Friday, 30 September 2011

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

50,000 Blog Visits - Thank you!

My blog has just passed a major milestone with 50,000 visits since May 2009. The peak was in May 2011 with nearly 9000 visits in a month during my jaunt to the summit of Everest! Thank you to everyone who has viewed this site and I hope you've found it inspiring and or useful!
Blue skies

Gale Force Winds on Tophet Wall

Patricia arriving at the 2nd stance on Tophet Wall (HS)

This week I'm working for Adventure Peaks with Patricia for her regular fix of Lake District rock. The brief for the week was Classic and Hard Rock routes so with blue skies in the North Lakes we took a chance on the weather and headed up to Tophet Wall (HS) on Great Gable. Arriving at the base of the route in just a t-shirt the cloud level was still above the crag and we were reasonably sheltered from the strong south westerly. The rock was still dry to touch but as we climbed the cloud came down to meet us and the wind increased giving very atmospheric and challenging conditions. Slow progress and a rather damp looking forth pitch prompted us to escape by abseil back into the gully. Rope management was interesting as the increasingly strong updraft frequently hurled our ab ropes back up the crag!

Patricia eying up the moves to the 3rd stance

My abseil ropes going horizontal across the crag!

Monday, 26 September 2011

Troutdale Pinnacle

Sue enjoying the sun on Troutdale Pinnacle

For the last couple of days I've been climbing with Sue & Jude. Today's was Troutdale Pinnacle (S) in Borrowdale, a route with a big reputation in their climbing circle. Conditions were far better than last week and there were just a couple of wet streaks to avoid. The sun arrived as we climbed the pinnacle giving a very pleasant finish. With plenty of energy left we avoided Shepherds Cafe and the ladies swung leads up Jackdaw Ridge on Shepherds Crag

Jude waiting for the sun to arrive on the 2nd pitch!

Sue approaching the belay on the 2nd pitch

The exposed slab leading to the pinnacle

Sue drying out on top of Troutdale Pinnacle

Jude accepting the challenge of standing on the end of the pinnacle

Sue leading Jackdaw Ridge on Shepherds Crag

Saturday, 24 September 2011

More Classic but Wet Rock

Sue enjoying good holds on the wet rock

For the next three days I'm climbing with regulars Sue & Jude. The forecast was improving but rain was still falling as we headed up to Corvous (D) in Borrowdale. They'd both climbed it 12 years ago and had great memories of the experience. A couple of other teams were also heading for this classic wet weather climb so we switched our attentions to Raven Crag Gully (VD). After one pitch of extremely greasy bridging in a chimney we agreed this was meant to be fun so abbed off and headed back round to the clean rock of Corvous! The rain stopped as we topped out and we had a very pleasant walk back to the car.

Jude on the classic hand traverse pitch

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Lakeland Classic Rock Routes

Traversing below the pinnacle on a very wet Troutdale Pinnacle (S)

Fancying a challenge acrobats Jane and Lisa headed north to enjoy an 'Indian summer' in the Lakes attempting to climb the 15 Classic Rock routes from Ken Wilson's stunning coffee table book. An ambitious itinerary involved some 45 miles of hill walking and plenty of four star climbing over 3 long days. Sunday morning saw us at Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale climbing the classic Little Chamonix (VD) as the sun burnt the mist off Derwent Water. Our next route Troutdale Pinnacle (S) at Black Crag was rather wet with a waterfall running down the crux pitch which slowed us significantly but perfect timing saw us back at the bags as the rain arrived. The forecast for the beginning of the week was pretty bad but spirits were still high as we set up for the trek up to Gillercombe Buttress (S). The rain soon cleared and we enjoyed plenty of sunshine as far as the base of the route. Greasy rock again slowed us and darkness and torrential arrived together two pitches from the top. We made a quick decision to bail and one long and wet 60m abseil took us down into the gully and an easy scramble down to the bags. A sheltered campsite was quickly found on the valley floor and we settled in for the night.

The next morning gave blue skies and light winds. We opted to miss out the routes on Pillar and traversed over Green Gable aiming for Napes Needle (HS), Needle Ridge (VD) and Tophet Wall (S). However by the time we reached Sty Head Tarn an unrelenting wind was driving heavy rain down the valley and we ended up retreating to Langdale for hot chocolates in front of the fire in the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

The forecast for the Tuesday was far better so we headed back round to the quick drying Shepherds Crag to get some climbing done. We made quick work of Donkey's Ears (), Eve (VS), Kransic Crack Direct (HVS), ?? () and The Grasp (E1) before retreating to the cafe. Bacon sarnies and hot chocolate arrived just before the only shower of the day signifying the end of a very adventurous 3 days.

Enjoying the exposure from Troutdale Pinnacle (S)

The unique Donkey's Ears on Shepherds Crag

Entertaining the locals at Shepherds Cafe!

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Three Shire Fell Race

John Helme & Carl Bell vying for the lead

The fifth race in the Lakeland Classics trophy is the Three Shires Fell race. Opting not to race I headed out into the persistent rain in support mode. Despite a large number of photographers none of the runners opted to ford the waist deep river just after the start so I headed up on to Lingmoor to get some photos.

Steve Birkinshaw in 8th place

Andy Thompson of Eden Runners

Leading women Hazel Robinson

Keswick AC's Julie Carter in 3rd place

Wendy Dodds chasing hard in 4th position

The crowd going wild!