Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Stellar day on Great End

Winter climbing in the Lake District is a very fickle occupation, when conditions are good generally they don't last long and if you can't get out within a day or so (working full time doesn't always help!) you miss them!

Today was a fantastic day, I've wanted to climb on Great End for a few years, but never been free at the same time as conditions were good - but today I got lured out (easily) by Conan and Pete. Conan insisted on a 6.30am meet up in Kendal, which meant a 5.30am wake up for me.

We expected a lot of people flocking to Great End today, and in particular heading for Central Gully left hand (grade III). After a brisk stomp up to the crag as it was just getting light we were the second team to arrive, and yep you guessed it the other pair started up Central Gully! We waited so that we could do this classic of the crag - thinking that if we don't do it now we'll never get on it today once more climbers arrive. It was a fun yomp! The ice wasn't fantastic but great to be on my first winter route of the season. The views from the top were great, seeing the cloud inversion to the South trying to spill over into our valley.

Me coming up the easy bit of Central Gulley into the snow bowl - nice view of the half frozen tarn and valley

Fun I get to lead the steep pitch - ice is thin and brittle (mostly!)
Great on top with the inversion
 Second on the list today was Window Gully (II/III), and if anything I thought this was a much better route, more steeper bits, better scenery (the window belay) - great route. We even caught a new ice screw that the team ahead were throwing away (we gave it back at the top).

First pitch of Window gully

The brilliant 'window' belay

Love the icle thread (top pitch)!
After this we had just over 1 hours light left, so we quickly shot up Cust's Gully (I), and again this is a brilliant easy gully, with steep rock sides and a giant chock stone suspended about 15-20 m above the gully. Because conditions were lean, there was another chock stone to crawl under en route - brilliant. On top we briefly saw the sun starting to set before heading down to the bags.

Cust's gully - hope the chock holds fast!

Just the slippy (icy) walk back to the car smiling thinking what a great day and 3 routes we had snatched before the predicted thaw this weekend ;-). Thanks for the great day and pictures guys.

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