Lakes Winter conditions report 08/02/15

So just back from a trip offshore and I was keen to get out around the Lakes and see what conditions are like in the hills. Here’s what I’ve found the last few days…

Thursday 5th February-

Myself and Dave Thornley went and climbed Bowfell Buttress. The weather was amazing and we had a great day out. The route was generally well frozen if a little bare in places but it was easy to avoid the not so frozen bits. The route catches the sun so this won’t be in condition now after the last few days. We used the south gully for descent off the route and found a lot of windslab deposits so care is needed in descent choice if heading down this way.


Bowfell Buttress


Friday 6th February-

Me and Dave headed out again, this time to Scafell. We did Botterill’s Slab, a route I’ve wanted to do for a long time. It isn’t V,6, more like VI,7 and more goey than routes like Fallout Corner and White Magic. It was a superb route tho, quite possibly the best I’ve done in the Lakes!


Scafell Crag


Botterill’s Slab main pitch

IMG_1127  IMG_1154

Saturday 7th February-

I  headed up to Helvellyn and Red Tarn Cove to climb with Claire Farrell. We climbed a route to the left of V Corner which was in really good condition. The area was very busy but all in good condition with fully frozen turf and lots of ice. Another good day out with amazing views!


Our route to the left of V Corner


Sunday 8th February- 

Today myself and Phil Evans headed back up to Scafell to see what else we could get on. The buttresses have been almost fully stripped and the gully lines were looking out too so so we turned our attention to Pikes Crag to the left of the main crag and a great little ice route there, C Gully. It had formed an impressive fall! It had started to thaw by the time we finished however the build-up is very good so it will remain a while longer yet…


C Gully



After this we had a great walk across the tops to Great End crag. The crag was busy again with all the classic lines in good nick. Things were thawing by this point but we had a blast up Central Gully Left Branch, down Cust’s Gully, then up Window Gully Icefall. Things look well set to stay in good nick on Great End the next few days with a good quantity of ice.


Scafell panorama


Window Gully Icefall


Window Gully

So all in all a great four days out on the hill and still some brilliant alpine type conditions to be had. Have fun!


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