Blog Posts in Category: Winter Climbing

Alpine Striding Edge

After a brilliant day on Sharp Edge the day before we weren’t sure that we were going to be so lucky today. Thankfully when we were woken up we were treated to another crystal clear sky, although this did have the downside that it was -5 in the valley which had made the van a bit cold… After we had thawed out we started the walk in a little bit later than planned, which was unfortunate as we had planned to set off early to try and avoid meeting any unprepared people on the route. The start of the walk was very cold, but the ascent up Myers Beck soon warmed us up. As we ascended the view along Ullswater just kept getting better with the combination of the frosty valleys, sunlit heather slopes and snowy mountains. After the shady ascent up Myers Beck it was a relief to climb into the sun and see the first view of Helvellyn, and it just looked outstanding with it’s winter coat and the clear blue sky. We were soon on Striding Edge and decided to put our crampons on at the start,. Read the full article…

Alpine Sharp Edge

Last weekend and the start of this week was characterised by heavy rain and cold conditions in Bristol, which meant that in the Lake District the mountains were developing their first significant winter coat of the season. As the week continued a high pressure system started to build, so Becky and I decided to take a day off work and head up to the Lake District for a long weekend. On Friday morning we left Bristol at 6am hoping for a clear run up the M5 and M6 in order to get to the Lake District in time to climb Blencathra via Sharp Edge and descent via Hall’s Fell ridge. Thankfully we made good time, and by 11am we were in a lay by near the start of the walk into Sharp Edge with cold and and crystal clear blue skies. The walk in was beautiful leaving the green sunlit valley and climbing up in the warm sun, we soon arrived at the first col and left the sunlight behind and the temperature plummeted, but we were treated to a fantastic view of Sharp Edge being illuminated by the sun.. Read the full article…

Glovers Chimney

Armed with a good weather forecast we set off for Ben Nevis again with the aim of climbing Glovers Chimney, a route which I have been wanting to climb for a while. The walk in was beautiful with crystal clear skies, no wind and stunning views of the north face of Ben Nevis. Thankfully there was a path up into Coire na Ciste which saved a significant amount of energy, as trailbreaking up the approach slopes to Glovers Chimney was fairly tiring. Eventually we made it to the base of the route, unfortunately by this time the weather was starting to break as hill fog was starting to form. The first pitch was an ice pitch was fairly buried so it was unfortunately short, the ice wasn’t in brilliant condition. It was then time for the long snow slope in the middle of the two technical pitches, we completed this in two very long pitches and were soon at the base of the main chimney. From below it was looking very rimed up and icy. Once in the chimney I was not disappointed, the climbing was interesting and certainly wasn’t. Read the full article…

Minus Three Gully

Another early start this morning to head back to Ben Nevis in order to make the most of the brilliant ice conditions. I was pretty unhappy this morning with yet another early start, and when it was raining as we were in the car park my psyche levels were pretty low. By the time we were at the hut the weather had cleared but it was very cold in the wind. We headed up into Observatory Gully with an open mind, but having seen the minus gullies looking great we decided to go and have a look at Minus One Gully. I lead up the first pitch which was straightforward to start with, but I was soon stopped by vertical snow below the first belay which meant that I couldn’t get to the belay. The crux pitch looked thin but maybe climbable, but with only a rusty peg 10m below me I wasn’t willing to try and swim up vertical snow (never seen anything like it, in the photo look at the icicles hanging down for reference of angle). After a quick abseil back down the gully we came up with. Read the full article…