Archive for November, 2008

Winnatt’s Pass Ridges

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

It was a real pea souper when we left York but by the time we got to Sheffield the cloud was showing signs of lifting & by the time we got to Hope the cloud had lifted leaving a clear frosty landscape.

 Into the Woodbine Café for Coffee & some of us ordered food.  

'Peri & Jim entering Winnats Pass'

While we waited for our 4th member Brian to catch up, incoming message, our man was held up by an accident on high road from Stocksbridge.

 He would catch us up later, so we parked up at Castleton & set off slowly walking up to the Winnat’s Pass.

'Jim starting the first steep section of Elbow Ridge'

When we got to the foot of Elbow Ridge it was in shadow & well iced up while the upper sections of both ridges were basking in sunlight. The idea was to solo but I kept the rope handy in case it was required, the first section of the ridge is a steep arête, this was steady away.


The second section follows an exposed knife edge ridge & it was covered in verglass & very tricky standing up so we adopted the a’cheval method.

'Brian demonstrating the a'cheval method'

Jim & Peri were on the ridge & I was taking photos when phone rang, Brian was very close & could see us so I waited for him.

 How did we manage before we got mobile phones

 He quickly caught us up & we progressed onto the warmer upper ridge, this had no ice on it at all & was a breeze.

After topping out & a breather we descended to the start of Matterhorn Ridge.

'The final section of Elbow Ridge'

This is actually graded Vdiff harder than Elbow ridge which is a Diff. The big difference was that this ridge was in sunshine so despite being very exposed it felt much easier.

Everyone was soon on the top, we decided to have a coffee break, the day had developed into a stunner & we could not have asked for better.

 'The team makes it to the top of Mam Tor'

The scrambling now finished we walked past Blue John Caverns & up to the summit of Mam Tor there were a lot of walkers & cyclists around now.


Both Peri & Brian need to be back to the car by 16.00 so I did a quick calc & decided to increase the pace.

'Returning to Castleton past the scenic Peveril Castle'

The route then followed Rushop Edge, crossed farmland & quarry to reach the very impressive Limestone Way that took us past the picturesque Peveril Castle & back to Castleton arriving back at 16.00 on the dot.


A great day out, hope everybody it. I certainly did & got some good photos.


The Langdale Horseshoe

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Ascending Lingmoor FellThe forecast was for clear blue skies with excellent visiblility, so Carmen and I decided to make the most of it with a 'run' (of the 95% walking variety) round the Langdale Horseshoe. The classic fell race covers 14 miles with about 5000 feet of ascent, with the record standing at a few minutes short of 2 hours. We wanted a longer day than that though, so added in a couple of extra summits to give a round of 19 miles/7300 feet ascent (I didn't measure this until afterwards or it's likely we'd have thought better of it!).

Pike o\' Blisco and Crinkle Crags from Silver HoweSo, we were up at the crack of dawn (7.05), and a mere hour and 20 minutes of faffing later, we set off. The promised clear blue skies were hidden behind high cloud, which lowered occasionally over the highest tops to leave a light covering of snow. The ascent started over the road from the hut, and 1000 feet of steep climbing later we reached the summit of Lingmoor Fell. From here, an easy path down into Elterwater was duly missed, and instead we opted for a slow steep route down scree and short vegetated crags to the valley.

Jack\'s RakeOver the road and time for another steep climb up to Silver Howe. From here the route undulated a lot, with much descent and reascent, but spread out over a few miles so it never felt too hard. An hour later we reached the foot of Pavey Ark, and the first people of the day, a nose-to-tail line of red and blue jackets leading off up Jack's Rake. After a short food stop (very short due to frozen toes), we followed up the rake, pausing for a few words with Peri and David who had taken the direct route from the hut.

Langdale Pikes and Bowfell from the ascent of Esk PikeOnwards over all the Langdale Pikes, then a long marshy descent to Stake Pass – the constant sub-zero temperatures had not been enough to solidify the bogs – and on to Angle Tarn in an increasingly bitter northerly wind (temperatures falling below -5). This section was one of the few that we actually ran rather than walked, icy water is slightly less unpleasant if negotiated quickly.

From here it was a choice between Plan A – Esk Hause and back over Esk Pike to Ore Gap – or Plan B – a shorter but steeper route straight up to Ore Gap. "Plan A" said Carmen, who was using a different naming convention and thought she was voting for the shorter route, but by the time she realised it was too late.

Descent from Crinkle CragsAs we crossed Bowfell the crowds reappeared, but they were mostly headed down to the valley again as we started the ascent of Crinkle Crags. Just before the Bad Step we met Rob, Cef, Simon & Debra, who had been doing various scrambly walky things on Bowfell. Another short run down to Red Tarn was followed by a long crawl up Pike o' Blisco, from where we again avoided the obvious track and followed instead the pathless ridge down to the north, emerging near Blea Tarn before a final short section of road back to the hut. Where we found ourselves in the unusually situation of being first back. Note to self: in future, find out where the key is going to be left before setting off…

Sunday morning view from the hutSunday dawned snowy and blowy, and after the standard dithering, we opted for a short walk from the top of Wrynose Pass up Great Carrs, Swirl How, and Wetherlam.  About 4 miles, and 3000 feet of ascent, but Saturday had taken its toll and we limped round in 4 1/4 hours.

Lots more photos here

Epic Meal brings out the Dunkirk spirit …

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

… and the Scottish one

This months trip to the glamorous hut that is The Loft was also the scene of a communal meal of epic proportions; in the planning if not the consumption.

Pre meet the call went out for people to acquire fruit for a club Scrumble – and boy was that call answered. Prizes and thanks for

  • volume to Carmen and Simon with about 10Kg of apples,
  • variety to Karen provide a fantastic range of red current and blackberries,
  • Margaret for a huge bag of glorious blackcurrents (my fav)
  • The University of York playing fields (blackberries) harvested by Peri's fair/fare hand

While my Chopping Wenches® (Carmen, Debra and Cef) made short work of the vegetables, salad, chicken and other stuff, I managed to swear a lot in keeping with Annie's requests. Meanwhile over on planet Peri a whole team fruit peelers were undressing the apples, and soon (with the requisition of Carmen's butter to make up for my dyscalculia) we had 6 massive magnificent mega-crumbles awaiting the oven

No 'leccy meant no whizzer for the soup so I had to improvise with a masher but after not too long the rather chunky Leek and Potato soup was served to hungry masses. By this time we had a nice condensation stream along the walls as ventilation was restricted to the 2 inch around the door – and it was bloody freezing outside.

The roasted carrots with garlic and coriander – (expertly chopped by Donal) were ready, chicken, mushrooms and broccoli cooked and so in go the crumbles, the pasta water is set to boil …. Err 5 mins later and there's no boiling and little heating action going on. The gas is running low, temparature is dropping and we have no backup plan. Margaret and Gordon check out The Solitary – club members all in bed without any gas, all gas bottles empty – BUGGER ! After some indecision we have a communal bread gathering (at least 5 loaves appear) and its a chicken salad with Salmon and broccoli. Having lost control, the portions seems a little skewed but ho hum we all got to see it pass by. It wasn't quite the Carb and Protein feast I'd planned – salad not being the ideal hill food but we ate well.

But what of the crumble? It wasn't cooked and the oven was struggling – so a call went out for cheese and biccies and another feast was had. By the time we had scoffed 3 varieties of mature Cheader – some nice smoked cheese from Gordon and excellent crackers from Margaret and Cef's oatcakes – amongst other generous donations, we were all stuffed.

Of course during this time most people had managed to down a bottle of wine each so I broke out the emergency hip flask of whisky and that evaporated quite rapidly despite the questioning of its quality (no it wasn't a Gordon special) !

By the time midnight arrived the crumble was cooked so we ate them – and boy were they good if short lived. Now were were really stuffed and all that remained was some swearing and shouting at each other – otherwise passes as conversation.

"Night waned upon this talk, and even the witching hour had gone by before we retired to rest."


Little Langdale Bikers

Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

Mountain bike ride, Saturday Nov 22. Great Langdale-Tarn Howes: 22 kilometres, 885 metres ascent.

Annie, Pete, Donal and Andrew.

A simple straightforward route that the guidebook claimed would take us no time at all.

However, the author hadn't factored in the time necessary for Miss Gostling’s Running Repairs. This is Annie's answer to the credit crunch – get your bike repaired by your cycling buddies -for free! We started from the car park by The Stables pub and by the time we got to Chapel Stile on the road, Annie was complaining of a lack of gears. We sorted the rusty gear cable and headed up over to Rydal Water and the Loughrigg Terrace, where we discovered that Annie had worn her brake blocks down to the metal. The noise of metal on metal was just too much to for our poor ears, so we cycled into Ambleside to buy some new brakes.

The bike shop assistant tried to sell Annie a new mountain bike with a built-in computer "brain". I wondered whether the Brain was capable of doing its own bike repairs! After Donal replaced all her brake blocks, we decided it was time for tea and cake. Pete somehow resisted the magnificent pies.

From Ambleside, we climbed over Loughrigg Fell to Skelwith Bridge, then over Arnside to the Iron Keld junction (near Tarn Howes) with the track down to High Cross on the A 593, and on to Hodge Close hamlet. From here we travelled north, but wimped out of going through the infamous ford on the Tilberthwaite-Little Langdale track, because the water looked very cold and someone always falls in.

As we were a bit dehydrated from our exertions, we went into the Stables bar for refreshments, only to find Alan K shouting at the footy on the pub telly. He was, by this time on pint no.7, and went to bed the moment we got him home.

Verdict: Excellent route with lots of potential for variations.

Pete's Score: One "I fell off my bike because I've run out of energy", one superb (and totally predictable) face plant, and a new style of accident for him: hopping down a baby rockface with one leg wrapped round his bike frame…a very slow crash. We really need to look out for rides that give Pete the opportunity to expand on this new form of street theatre.


Peak Scar Clean Up

Friday, November 21st, 2008

Some of you may have noticed that during the past year a number of the trees at the bottom of Peak Scar had been felled. On Saturday afternoon, Simon C, Carmen, Gordon T and Peter E joined up with the Cleveland Mountaineering Club to move some of the resulting logs away from the crag and down to a forest track where they could be collected by the Hawnby Estate.

One enterprising member of CMC had brought a sling with him and he was able to take his log(s) for a walk but mostly it was done by carrying the heavy logs one at a time along the slippery path at the foot of the crag to the western end, from where they could be pushed and allowed to roll down the slope, through the trees. If you were lucky your logs would make their way down the slope without colliding with other logs or ricocheting off trees. Generally the larger the diameter and the shorter the length the further the log went, but after a while there was a logjam (ha ha – ed) and the logs had to be carried the last few metres to the track.

After a couple of hours doing this we were all exhausted and retired to the top of the crag where we were treated to tea, coffee and biscuits kindly provided by a CMC member from the back of her camper van. After a short rest we returned to work and by the end of the afternoon we had shifted the majority of the logs away from the crag.

Although it is autumn so the leaves are off the trees, the crag appears a lot clearer. This in turn makes the crag look even more precarious than before! Sometimes it's best not to look to closely…

We did not carry out any gardening of the crag, although someone did attack some of the trees sprouting from the crag with a chainsaw. Removal of nettles and the like is probably a spring time activity.

Does anyone have any ideas how we might improve the top outs at the far western end of the crag, where after the rock there is often a steep wall of vegetation?

We will try to give more notice next time the club goes 10 pin bowling. The work which has been done has made a big difference to the vista at the crag.

Peter E

More photos can be found here

Almscliff Bouldering

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Easier Upper Section of V Crack - Guido Climbing Looking at the weather forecast it looked good to go on Tuesday so Jim & I set off from York early, arriving at the crag approx 10.30. We were not the first at the crag. 

The easier upper section of V Crack

The sun shone & we worked through our warm up set on Low Man, Jim decided to work the Matterhorn boulder arête as it’s a bit highball & I set my main target of the day to try V crack, by far the best route on Low Man at Hvs 6a something I had not been able to do all year, anyhow I managed it first time.

We then moved onto Virgin boulder to do the traverse a V4 6b problem, its something I have not been able to do all year, couldn’t do it today but made good progress.

Jim topping out out on Weekend Finger
We then moved up to High man. 

Here we decided to do our bit to clean up the crag well Jim discovered some booty a no 2 friend stuck in the break on Jacobs Ladder so the next half hour was dedicated to removing LITTER

By now there were many more people at the crag which was now basking in sunshine we did a few more problems & left around 13.30 a good session with excellent friction.

Working the traverse on Virgin boulder

Routes/problems completed amongst others:-         

Corbal 5c, Matterhorn arête 5a, Weekend Finger 5a, Traverse & wall 5b, Crucifix 5a, Stomach Traverse Vs 4c, V crack Hvs 6a, Pinnacle face HS

Plus several warm up routes & problems & as usual failed on loads more.

More Pix

Wildboarclough scramble

Monday, November 17th, 2008

crofty checks out the way aheadIt's sunday, it's 7am and I have a hangover. What could be better than a scramble in the Dark Peak? Snuggling back under the duvet and nursing my head quite possibly, but as I'd already arranged to go I bolted breakfast, hastily packed a sac, and headed over to meet Guido and Crofty.  Two hours later we met Alan and Kate, a couple of New Zealanders based in Leeds, and headed up the path  towards Bleaklow.

the first waterfallWildboarclough is a grade 2 ravine and waterfall scramble starting  just above the  Longdendale reservoirs and winding its way up the hillside by a combination of streambed walking interrupted by short vertical sections up  waterfalls. Its a beautiful location with stunning views back down into the valley, and not too technically hard – this was kates first scramble ever but she managed fine.

kates first scrambleThe biggest hazard was the VERY slippery rock – not surprising for a waterfall in november – but the holds up the vertical pitches were reassuringly positive. We reached the top exhilarated, in brilliant sunshine and almost cloudless skies. Thoughtfully, erosion has provided a nice flat boulder right at the top ideal for a quick coffee and pie stop while admiring the gorgeous view.

that was funLunchtime over, we continued onto the walking part of the day – an 11 mile route over the top of the moors to Shining Tor. Along the way we startled five mountain hares just coming into their winter white coats. This may have been a good colour scheme before the days of global warming, but it makes them stand out a mile against the heather now. One young  hare just crouched rather than running so we got a really good look at it, although we werent cruel enough to scare it by going close.

Guido did a good job of picking his way between the peat hags which at one point resembled a maze, even so I still ended up with one foot in black sucky mud up to mid calf (you could have pretended to be sympathetic, guys).  We descended underneath Shining Tor, taking plenty of time out to admire the soaring cracks – it looks like a really nice crag for summer but is green as a very green thing in November.  Walk over, back to the cars and a pint in Tintwhistle. An excellent day!

On the road

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

On the Road Oct/Nov 2008


The objective of this 4000 mile road trip round the USA was to try and climb or walk in every state we visited, a journey  that would hopefully take us through Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Illinois & Kansas.

The trip was generally very successful but we made a few mistakes had some bad luck mixed in with the good so here is how it went.


We drove to Arkansas from our base in  St Louis, about 300 miles, arriving early afternoon & eager to get onto the rock. Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is a very new sandstone sport climbing area & still being developed all routes are post 2002.

        One of the short hiking trails in Bryce Canyon Utah

On arrival we found that there was a Rocktoberfest event on that would bring local climbers in by the hordes. So we were soon joined by hundreds of college kids intent on partying, it was going to be a couple of noisy nights.

Crowded alongside the Blondes & Brunettes toproping we fair rattled thro the routes over the 3 day period managing to complete 24 routes between 5.8 & 5.11a. Joking apart the kids were great fun & not a bit of bother.


We are now on route 66 luckily a friend had lent us a guidebook for OK so we overnighted at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge regarded as a mecca for climbers & climbed at a Granite crag called the Narrows on the first day this gave superb crack & face climbing. We managed 6 routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.10d.

   Chuck leading Dihedral 5.6 (severe) in the Narrows-Wichita Mountains-Oklahoma

The 2nd day we moved onto Quartz Mountain approx 45 min from Wichita to another superb granite venue. The climbs are mixed trad with minimal bolts, so the climbs here are well run out & necky. The big problem we had here was that we could not do the best routes because we were using the standard US single rope method, this system really sucks, needless to say we started to look for a pair of 8.5mm ropes after today.

On the day we climbed 5 routes between 5.8 & 5.10d.

New Mexico

There is loads of climbing in New Mexico but we were depending on a laptop to get access, not having a working computer was probably the biggest mistake we made, it restricted our climbing & cost us a lot of time & dollars buying guides.

     We did no climbing in New Mexico as we were not able to locate any of the climbing areas-still on route 66 the scenery starts to get very impressive. 

  Mori Mori roof a 5.9 (E15b) at Potash Road nr Moab Utah


Without the Laptop we had to get to a major town & buy a guidebook, so we drove to Flagstaff, a great little spot.

The locals could not do enough to help us & directed us to a limestone venue called the Pit aka Petit Verdon, 7 miles from the town centre.

Here we found fantastic climbing on very steep pocketed walls, some may call them roofs-Good training for the main wall at Leeds.

   Fold out 5.8 (Hvs) at Necromancer in Ice Box Canyon Nevada

Once again we found friendly natives & even managed to do the 2nd ascent of a new route bolted on the day, the first ascentionist wanted a confirmation of the grade.

 The grades were quite tough here we did 5 routes between 5.10b & 5.10d.

That night we drove 80 mls to the Grand Canyon, with rooms at 200 dollars we slept in the car at 9000ft we woke to find frost coating the windows inside the car

  Rappelling of the excellent Dark Shadows in Pine Tree Canyon Nevada

The next day we set of on a walk down the Bright Angel Trail our intention was to have an easy day but we bumped into a couple of girls who talked us into going down Bright Angel to the river & linking up with the Kabaib trail to walk out.

They neglected to say there was no water on the way out so we had a rough time getting back out.


Home of the famous Red Rocks a couple of miles from the outskirts of the infamous Los Vegas.

Red Rocks is truly a world class venue up there with Chamonix, Yosemite, Verdon, El Dorado Springs Canyon etc it has routes of all grades & all sizes.

   Chicken Eruptus a 3*** 5.10c (E3) at Ragged Edge Willow Springs Nevada

We spent 8 days climbing here did 24 routes between 5.6 & 5.11a my favorite was a rout called Prince of Darkness in Black Velvet Canyon, a six pitch route graded 5.10c translated as solid E3 5c in English money. The route went directly up the most difficult line on the wall giving sustained face climbing with hanging belays. It is known as the Prince of Footpain by the locals.


After the excess’s of Los Vegas we leave route 66 go to the restrictions of Mormon Utah First stop Zion National Park. This is a beautiful National Park complete with shuttle services & Disney like trappings. The climbing is geared towards big walls, we did not have the gear for this so we had to make do with the smaller climbs.

   Ashgar Command a 2 pitch route 5.7 & 5.9 in Zion Nat park Utah

The best route we did was called Ashgar Command a superb 2 pitcher the rest were ok just but it was all a bit disappointing. We did 4 routes in our 2 days here. Grades between 5.7 & 5.9.

On the way out of the park it rained which gave us opportunity to take some awesome photos using the stormy sky as a backdrop.

The next stop was Bryce Canyon once again superb stormy photos.

    Amazing rock formations in Zion Nat park Utah

The next climbing stop in Utah was Moab which is a bit wacky like a micro version of Boulder.

We had one days climbing here at the Potash road area, where we climbed 6 routes between 5.8 & 5.10b one outstanding name here Lucy in the sky with Potash 5.10b love it. Our main problem here was lack of gear to do the big crack lines, you need to beg, borrow, buy or otherwise obtain as many cams as possible in this venue.


Running ahead of predicted 9 inch of snow in the mountains we decided to have a pit stop ascent of Bastille Crack in El Dorado Springs Canyon another world class venue.

   First pitch of Bastille Crack one of the new top 50 climbs in North America-El Dorado Springs Canyon Colorado.

This is one of the routes on the new proposed list of top 50 routes in North America it’s a 4/5 pitch 5.7 that never eases up on you. While I was on it my eyes were drawn up to another top 50 route across the canyon the Naked Edge is a 6 pitch 5.11 stacked ontop ot a 7 pitch 5.8.  I was lucky enouth to have climbed the route 18 years ago when I was in my prime. I still remember the epic descent in a torrential thunder storm, very scary.


We visited 2 areas in Illinois Jackson Falls & Cedar Bluff, this is a relatively little known outside Illinois, its totally underrated, Jackson Falls alone probably has twice as much climbing on it as Stanage & its much higher.

On my last day in the US we visited Cedar Bluff with a team of locals, they pushed me a little & after ‘sending’ a 5.11a I got talked into doing a 5.12a new territory for me, I did not get the route clean having one fall but would have been confident of getting the redpoint on the next visit.

In the 2 visits to this area we did 24 routes grades between 5.7 & 5.12a.

The trip stats

Over 5000 miles traveling through 10 states, we did 115 routes & 150 pitch’s the easiest route was 5.6 & the hardest was 5.12a the longest route was 10 pitches. We visited & hiked round 11National or state parks & we managed to walk or climb in 7 of the 10 states visited.

One point I think is worth mentioning is that everywhere we went we were welcomed  and assisted by the local climbing community, many people went out of their way to help us on our travels, big thanx to all.

AGM – not for another year …

Monday, November 10th, 2008

…do you have to sit around drinking beer listening to an ever dwindling committee plead poverty.

All went quite well this year despite being only Simon Fox and I sat at the top table. In a show of competence set to rival John Sargent's mad dancing skilz I managed to not nominate the only person ever to want to be on the committee! Sorry Richard – if I don't nominate him next year, make sure you do, and shoot me.

We tweaked the constitution a bit, chatted about the Peak Scar clean up (well done Pete for volunteering and, Gordon, Carmen and Simon C for their efforts log shifting on Sat), tried to enthuse people to go on walks which Richard has (despite the snubbing) volunteered to co-ordinate and presented the new calendar of meets.

We had a gallant attempt at deciphering the accounts – suffice to say we need to make the hut meets self sufficient. Some socials would be nice to complement the talks being co-ordinated by Cef, and Curries are recommended as popular – we live in hope.

2 dates of note: route setting at Oaklands Sat 29 Nov (with curry to follow ?) and Xmas meal Sat 20 Dec.

Armchair orienteering

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

With the prospect of bad weather and a poor night's sleep on the Friday night before the OMM, Rob secured us a room at Chez Julie over near Cockermouth, along with John Byrne and Pete Wright. Friday morning dawned too early for the drive over to the site. All went well until the queuing traffic at Seatoller. A quick repack of gear (more substantial tent) and we arrived at the start with 2 minutes to spare (to be honest, this is the most time we've spent at an OMM start line!).

There wasn't really a lot of route choice for us 'not so fast' teams, so we planned for some early points up above the start, then a route through the no-mans-land in middle to bag some controls on the way to the finish. Rob stormed ahead on the first hill and we both quickly realised my legs weren't up to the job this year. The first 3 controls went without too much trouble and with 90 points to our name we descended into Stonethwaite to take the quicker paths and lanes over the  valley and up to the Dalehead region to bag some more controls and head on in.

As the gradient increased, my legs slowed down once again and I was playing catch up. Once out of the valley we were confronted with the real weather of the day. Initially a tail wind to the next control, but when we turned around things became much more difficult. By this point my overtrousers had given up the ghost and with cold wet legs they started cramping up. I was moving at about the same pace as I was being pushed back by the wind, occasionally being knocked over by the gusts. Rob couldn't walk this slowly as he'd get too cold so kept up a good pace ahead, then walked back to re-group and stuff some food in. The noise of the rain on the waterproofs was immense.

The control eventually arrived and we pressed on with more of the same, finally coming to a small knoll to shelter behind. Once food was stuffed in, we made a hasty retreat down to Honister pass to get out of the weather and get a fast route into the finish. The view across the valley was amazing, as every stream was a huge white streak down the hillside.

We arrived outside the Honister slate mine cafe for a bit of shelter to find the place rammed with runners. Someone informed us the event had been cancelled, and it didn't take long to head inside to change clothes and get a brew. Luckily we bumped into Julie, who'd abandoned their course and was getting a lift back home, so we were soon in a car heading to the finish to check in, then out of the hills to chill out.

An hour or so later we were back on dry land with dry clothes, tea and biscuits thanks to Julies team mate Geoff. Occasional checks on Sleepmonsters for any event news revealed it had made News 24, and the reports that followed were astoundingly factualess. At one point it was charity fun run that had gone wrong, but however they described it there was still 100s lost and needed rescuing. The ones that had made it down and were sheltering in the slate mines cafe were preventing paying customers from using the via ferrata – how inconsiderate. It was very bizarre hearing this in the media, having been out there during the day, but all things considered this was probably the most comfortable OMM we've every done! Shame we didn’t finish it, but there’s always next year…