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You can’t miss this pub at the very end of the single-track road into Wasdale; it has the word ‘inn’ painted in huge black letters on its whitewashed gable end – & a welcome sight it is, too,
after the forbidding screes that make Wastwater so dramatic whatever the weather. Great Gable & Scafell Pike loom outside, while Bill Ritson’s legendary bar is a historic Mecca for climbers. It
was from here, in 1866, that Walter Parry Haskett-Smith scaled Napes Needle on Great Gable without ropes & is credited with establishing the sport of rock climbing. A warren of rooms is hung
with helmets, ropes & climbing gear, the walls are decorated with old maps & photographs, there are polished pews to sit on, & a generous helping of solid beer, food & warmth
complete the sense of refuge.
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