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.