Sunday, 26 December 2010

Rosedale Ice - or not.

Decided to head around to the waterfall in a gully opposite the Lion Inn Pub at the head of Rosedale Valley. Franco was seeing family or sommet, so I asked me dad if he fancied a bosh around from the pub with the dogs. He agreed.
We made good time through the often knee deep snow occasionally finding nice Neve or raised vegetation but ultimately it's not too bad. The dogs found it hard going jumping through chest deep powder and i'm looking at one of them totally flat out, knackered.

It was warm, the car reckoned -5 on the way up but it didn't feel it. Though the cloud was building and it was nearly midday. After about 50 minutes, i think?, we arrived at the 'icefalls'.

Unfortunately the main fall isn't very big or very well iced. It's sides were made up of terraced ice that didn't look especially entertaining. To the left of the fall however was the most perfect steep slab of Neve. The powder was getting drenched by the water and had frozen to a bomber, Scottish-like Neve. I jugged up on that for the craic and then slid back down and searched out the Ice on the right side of the Falls.

There was one wall, hidden in a little alcove that seemed to be a well frozen mossy wall. I climbed up it directly, escaping left at the very top to get better frozen turf. It was quite enjoyable actually, on soft ice and rock hard turf/moss placements. Sustained III i would suspect?
After that, i found a slanting parrallel crack with a drift below. I had a play M7? i reckon it would be, got a few torques and a horizontal crack up it and found an old wooden wedge. Clearly someone had been climbing this in the summer way-back-when. Anyhow, i didn't fancy committing to it so pulled my axes out and dropped into the snow below. Which was harder than it first appeared.

On the way back to the path, dad spotted a thinly iced slab. It looked good, if a little slabby but the very thin ice allowed for some technical, soft hitting ice climbing. It was actually quite enjoyable.

I wandered back to dad and we made the, funnily, less grueling walk back to the pub (which was slightly uphill the whole way). The dog packed in 2/3 of the way back after he spent his last energy catching a rabbit. He managed to drag himself to the car though, good lad.

Nice walk out, certainly not worth the walk around for the climbing, considering the around at Round Crag is better. The ice wasn't perfect, possibly because the tempt was -1 when we got back to the car, there did seem to be a lot of unfrozen water about and that. Worth taking your axes though if you're planning on walking around that way i would say though, just for a bosh around.

Lets hope it either getting sodding cold again OR begins to melt the snow in the day and then freeze at night, if that happened there would be some amazing ice as most buttresses have good cornice-style accumulations above.

27th of December:

Currently much warmer, hovering around the freezing mark with fairly consistant snow fall currently, though earlier it was raining. I would say, judging by the quality of the ice yesterday the thaw started yesterday and has affected what ice there is.
Certainly worth leaving well allone and, with a bit of luck and some freeze/thaw there could be some really impressive stuff in a weeks time.

Friday, 24 December 2010

Moors Ice hunting

Went hunting for some more moors ice and found it at Blakey. Some good but small stuff, made a short video.

Of particular note was a column of ice, which was located just to the left of the Round Crag Pinnacle. As well as this there was a few small mixed lines and some technical thin ice smears. A few of the 'taller' corners up turf and ice were nice at a lower grade too.

Some cornices and windslab with potential to fly down a boulder strewn hill so, amazingly, take care near the hill edges and top outs.


Round Crag/Blakey Ridge Ice climbing. from Dave Warburton on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Lakes trip and Moors Ice hunting at Fryup.

I met up with Franco and headed to the Lakes, interested to have a few days there before Christmas. We drove over to -10 temps and was stoked to go to Scrubby. We woke up early and drove to Deepdale and walked up to the crag, on route the snow was varying from powder to neve. There was plenty of ice on show but when we could see the crags, Hutaple, Greenhow End and eventually Scrubby we could see they clearly were black. It was wintery but there had been no precipitation for a couple of days and non of it had stuck to the buttresses.
I was happy to get on anything, Franco wanted to try the open groove of Hrothgar (HVS) as an FA but we knew it wasn't in condition. Non of the mixed routes were, but Heorot top pitch was forming which is worth bearing in mind.
I started up the lower amplitheatre towards the ledge of Hrothgar, up some variable Ice and steep turf but we eventually decided to move together rightwards and we came to the crux of Pendulum Ridge (III,4). Franco wasn't really fussed but i fancied climbing it, he was happy to just solo about but i wanted to climb it properly.
Franc lead up the steep wall on hooks and then belayed and i followed, it felt quite hard really to mantle rightwards onto the ledge to the in-situ wire. After this I lead up rock and turf but noticed Franco was following up and we just soloed to the top. It's pretty sustained steepness for III. It felt very IV,4 to me, with a nearly 5 move on the crux wall, unless we did it wrong. We got on the line just before a couple of parties turned up and they were still on the crux as we were walking back down to Deepdale proper. Worth doing but i must say, Portcullis Ridge (further up Deepdale) is very similar in terms of steep turf and then a protectable crux (IV,4/5)which is slightly out of character, it's just as good so if you've done Pendulum Ridge, go do Portcullis Ridge next.

We returned to the hut and then decided we were better off just heading home, Black Crag Ice fall looks like its forming well from a distance. The following morning it hadn't snowed so we packed and left. I was sort of interested in wandering to do something on the Helvellyn range but the walk in / good climb ratio wasn't really in our favour, the only VI we know of is up on Cock Cove. I was also interested in trying the lakeland icefalls, but Honister is a long way away, Shoulthwaite Gill was apparently thin and i'm not really into Ice so i wouldn't want to punter around spoiling someone elses day.

We ended up heading back to the Moors and arriving back at Lunchtime, we unpacked had a relax and then head out on a 'dog walk' to check out Fryup Head Ice falls. There  was a lot of ice around but it wasn't really up to much, generally hanging off moss and heather that overhangs the cliffs. Dodgy territory.

The main waterfall at Fryup isn't frozen yet but if it does, it would be a great II/III. The left hand steeper version is frozen but needs thickening up before either of us fancy leading. Next up, roads clearing dependant of course, might be a trip to Saltburn sea-ice cliffs. Cool. If not, fancy checking out if the slight water falls at Hob Hole or Danby Crag have managed out...
 Fryup dale Water fall. Ice formed on left but main not so. Red from Iron leaching.

 Icicles of death. Hanging from overhanging turf

 Cool Moon-rise. Taken on a 4 sec. lapse held in hand so a bit shaky