Friday, 26 March 2010

Mixedmaster moves house

In anticipation of a return to more wintery conditions the mixedmaster blog has now moved to the slightly more luxurious surroundings of the Epicentre Website. Coming soon I will have a weather station and web cam to add my conditions reports from out on the fells. I will also update the Epicentre facebook site and twitter with up to the minute lakes climbing conditions.

I look forward to more climbing in the future.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Sun Burn.

I've been a bit busy over the last week and haven't been doing my duties to winter climbing conditions justice. Last Monday I climbed Botterills Slab, a route I had wanted to climb for a long time it was certainly worth the wait and lived up to my expectations. Great thin ice climbing.

Mid week last week saw new snow fall on the old neve, initially this snow must have been quite cold and then it became slightly warmer and wetter,a reasonable accumulation of the wetter snow created some classic slab avalanche conditions.

Saturday was very warm with the freezing level shooting above the tops, this consolidated the snow pack and a heavy frost on Saturday night has given great snow ice in the classic gullies, Moss Ghyll is great and the Great End gullies are in fantastic condition. The last two days I have been working on my sun tan climbing at Great End.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

25 years on.

25 years after it's first ascent myself and Paddy Cave made what we believe to be the second winter ascent of Moss Ghyll Grooves on Monday.

The Slabs were very icy as were all the cracks, we climbed the corners only venturing onto the slabs where necessary.

It was quite a bit harder and more serious than the V 6 that Brian gave it in the new guide and considerably harder than the IV 4 that he originally gave it.

The snow conditions around the apron of the crag and in Deep Ghyll weren't too bad given the news of avalanches in the press this may well have changed with the new dump of snow. Buttress routes may be the order of the day until things settle down a bit.

The Cascade on the Shamrock is still massive and sporting two continental looking ice columns.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Weekend Conditions

I was climbing at Great End yesterday. All of the gullies were in condition as were the buttresses, a layer of wet new snow was sitting over the hard neve but everything seemed fairly stable. The freezing level was above the top of Great End for a time yesterday which was only helping the consolidation of the new snow. Today has once again been cold and clear, it has been quite warm in the sun. Ice is starting to form again at all levels but the higher you go the better things will be.

Bowfell buttress was looking to be in good condition today. For ice I would probably head to scafell this weekend.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Another Cold Week

Yet another cold week is over and the forcast is for still more cold weather next week. Paddy Cave has been out on Scafell over the last few days, climbing some of the classics, Botterills and Moss Ghyll as well as a great sounding new route on Deep Ghyll Buttress today. The ice has mostly gone from the East Buttress.

Hellvelyn and Great End are both giving good outings for classic gullies.

I've been making the most of great conditions married with sunshine on the Ben with a flying visit to link up a few routes on Wednesday. Some thin ice about but if you choose yor route carefully then it is in amazing condition. Orion was in the best condition I've done it in and Point 5 was probably climbable without ice axes (just hold on to the steps).

Skye looks to be in condition for a Ridge Traverse.

Have a good weekend.

Saturday, 30 January 2010


I've been at Scafell with my Dad today. A lot of snow had gone since I was last there but it had consolidated. I climbed Moss Ghyll again, it was in very different condition to a few weeks ago. The snow was consolidated and there was ice at the Collie Step, I followed the summer line threading behind the chockstone this was the secret to making the Collie step a lot easier than last time. The sunshine also helped to make things a bit more pleasant. After Moss Ghyll, we descended Deep Ghyll and Lords Rake and then climbed Steep Ghyll. It is always nice to climb classic routes in good condition.

There were quite a few parties out today. Pisgah Buttress seemed popular as did the Cascade on the Shamrock. There was a thin sliver of ice running down Botterils Slab, which looked like it would offer good sport.

It would have been a good day for someone to repeat the Girdle Traverse.....

Friday, 22 January 2010

Weekend Conditions

Last night I had a quick trip up to Brown Cove crags and Helvellyn. I climbed one of the easy gullies on Brown Cove, Viking Buttress, Number one Gully and V corner. The freezing level was at the top of Brown Cove and rising throughout the evening, a cold E wind was blowing. Viking buttress was well hoared. The snow in the gullies was nice and firm. Today the freezing level has been above the tops but it has come back down and it will freeze tonight. Gullies and easier buttress routes high up will give some good conditions throughout the weekend. I would recommend going to Helvellyn or Great End to be sure of finding conditions.