Information and photos of my mountaineering trips in Scotland,England and Wales:
Including hillwalking,scrambling and easy rock climbing.Also via ferrata, skiing and alpine trips in Europe.

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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Red Tarn Cove, 31st January 2010

Top day in The Lakes with Lorna today! It was pretty cold, but excellent snow conditions on Striding Edge and Swirral Edge making it possible to keep to the crests most of the way. There was plenty of folk about on the ridges and quite a few teams in the two gullies left of Viking Buttress, the Buttress itself, and the broken ground left of the gullies. There were also folks using the ground left again to gain the end of Striding Edge. This is where we eventually climbed back up the ridge on grade I ground up an unamed (?) gully (maybe II at a push near the top) after descending Swirral from Helvellyn's summit and dropping into Red Tarn Cove and traversing below the main bowl, which no-one seemed to be climbing I assume due to the cornice. We passed below the buttress and the gullies and only came across small patches of windslab.
Once back on the ridge we reversed the route back to the Hole in the Wall and down to Patterdale and the long drive home. 
If only the bloody petrol wasn't so expensive these days! :(

The view from the Hole in the Wall.

Lorna with Striding Edge behind.

Me looking along the ridge to the final slopes up to Helvellyn.

Lorna on the final part of the ridge leading up to the summit.


The view from the summit shelter of various climber topping out.


Looking across the cove from Swirral Edge.


Descending Swirral with Catseyecam in the distance.

360 view from Red Tarn Cove.


Crossing the main bowl. Note the cornice which some folks insisted on venturing near the edge of!


From left to right: No2 Gully grade I, Number 1 Gully grade II and Viking Buttress. Hopefully we won't miss the boat with the recent weather and come back, maybe with the rest of the crew (?) and tick these off? 


Lorna on her way up to the little gully we found near the end of the ridge.


Me on my way up.


Me at the top!

Strolling along Striding Edge.

Monday, 25 January 2010

On the Edge.

Well it was good to get out eventually after missing the boat a few times recently. As I was solo today, I opted for a trip to The Lakes (same driving time and a bit less tiring?). The Met Office report for Striding Edge was good so I didn't want to miss the boat with this one in case there's a mega thaw. (Apparently cold again at the end of the week).

The start of the Edge is a little further on after you pass over Bleaberry Crags and Low Spying How and High Spying How. The snow was pretty much firm from about 600m, just before The Hole in the Wall. (which is still half buried).

Looking back along the ridge, which is possible to cross on it's crest for most of the way.

The way ahead with the ridge rising to Helvellyn's summit at 950m in the cloud.

Looking back at the so called "bad step", just right of centre, which is just a short chimney
easlily climbed down facing in.


The large memorial to the Manchester artist Charles Gough stands above Striding Edge, close to the summit of Helvellyn. In the spring of 1805 he slipped on ice from a sharp rock and fell to his death from here. The story of his faithful dog, which remained watching over its master's body for three months until it was discovered by a shepherd near Red Tarn, was later immortalised in the poem 'Fidelity' by Wordsworth and by Sir Walter Scott.

The summit shelter didn't provide much shelter today though as it is still full of snow!

The murky view of the descent of Swirral Edge. Later the view improved and I could see several teams of climbers gearing up near Red Tarn, which looks frozen but may be not! Even without a guidebook, I could see plenty of opportunity to find grade I/11 climbs and probably avoid the cornice that is still there.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Soll, Austria, 9th - 16th January 2010.

A selection of photo's from our week in Soll, Austria. This was our fourth time and it gets better and better. As usual we stayed in the excellent Hotel Tulpe, managed by Joe, Linda and Thomas (El Cowboy) the Barman.

The morning view looking out from the balcony over the Hochsoll Gondola station, the "home run", and up to the Hohe Salve at 1829 m.

Halfway down the Hohe Salve looking down the Red run to the Hoch Soll top station. The red gondola on the left is the Hohe Salve lift.

Skiing down from the Stockl lift.

Daniel and his "class", somewhere in the Ski Welt with the Hohe Salve rising out of the cloud in the distance.


Inside the bar at the Alpen Igloo Village in Brixen.


Martin and me trying to look cool in an iglioo!

Daniel, Francis and Doreen taking a light refreshment outside the igloo's.


Lorna commenting on my 5 Euro Vodka cocktail in a 3 Euro ice glass! You get to keep the glass though.


My one and only assisted attempt at the rail in the "funpark" above Soll.


The Almfreid, tucked away in the trees away from the main runs. The woman that runs it along with her husband are both in their eighties and they cook the food to order whilst you sit in their kitchen!


The food is amazing but unfortuneatly the toilet (above) is a little basic!


Lorna and Doreen at the top of Scheffau, with the Wilder Kaider in the background.

Myself, Keefsa, Lorna and Doreen, having "another" drink on the way down to Ellmau.

Rudi and his band, Insanity Sauce, filmed very badly by me across the bar in the Salvenstadt pub in Soll, Januray 2010.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Salomon - Sexy Boots!

No need for words, just enjoy the photo. Mmm!

These babies, Salomon Impact 8's, will be on show in Austria next week.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Off Piste at Hillend. Januray 2nd 2009.

Another brilliant afternoons skiing at Hillend, with (almost) an alpine feel as we went "off piste".

Looking down the main slope from one of the starting gates.

Myself, filming, and Lorna and Lenny taking the long way down.