A strong NW wind overnight had plastered snow onto Gimmer, I had intended to climb Gimmer crack which will be in good condition but on arriving at the crag the Alphabet face was looking in good condition, this is a rare occurrence.
We climbed easy ground from the foot of Bracket and Slab to gain Ash tree ledge. This was nice easy mixed climbing. We then climbed the forked lightening crack of D route in 2 pitches the step left under the roof on the first pitch giving the technical crux and the top crack pitch giving brilliant climbing in a great position. It was both harder and more sustained than Bowfell Buttress and I would argue a better quality climb if that is possible. The turf was good and there were even bits and pieces of useful water ice on the rock
The wind has scoured slopes facing NW and we had crampons on back to the car. I was surprised to see no ice in Dungeon Ghyll.
Dave Birkett climbed one of the Wasdale Screes Gullies today.
I would be very wary of the Helvellyn head wall, there is some windslab about.
I was quite disappointed to get back in the daylight and didn't get a chance to have a go with my new headtorch, maybe next time..