Last minute lakes dash

January 16th, 2017 by rob s

IMG_20170114_133511429_HDRWith winter making a fleeting appearance and complicated arrangements (when is it ever simple) K and I decided to head to the lakes for the w/e. Paul was in at 00:06 and Mike at 01:08 Sat morning !

A bit delayed we left York and headed across to Brown Cove Crags hoping for snow in the gullies to play in not expecting much in the way of ice. Leaving the car at 11 it's a short but steepish pull up to the cove in fantastic weather but not great snow. We had a rope and scrambling rack, single axe each and no idea what to head fr. the gullies, as we had been warned by a walker, were pretty bare, but the buttresses were rimed up and looking good. Turf varied between rock hard and soft and smears of ice were visible across the crag.

starting up
After some chatting we decided to have a look at Right Buttress Crack, a really obvious line today up the clean middle lump. We geared up, left the rope in the sac in case and quested off up the grooves. Nice route with some good ice, some good turf and lots of good hooks. The rock was really clean and not verglassed so I used my hands in preference to the axe quite often. The main middle pitch has chockstone which proved awkward with poor turf above so Paul and ignored it. Karl and Mike went around with an interesting traverse back into the groove. The top section K followed the footsteps and make quick work of a short steep section with a great hook but little else. Tis proved problematic for the rest of us and Paul ended up wandering around it with bruised ego, amongst other aspects.

Topping out in sunshine we did a bit of hill spotting before we headed the short walk upto Helvellyn in the cloud with very few people about. We returned via White Stones doing some excellent nav practice along the way. So good was the nav that we eventually emerged into the public bar of the Thirlspot Inn.

I had booked us into Grange CC hut and we all slept long and well after the curry and booze, as we knew the forecast was poor. Sunday was a tentative start and after much debate whilst drinking tea and watching the rain we headed upto Newlands Hause and bagged a couple of Wainwright's (Knott Rigg and Ard crags in the mist) a fun little jaunt. We took a look at the waterfall on return and tried to imagine it well frozen.

We returned to the hut for tea and our lunch and were home by 7 after cleaning up, nice little last minute trip.

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