Archive for December, 2017

Pendulum Gully

Tuesday, December 19th, 2017

On Saturday Dave W and I headed to the Lakes to make the most of the wintry conditions before temperatures were set to rise. We decided to head to Scrubby Crag to look at Pendulum Gully, a route we attempted in January but due to poor visibility ended up climbing a nondescript gully and ramp further to the right.

An early start meant we were parked and ready to go in good time. There was already a couple of teams heading off up the valley, we stopped a while to talk to another group planning to climb a route called Scorpion on Greenhow End.

Signs were good lower down the valley with the ground hard and any standing water frozen but as we reached the snow line things started to soften up. I was keen to try Greenhow Gully which can be used as an approach to Scrubby Crag, don't think Dave was quite so keen. A distinct lack of ice or snow and large amounts of running water meant that we made use of the in situ ab tat just below the chockstone and ran away.

Higher up in the main cove the snow was knee deep in most places and waist deep in the gullies. We used some swimming techniques to reach the base of Pendulum Gully and the first steep section, this was just about frozen enough for us make an attempt.

We soloed up this and the easier slope above over an awkward step to below the chockstone where Dave dug out some gear placements and we roped up for the final pitch. We managed to negotiate the chockstone with lots of bridging and a committing move to a good patch of frozen turf out to the right. The final Gully section proved quite tricky with lots of powder snow and nothing for the axes.


Decent weather and some great views, not great conditions but at least we climbed the correct gully this time another good day in the lakes.

Wales Early December Meet

Sunday, December 10th, 2017

Seven of us made it to Wales for the early December meet – only to find that the cold conditions earlier in the week had gone and were replaced with somewhat milder and damp conditions- doh.

Not deterred by the damp – Paul, Rob and Mike went to do the grade 3 scramble the ridge on Carnedd y Filiast.  However, low cloud and a misreading of the guideback saw them ascending a different line to that intended 'ended up climbing some loose flaky slab then a horrible damp gully followed by quite a nice slabby arête possibly the upper section of Hawkwind or Brocken Edge?'

Simon & I went for a walk/jog from the hut over the Creigiau Gleision summits  and Craiglwyn back via various tarns (one with a swing) and forestry tracks.  We were first back (slightly unusual occurrence) got the fire going and started chopping.  Meanwhile Justine & Gav did a  similar but lower level variant of our walk/run (sensibly deciding not to take in the summits due to a lack of waterproof trousers) – it was rather wet!

Saturday eve we sat around with a roaring fire and consumed my rather green (possibly challenging) soup (spinach, pear and Roquefort).  This was followed by a great chilli from Gav (nicely spiced with hot and mild variants on offer).  Then when we didn’t really need to consume anything else we moved onto mince pies, cheese & biscuits (thanks to Pauls early Christmas leftovers) and port.

On Sunday, Paul, Rob and Mike undeterred returned to find the correct scramble – and believe that they did helped by somewhat better conditions and people ahead of them on the route.  They moved together roped up for protection utilising spikes and threads for runners with the odd gear placement.
– "Great scrambling with lots of options to make things easier or harder and really nice that the ridge takes you all the way to the summit, would have been even better in the dry (can confirm it is good in the dry – did it in January!).
– Got some nice views of the main Slab witch looked really good, need to go back on a sunny day and do some of the routes".

Simon & I went for a walk/jog up and down Moel Siabod – note rocks are very slippery in the wet.  We even had short spells of sunshine before conditions greyed up again.  Justine & Gav also did Moel Siabod with a slightly later start.  Back to the hut early, a bit more cleaning & packing and we were off early – time for Simon’s winter boot shopping in Joe browns before the drive home.

An enjoyable weekend – if not the snowy conditions we had been hoping for.