Reports - winter conditions and activity

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Alpine Lakes Unleashed!

Yesterday Tom and I went up to the Bowfell area.  We had a few options in mind for a days new routing depending how the conditions panned out...

On leaving the car park it was obvious that it was going to be one of those awesome Alpine days we occasionally get in the Lakes.  Due to wind and snow on Tuesday and having had a good freeze the crags were looking plastered, Bowfell Buttress was as white as I've seen it! It stripped very slightly in the sun but remained climbable and looking good all day.  There was some ice build up in places and the older scoured snow was hardening up well.  Today we are getting snow down to the valley in the east Lakes but the freeze line is due to rise and give rain to a fairly high level.  As long as things don't thaw too much this could be the start of a build of some really good conditions for a range of routes due to a steady freeze thaw cycle.  No others out climbing on the Bowfell crags yesterday, Helvellyn will likely have had some climbing and routes have been getting climbed there since the weekend and reports are that the conditions are good.  Also plenty of skiing going on on Raise and touring in that area.

Crinkle Crags looking plastered

Traverse Crags and the top of Bowfell Buttress catching the sun...

Plenty of trail breaking on the climbers traverse, Bowfell looking great despite a very slight strip in the sun.


We tried something new yesterday which was going well, with all the hard climbing more or less completed I was placing some gear and heard the clanking of a tool disappearing down the crag, I'd knock my axe out of the hook I'd left it in... with no option for getting stable to get it sent back up I was forced to accept failure and lower off....  I like a quote that I heard the other day that said 'success is going from one failure to the next without loosing enthusiasm for what your doing', so I applied this to the situation!

 Back on terra firma after a dropped axe spoiled the fun!

All in all though it was a great day out with good climbing and perfect conditions, lets just hope things shape up now for a full on Lakeland winter!

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