Sunday, 27 December 2009

Winter Madness. Part Deux.

After our 'FA', I had the feeling Franco was rather uninspired with grade III gullys and ridges. I also fully enjoyed the technical outing the day previous.
Luke Hunt had arrived that evening and declared the conditions 'prime mixed conditions!'. He then said, that Bowfell Buttress was high on his list and fancied a trip to langdale.
I was sceptical, knowing that Bowfell was a mixed climb at V,6 but quite sustained really with pitches of IV and V. I was slightly worried to say the least, not just because of the events on the Ben but also because i didn't feel i was good enough to get on such a classic route. Franco said, in his usual confident manner or 'ultra-psyche' that he was up for it and that i was good enough.

Another issue was that snow was forecast and i didnt fancy trying to get the Renault back from Langdale to Grisedale.
My first trip to Bowfell, was a nice walk in, in perfect winter conditions. -7 celsius according to the car, was a pleasant suprise and when we arrived at the route we were amazed to see a couple of lads already there!
These lads turned out to be Jamie and Tim from Leeds, which was a pleasant coincidence. Conditions were a bit poor low down, so we avoided the first pitch and i, intent not to second the whole route, said i would lead the IV groove even though i had no idea whether or not i could truely lead IV?!
The pitch was similar to the top groove of our FA the day previous, hence the grade given. I then seconded the rest of the climb, with Franco leading the 6 crack and the top pitch being a cracker, led by Luke.
It wasn't over though. Franco and Luke went FA hunting on the buttress opposite, climbing the horribly obvious hard looking corner. Franco and luke said it was both commiting and poorly protected in parts. I just stood in the blizzard for an hour or 3 watching!
They abandoned the attempt due to darkness falling and the worsening weather. I was not looking forward to driving home!
We walked back to the car and then had fun and games sliding our way back to Ambleside! A couple of sideways slides in a Renault Espace is enough to give you a bit of a scare.
Scarier than the mixed climbing!

Hut ramblings about Photos, wine and other bollocks.

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