Friday, 16 March 2007

Nils Nielson On Darth Vader VII 8
Blair Fyffe on FWA The Knuckleduster VIII 9

Nick Bullock on Fantasia Mont Maudit

I've been back in the Lakes now for just over a week after having a great climbing trip. I managed to get a couple of routes done in the Alps before heading back for three weeks in Scotland.

Highlights of the trip included, a rare ascent of Fantasia per ghiaccatore on the Mont Maudit, with Nick Bullock, this a series of nice thin icy runnels with mixed steps in between. The day was only spoilt by my inability to ski back on my very short skis in my climbing boots. I did however manage to just about keep up with Nick on foot as he skied back. After the Alps a rapid single push trip back to Scotland was made.

My first day out saw a broken climbing partner due to very high winds. A couple of days later after teaming up with Blair Fyffe I made the first winter ascent of the Knuckleduster, It was very hard. The climbing was amazing with both hard and very exposed sections. For a full account by Blair see the Alpinist web site.

One day I climbed 12 routes on the Ben: Garadh Gully, Cascade, Comb Gully, Green Gully, Two Step Corner, Number Three Gully Buttress, Thompsons Route, South Gully, Central Gully, Central Gully Right Hand, The Gift/North Gully LH finish and Ledge Route. I think I like moving fast over easier ground more than climbing hard technical routes.

I had a Great week climbing with my Dad, climbing Ben Nevis classics such as Point Five, Smiths andTower Ridge

I then took part in the BMC International Meet where I climbed with a couple of very Good Norwegian Climbers Nils and Bjorn. With Nils I had a very good last day of the meet Climbing Darth Vader, The Sorcerer (a new VII 8) and the Grade VII 7 corner above Thompsons route. We Climbed all but one day of the meet but two good days on the Ben made the week.

I rounded my climbing holiday off with a perfect day in the Loch Avon Basin with a sunshine ascent of Route Major
Over the last week I have been coming to terms with being back at work, Langdale is not that bad though. Watch this space as it is set to turn cold over the weekend, with any luck the Lakes will get another taste of winter.

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