Roger starting the crux variation of Step Buttress (III 4)
Tonight was abolutely stunning up on Helvellyn. We'd headed up to Brown Cove Crags for a night ascent of Step Buttress (III) under a full sky of stars. There was a good trail in through the unconsolidated snow with just a few areas of neve to keep us on our toes. The snow was a little firmer than the previous night but there had been lots of movement in the wind and there were some pretty big drift on the lee side of boulders etc.
Several other teams also had the same idea and we saw the headtorches of parties on Two Grooves (IV) and Right Buttress Crack (III). The temperature was around -6 and the occasional low lying clouds ment that the rocks were heavily frosted. We climbed several variations on Step Buttress giving mixed climbing up to grade IV. Be warned the latest guidebook describes this route as 100m long. After 300m plus of climbing we eventually reached the ridge at around midnight!