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

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