Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Climbing and Skiing

It's been a bit of a gap since I've posted anything - I was away skiing last week but have also got a (little) bit of winter climbing done.

I went to Brown Cove Crags with Steve a couple of weeks ago - another Lakes winter crag that I'd never been to before. The weather was wild and forecast to get wilder but Steve needed a haircut so we didn't get away until mid-morning. After a bit of a plod up in to the mirk on the Helvellyn path we reckoned that we were at the right spot to traverse in to the crag. There followed a traverse across a scree slope with legs disappearing down large holes with a bit of a descent to get round the toe of the first buttress.

We settled on Right Buttress Crack, a grade III, which proved easy apart from a squirm round a chockstone halfway up the main pitch. The route is a lot longer than given in the guide with three pitches of close to 60 metres and the other a good 40 metres. It was by now very wild on top and it was fortunate that the descent path was close by.

By the time we got back to the car there was about 6 or 7cm of fresh snow. I then made the mistake of turning left out of the car park and heading back over Dunmail Raise. It seems that despite the last two winters UK drivers still haven't learnt how to drive in snow and we spent some time sitting around waiting for people to get up very shallow slopes. At least we had our flasks with us! After two hours we had only got to Newby Bridge (the Windermere road was solid with stuck cars) and it was another 2 1/2 hours before we got home.

Last week we had a week's skiing based in Morzine. Good snow with reasonable weather but I came back with yet more injuries having pulled a muscle in my shoulder/back and rather bizarrely getting thwacked in the head by the foot rest of a chairlift that hadn't properly returned to the up position. Fortunately I didn't do any obvious damage to my knees or legs.

It now looks as if winter is over for a while with temperatures rising to over 15C, time to get training for summer.

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