Friday, 10 December 2010

First winter climbing experience 4/12/10

Look at that, the wonderful winter has come early. Everything always looks a lot more pure and beautiful under snow I think.

Along with the early winter came my first ever winter climbing experience. I set off to the lakes from Worcester with two friends from Worcester University Tim and Murray.
We left on the the Friday to get the best of the weekend while we were up there. Luckily we managed to stay in one of the bunk houses based at the great tower scout camp, near Windermere, Instead of our planned hammocks and basher's approach.

Day 1 - 4/12/2010
I managed to wake up at around 4am, to the sound of my alarm. It took a little bit of mental persuading to crawl out of my never summer bag as I could see my breath steaming up in the cold air, I knew it was going to be a little chill. After a lot of dancing around I was dressed, the tea was boiling and the heater was on. All the kit had been packed from the night before so all we had to do was fuel up our bodies and get moving. We had a 30 minute walk to the car as we couldn't drive into camp the snow was to thick.

Final we reached the car after our walk through the winter wonderland of Great Tower. We loaded the car and set off to Thirlmere lake were we would park then make our assent to Brown Cove Crag.

We got to Thirlmere around 6:30am and it was pitch black. We then decided to to grab another half an hours sleep. After what felt to have been 5 minutes sleep we woke up and got all the kit out and on, and started our approach to brown cove crag. It was cold and hard work kicking in the first tracks up to Brown Cove, as the snow was up to about 2 1/2 foot in places but we warmed up as we went.

We got to the crag after a lot of hard work finding people hot on our heels as we had done most of the hard work. We quickly got the guided out and decided we were going to do the left buttress so went on to do so.

Left Buttress

We snow scrambled/soloed the first 50 meters until we came to a little steeper ground and decided to take it with caution and took out the ropes.
Murray lead the first pitch until he got to the bottom or the trickier second pitch which consisted of mixed climbing up a crack, Tim decided to put himself forward for this one and took the bull by the horns.

After this mixed section it followed up up a little ramp and past a few boulders until you came from a good boulder you could belay from. At this point we stopped for lunch and had a rest and got some more energy.

After lunch I went for the final pitch. The last pitch was around 40 meters in length, It was a very bold pitch it started off steady until you got closer to the top were it got a lot steeper with no protection what an experience. After feeling a little hot under the collar I topped out on to one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen, and this partly reminded me why I do what I do.

What a end to a great day...