With university effectively finished I was hoping to get one or two more routes out of winter; to take my tally up to 40 routes this season, but it didn't take much persuasion to ditch this plan and head down to the Peak District with Ali, Andy, Ferdia and Neil for some sunny rock climbing. The weather was incredible for the whole week, as was the quality of the climbing and a plethora of routes got ticked! On Tuesday we climbed at Stanage, Wednesday at Frogatt, Thursday at Burbage and Stanage, and Friday at Stanage again. Highlights included; The Left Unconquerable, Chequers Buttress, Knight's Move, Long Tall Sally, Flying Buttress Direct, The Tippler, Manchester Buttress and Lancashire Wall. It was great to get moving on rock again and I was pleased with how my climbing improved throughout the week, given this was my first time rock climbing since I injured my ankle last summer. Mega psyched for the rest of the summer now!
Thursday, 8 April 2010
This past week I have been staying up at the CIC hut with a great crowd; which made a big difference to the enjoyment of the week as there wasn't much climbing to be done! Walking in on Monday we all got soaked and it was raining at all levels, after drying our kit out Oli and I headed out to have a snoop around. We headed up later in the day into Observatory Gully and found Tower Scoop to be in climable condition; this was a fun little route with some fairly steep options which saved the day. Snow conditions were soft and as we walked down and it started raining again. This theme continued on Tuesday and we ventured out for a wander into Oberservatory Gully again, but with continued rain and some fairly large avalanches and loud cracking and sliding noises echoing off the walls of the gully we ran back to the hut for further card games and whisky! With a lower freezing level and no rain forecast for Wednesday we decided to get on Hadrian's Wall Direct, the weather was nice enough up to about 1100m and above this the clouds clagged in and there was snowfall. Climbing conditions were poor; there was a thin layer of hard snow insulating a thicker layer of soft snow and then a final layer of serious mushy ice, this made for some time consuming and quite bold climbing. We arrived back at the Hut 13 hours later, again soaked as the snow and rain set in as we descended. After drying out our sodden kit and learning about the rescue that Mike and Graham assisted in on Tower Ridge, we decided to head back down to the Glen on Thursday. With further warm temperatures and rain I think this may be the end of my winter, it's been an amazing season and I'm glad to have finished it with a week in fantastic company and such a full on and engaging climb. Bring on summer!