon is a mountain of many assets, but perhaps chief among them is the fact that it provides so many routes up and down its slopes. Like Wales in general, it's adept at catering for everyone from novice walkers to skilled climbers.
By Ben Lerwill.

See more on adventure holidays in Wales in the latest issue of The Great Outdoors and online at www.tgomagazine.co.uk. All YHA members get 15% off subscription to TGO when you quote TGOYHA13
Crib Goch is a Grade 1 scramble and not for the faint-hearted. There is considerable exposure. Great care and experience is needed.
That's Ben's adventure, now we'd love to see yours. Send your photos to [email protected] for your chance to feature in one of our upcoming Wanderer newsletters.
walking on the beach Reach new heights with Cotswold Outdoor When approaching any climb, be it free climbing, solo climbing, via ferrate or mountaineering, having the right gear is paramount. At Cotswold Outdoor, the UKs largest climbing retailer, you can be sure you're well equipped with kit you can trust.

Choose from over 250 top outdoor brands and use your 15% YHA discount in stores, online or over the phone.*
YHA Honister Hause
YHA Honister Hause YHA Honister Hause This former quarry workers' house at the summit of Honister Pass is a real rural retreat. Right next to the Honister slate mine, and with easy access to England's highest peaks, the hostel offers a perfect base for climbing or high level walking, especially up Great Gable and Dalehead.
What better place to rock climb than the place it all began, some 160 years ago? Follow in the founders footsteps as you test your skills on lofty mountain and deep-down valley crags in this beautiful and distinctive landscape. Both traditional and sport climbers of all skill levels are well catered for here; it's a joy to see them crouched and sprawled in impossibly heroic poses on every crag.
If you prefer to keep your feet on the ground there's a plethora of spectacular walks in the Lake District. The only difficulty is choosing which to take. If you're aiming high, then the summits of Great Gable, Dale head and Scafell Pike are all possible on foot from the hostel.
Equally spectacular journeys can be enjoyed on foot or by bike at the nearby lakes of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater. Borger Dalr, Borrowdale, is another fine option which achieved special mention from noted fell walker Alfred Wainwright who described it as "finest square mile in Lakeland." As you climb Castle Crag – the site of a hill fort some 2,000 years ago - and look across at some of the finest views imaginable, It's hard to disagree.
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Tim Discover more
YHA Alston
Pennine paradiseSet in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty overlooking the South Tyne Valley, this hostel is the perfect stop-over for walkers or cyclists on the Coast-to-Coast route; the Penine Way passes right by the front door.
YHA Alston is conveniently situated on the edge of Alston, England's highest market town at 300m above sea level. Its charming, steep cobbled streets and picture postcard looks are a favourite with outdoor enthusiasts and TV production crews alike; in 1999 the town was transformed into the fishing village of Bruntmarsh for ITV's Oliver Twist.
Yet, while Alston bustles with human activity and enterprise, Britain's greatest area of wilderness is never more than just a short stroll away. Well signposted paths lead out in all directions, pointing the way to heather clad moors, fells, valleys, and the South Tyne River. Feeling energetic? Follow the circular walk down to Garrigill (round trip approx 8 miles) which David Bellamy has claimed has the freshest air in England!
If you've made the most of the locally made specialities, such as Cumberland Mustard and prize winning vegetarian pasties (you really should!), it's good to know that Alston is also the starting point for the South Tynedale Railway – England's highest narrow gauge railway. Let the train take the strain on the three mile-and-a-half journey south from Alston over the Northumberland border. Once you've taken in the view, you may well be tempted to hike back on your return leg. It's well worth it; you'll be rewarded with the evocative earthwork remains of Whitley Castle, thought to have had the most elaborate defences of any fort in the Roman Empire.
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Phil Discover more
YHA Alston
YHA Pen-Y-Pass We need you Hostelling International is offering £25,000 to support one youth hostel in their mission to reduce CO2 emissions. We're delighted that our biomass boiler project at YHA Pen-Y-Pass in Snowdonia has made it to the shortlist: but now we need your help to secure the prize.

The eco project with the most votes wins. And we really want to win. So take a look at what we're doing and give us your support! Please vote for YHA (England & Wales) here before the 30th September 2013.
Inspired? It's not too late to getawayIf you're thinking of getting away this weekend – whether for a city break or a country
retreat – we have something for everyone. For some inspiration, click here.
YHA Day - 8th September
YHAs all over the country are flinging their doors open on September 8 – come and join us in celebrating. Packed with loads to do, from live music and treasure hunts to face painting and tours of the YHA, there's something for everyone.

Visit yha.org.uk/yhaday for more details..

Next Month:Young at heartNo longer the domain of mere youth, these days youth hostelling is for anyone who feels young at heart. So, next month we'll be taking a closer look at some of our favourite spots that guests of any age can enjoy. Over the hill? Nonsense. Soon you could be in the valley, by the lake, or along the scenic path.
Walking man
We're changing lives one stay at a time Because YHA is a charity, when you stay with us you're helping keep prices affordable, hostels beautiful and you're even enriching the lives of young people.
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