Wednesday, 12 March 2014

12 March............Red Tarn Cove climb

We've gone through several days of freeze and thaw cycles so a closer inspection of the climbs in Red Tarn Cove were my objective of the day.

After a clear night with temperatures well below freezing and an Alpine start (6.45am) I was confident the snow on the face would be solid enough to climb, some evidence of previous slides down the gullies had actually compacted the surface and made for an easy ascent.  Some good neve was to be found in the places that the sun doesn't get to.

As the sun warmed the surface it became soft very quickly and I was glad to summit before the full force of the suns started to make a very noticeable difference.

The large double fracture line around the summit was evidence of the previous warm days, and were the cornice has overhangs it's only a matter of time and before they go for a big slide.

 Catsty Cam.....The main gully line is full all the way,
 Red Tarn Cove........
No:1 Gully is not complete in the middle
No:2 Gully is almost most complete with just a short section of turf (frozen at 8am) in the middle
 No 1 and No 2 gullies

  No 1 and No 2 gullies

No 2 gully (left finish looking thin in places)
 No 2 gully slay in the shade for the best snow
 Looking down No 2

 Nethermost and Dollywagon
 Summit fractures
  Summit fractures Brown Cove
  Summit fractures Brown cove

 Brown Cove Crags (left and right parallel gullies looked complete)
 Crevasse near the ski tow

Sunday, 2 March 2014

1st March...........St Sunday Crag and Fairfield

Great winter walking conditions to do the Deepdale round, over St Sunday, Cofa Pike, and Fairfield.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Fri 28th Feb....Brown Cove Crags and Helvellyn

Brown Cove Crags

Cornice on Right Parallel BCC

Swirrel Edge Exit Ramp

St Sunday and Striding Edge

Nethermost Gully and Striding Edge

At the top of No:1 Gully Red Tarn Cove

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sat 22nd Feb...............Harter Fell recce....

The end of the week has seen a significant thaw on the Fells and the snow has retreated back up the mountains.  The remaining snow is slushy to say the least and we didn't encounter anything that would be solid enough to climb on, even with a high wind chill the air temperature was well above freezing.

All of the gullies we saw had suffered from avalanche release, .......

Harter Fell Y gully, and Arrow Head Buttress

Harter Fell....Little Harter Gully

Harter Fell Gully

Over Harter Fell

Hawes Water

Small Water Crag

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Sunday 16th Feb.............finally winter climbing in the Lakes

A very brief interlude in the freaky winter weather allowed us to take a trip into Brown cove Crags.
Climbing conditions weren't ideal with soft snow and unfrozen turf making the going sketchy in places, but the gullies were full, so i took Peter on his first 2014 winter climb up Central Gully, followed by an unsuccessful ascent of Left Branch" and finished wit a quick run up the Right Parallel Gully.

Left Branch, Central Gully and Broad Gully
Central Gully

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Sunday 9th Feb........A black and white day in the Dales

With the poor weather showing no signs of improving I set off into the Dales with little hope or expectation of getting any descent images, but on such a wild and bleak day the Dales are in their most uncompromising mood and can be even more photogenic than usual.

I was struck by the wild open power of the moors and the way that man has tried to force train lines, roads and telephone lines across a such desolate landscape.

Yew Cougar Scar above Arncliffe
This image (above), taken from about a mile away, of an enormous water fall coming out from underground is very unusual.  These falls are usually completely dry and will only run after a very long and heavy spell of rain and are a testament to the amount of rain we've had over the last few months.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Glen Coe and Ben Nevis ....winter climbing at last

A fantastic 2 days climbing in Scotland with Mountain Motion guide Richard Bentley last week. Both days we practiced belay building and rope work to help us lead routes and bring others up safely.  Richard climbed along side us supervising our technique and made the climbs look very simple.

With lots of powder loading the slopes Richard took us onto the ridges to minimise any avalanche risk, we still had to do some wading and swimming through the deep stuff to get to the bottom of the climbs, but once on the ridges progress was much easier.

Day 1:  Climbing on the Ben on the Douglas Boulder (South West Ridge).  This is a 180m climb at about grade 3 with a short abseil off the end into the Douglas Gap.

Day 2:  Climbing in Glen Coe, a steep walk in to climb Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115m) via a mixed route called Boomerang Arete.  Two hard pitches to start with (lead by Richard)  made the going tough but once we passed this  the climb was on neve and ice and the progress was a lot easier.  The summit of SCnL is small and has that perfect mountain feel to it, a few photos a quick drink and  an easy descent through powder down Broad Gully to the walk out ............. another great day :)

Central Buttress (SCnL)

South, Central, and North Buttresses (SCnL)

Stob Coire nan Lochan summit 

Descending to North Gully (SCnL)