Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday night film!

I don't usually put a film up on a Tuesday but this is pretty special. Don't watch if you suffer from vertigo! Climbing a 1,768 foot Tower with a head cam!

Lakes conditions update...

Currently it's minus 4 and snowing in Ambleside. The weather has been pretty good today but the sunshine has stripped a lot of the frosting from the buttresses. We're not getting the depth of snowfall that the east of the country is getting but still enough to make the driving interesting.

There's been a few teams out on the usual areas of Helvellyn and Great End. The old snow is now well consolidated and the turf is nicely frozen. The heavy snow showers should be continuing to improve conditions on some of the classic mixed routes such as Bowfell Buttress and Pisgah Buttress. The low level icefalls of The Trough and Low Water Beck should be coming into condition fairly shortly although they're not there yet!

One team paid a visit to Scafell which was reported to be in good condition. Plenty of snowed up rock and streaks of ice. The Cascades on the Shamrock have had an ascent. However only the higher & north facing buttresses were rimed due to the sunny conditions today. Snow chains were very useful for getting up Wasdale.

It looks like it's going to be a very busy weekend so probably best to take the opportunity to go and explore some new areas rather than the usual suspects!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Lake District Conditions

The Lake District has been very busy this weekend with plenty of folk out on the hills enjoying the good conditions. Generally there's more snow and better conditions in the north with the Coniston area looking very bare. Temperatures have stayed low (-4 oC in Ambleside at the moment with 2" new snow) but plenty of sun today has helped the snow to consolidate. There's a surprising amount of water ice around after a few days of cold temperatures. Helvellyn has been the main focus but a few folk have gone for more adventurous options with Scrubby Crag seeing some action and a potential new route on High Crag, Dollywagon. The highlight of the weekend was arguably the first winter ascent of Scabbard on Bowfell by Paddy Cave, Chris Sterling & Tom Greenwood to give Fragile Existence at VII+ 8. The weather is forecast to stay cold for the next few days with a few more snow showers coming from the east. Conditions for climbing should continue to improve with more water ice forming. A quick round up of what's been climbed in the last couple of days...
  • Blea Water Gill, III
  • Left Branch, II, Brown Cove Crags
  • Central Gully, I, Brown Cove Crags
  • Right Buttress Crack, III, Brown Cove Crags
  • Two Grooves, IV, Brown Cove Crags
  • Catstye Cam Gully, I/II
  • Pinnacle Ridge, III, Gable Crag
  • Bottlescrue, IV 5, Gable Crag
  • Engineers Chimney, V 4, Gable Crag
  • Window Gully, II/III, Great End
  • Central Gully, II, Great End
  • Swirral Edge, I, Helvellyn
  • Gully 1, II, Helvellyn
  • Gully 2, I, Helvellyn
  • V Corner, III, Helvellyn
  • Blade Runner, IV 4, Helvellyn
  • Viking Buttress, IV 5, Helvellyn
  • Striding Edge, I, Helvellyn
  • Thor's Corner, IV 4, Helvellyn
  • Nethermost Cove Gully I/II
  • In to the Groove / Big Groove, V 6, Bowfell
  • Bowfell Buttress, VI 6
  • Pikes Crag Long Gully, I
As everyone keeps asking... The Trough on Carrock Fell, which is our infamous roadside icefall, is starting to form with ice visible at the back of the gully but no ascents yet that I'm aware of. With the forecast I would guess it'd be in in a couple of days.

Friday, 26 November 2010

Friday night film

The National Geographic profile of Dean Potter pushing his limits


Zac Poulton Mountaineering now have a presence on Facebook. Please have a look at our page and let us know what you think. If you click on the 'Like' button you'll receive automatic updates as to what we've been up to and the conditions out on the hill. With plenty of wintery weather forecast I'm just waiting for my chest infection from Kathmandu to get better and we'll get the condition reports up and running again.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Friday night film

Just some amazing free diving footage...

Guillaume Nery base jumping at Dean's Blue Hole,
filmed on breath hold by Julie Gautier

Thursday, 18 November 2010

999 by Text

The option of raising the alarm by text is now a reality. Many of the UK's mountains suffer from poor mobile phone coverage and yet increasing numbers of folk in the hills rely on their mobile as their primary piece of safety equipment. The majority of mountain rescue call outs are now initiated following a mobile phone call. However a text message will often still work where there's insufficient coverage to hold a conversation or when your battery is low and increases your chances of summoning help in an emergency.
The major phone providers in tandem with the emergency services have now rolled out a system of registration for those who feel they might need this service. Simply text 'register' to 999 and follow the instructions in the return text.
There is more on this story on the Grough Outdoor News site and at http://emergencySMS.org.uk

New 'Mountain Link' Blog

Mountain Link is a brand new resource bringing together a huge amount of detailed information about playing in the UK's mountains - be it climbing, mountaineering, fell running, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, mountain biking, adventure racing, caving....

Please get in contact if you have any links to add or have any other suggestions about how the site can be improved. We hope you find the site useful in planning your next adventure.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Friday night film

A little bit of inspiration for the coming winter season...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Journey home from Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam from Base Camp

Porters at Tengboche

The monastery at Tengboche

Guardian of the Tengboche Monastery!

Tengboche Stupa

Evening view from above Namche Bazaar

Mani stones on the main Everest trail

More Mani stones on the main Everest trail.

Our Dornier 228 from the flight in which crashed into the end of the runway on its next landing at Lukla! Fortunately no one was hurt.

Tihar celebrations in Kathmandu.

Designing our Yeti footprint in the famous Rum Doodle Restaurant.

The start of a pavement sculpture to celebrate Tihar.

The finished article many hours later.

A brilliant view of Elbrus from the flight home.

Ama Dablam Summit Attempt

Climbing the Yellow Tower in worsening conditions with Camp 1 behind

Ang climbing the Yellow Tower in full Scottish conditions!

The final climb to Camp 2 with the snow pelting down

Allan & David climbing the Yellow Tower
The crux of the Yellow Tower - pick a rope and jug!

Looking down the Yellow Tower

Base Camp after the storm

Morning view after our aborted summit attempt

Our Sherpa's Mingma & Lhakpa at Camp 2 after the storm

The Khumba Valley after the unseasonable snow storm

The route from Camp 2 up the Grey Tower

My tent at Camp 2 after the storm.

David at Camp 2

Camp 2 perched on the ridge

Our Sirdar, Lhakpa, at Camp 2.

Beginning the descent of the ridge.

David leaving Camp 2

Allan abseiling off the Yellow Tower

Crossing verglassed slabs and the site of Carrie's accident

Allan crossing the final photogenic slabs before Camp 1

Allan descending the ridge to Camp 1

Descending towards Meadow Camp

Following Puna into the cloud

Descending into the cloud at Point 5001

Ama Dablam Acclimatisation

Base camp below Ama Dablam

Ama Dablam with the SW Ridge on the left hand skyline

Our Puja or Buddhist mountain blessing

My radio call sign was 'Yak!'

Evening light from Meadow Camp at 5000m

Brocken spectra on our first visit to Camp 1 (5800m)

The view along the SW Ridge from Camp 1

The SW Ridge of Ama Dablam

Crossing slabs on the way to Camp 2.

Carrie topping out on the Yellow Tower, the crux of the route.

The slabs on the way down from Camp 2

Back at Ama Dablam base camp.

Afternoon cloud at base camp.

Our second visit to Camp 1

Climbing towards the Yellow Tower on our 2nd acclimatisation trip.

Ouch - broken arm at 5950m!

All packaged up ready to start the tricky descent.

Helicopter evacuation from base camp the following morning.

Ama Dablam from near the village of Pheriche

The Everest memorial at Pheriche

Ama Dablam from Pangboche

Evening light on the approach to Ama Dablam base camp.

Ama Dablam sunset