With the Jet Stream having a 'kink' in it which meant it was racing across the skies above Southern Spain, cold air from Northern Europe and strong Easterly winds were the major influence on the weather over the British Isles - bad news for most, but not if your wanting to get out on the mountains for some bonus winter routes!
|April in the Lake District from Blencathra.|
Arriving in the Lake District in cold, bright but breezy conditions I aimed to ascend to the summit of Blencathra via Hallsfell Top Ridge, which would give me a Grade I winter climb, and descend by the iconic Sharp Edge which would give me a Grade II climb for my Winter Mountain Leader log book. I would also have the option of descending via alternative routes should Sharp Edge look a bit 'dodgy'!
|Hallsfell Top and Blencathra in above the snow line.|
On along the ridge I took out my ice axe and put on my crampons before the path became too exposed and a slip would of been fairly terminal. Rime ice and small cornice's were evidence of the strong winds and freezing temperatures of the previous week or so.
|Looking back down Hallsfell Top.|
After taking a look at the route across Sharp Edge I felt it was do-able with some care, the main problem would be the winds though these were blowing along the ridge rather than at an angle across the ridge.
|Sharp Edge dropping from left to right.|
|the 'sharp' bit of Sharp Edge.|
|Sharp Edge in all its winter glory!|
I thoroughly enjoyed both ridges and the conditions made them all the more enjoyable by making them more challenging!
Snowdonia in the Snow- Following the my solo trip to the Lake District I made my way to Snowdonia to meet up with Brett Savage (Savage Adventures coming shortly!) to join him on a couple of winter routes in the Glyders.
Wednesday we decided to head up Glyder Fach by following Bristly Ridge to the summit (Grade II Winter) and descending by Y Gribbin (Grade I Winter). Making our way from Lyn Ogwen we were straight into the snow which steadily got deeper as we made our way up to Lyn Bochlwyd.
|Snow sculpture en route to Bristly Ridge.|
|Brett gets the 'man leg' out!|
|More 'man leg' from the Savage, with Tryfan in the background.|
|"Yes Brett, the sweet shop is down there!"|
It is worth mentioning that whilst leaving the summit we came across a group making their way up with a guide(?), non of the group had crampons or ice axes and one mentioned that they wished they did! I don't think its just personal preference, the mountains in winter are a serious undertaking and it always tends to be more difficult to get down than up when gravity is trying to speed up your descent!!
Thursday we headed back into the Ogwen Valley and past Lyn Idwal on our way to Cwn Cneifion where we had seen a climb in the North Wales Winter Climbing guide book by Simon Panton and Mark 'Baggy' Richards. A more strenuous walk in than we had origionally thought(!) we steadily made our way to Clogwyn Du where we planned to ascend Glder Fawr by climbing up Hidden Gully (Winter Grade II).
|The walk in!|
|Brett leads the way on Hidden Gully.|
|Looking down the Ogwen Valley.|
All in all 3 Winter Routes including 5 graded winter climbs for myself so time well spent!!
N.B No photo's were available from Brett (lazy boy) Savage for this blog!!!