Thursday, 5 February 2009

Brilliant ice conditions

Yesterday I went for a milage day to try and finally throw off the flu. I started at Brown Cove crags and finished at Tarn and Falcon crag I climbed; Right Buttress Crack, left Buttress, Central Gully, Viking Buttress, V corner, Number 1 Gully, Nethermost Gully, Jogebar Gully, Thrash Corner, Rescue Groove, Ramp Route, Chock Gully, Dollywagon Chimney and Dollywagon Gully. The East Facing aspect is wind scoured and plastered in Neve. The last three routes I did for completeness I did do them the day before but they were in such good condition.

This afternoon I went for a speculative look at Inaccessible gully with Rich Ensoll, a route that I had wanted to do for a long time. It didn't disappoint and was in great condition. Featured ice, thin ice,. neve and overhanging chockstones all the ingredients for a classic route don't be fooled by the overall Grade IV rating.

That's 18 routes in three days. I don't really need to say that conditions are good. I've had reports that some of the easier angled buttress routes around bowfell aren't in great condition with unconsolidated snow and unfrozen snow.

If you're heading out for a walk you will need an axe and crampons and you will use them. There have been a lot of accidents over the last few days. There are big sheets of neve everywhere and you easily take a few hundred metre slip!!

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