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, 25 March 2012

Soll - Ski Welt, March 18th-24th 2012.

Another sunny day on top of the Hohe Salve. Myself, Martin, Eddie, Brian, Katie, Mick and Steph, had a top week in Soll. Very warm in the afternoons, with the home run getting choppy sometimes but all ski-able.   
Avalanche debris on the lower slopes of the Hohe Salve. We weren't sure if it was natural or man made? We did hear various blasts during the week so maybe the Ski Welt people thought with the mild weather it was safer to release some of the snow higher up. 
Somewhere below the avalanche site, on the way back to Soll near the Siller lift.
Mick and Steph, showing off their new skills in the main bowl by the Stockalm, Hexen6er, Rinner and Salvenmoos lifts.
Empty slopes below the Hohe Salve chairs.
Nice view over to Westendorf from the Hohe Salve again.
Snow angels or exhaustion?
The small church at the top of the Itter gondola. I'm ashamed to say that this is the first time I've bothered to go over to it in the six years or so that we've been coming here!
Martin, Steph, Mick, Katie, Brian and Eddie, on the eight man automatic chair at Scheffau.
Martin, Katie and Eddie, out with the huskies at the Igloos and Ice Bar at Brixen im Thale.

"Which one is the toilet?"
Katie and Brian enjoy a non existent drink in the ice bar! (bit pricey). 
It's nice inside, but everyone was outside in the sun.
Mick and Steph in one of the ice bar's "booths". Note the skins on the seats.
The "instructors", haha.
High on one of the Alm hut roofs over in Westerndorf.
This late in the season you have to expect some varied piste conditions.
Thankfully it was just ski-able across to Westerndorf.
Westerndorf summit cross with ski tracks along the arete!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Threading the Needle, 11th March 2012.

With the prospect of little in the way of winter climbing (at our level !), myself and Ian decided on some easy-ish scrambling in the Lakes. The forecast was also a bit better further south and so we headed for Seathwaite with The Climbers Traverse, a "threading of the needle" and Sphinx Ridge. The walk via the alternative path alongside Taylorforth Gill was pleasant but sweaty in the unusually warm weather, and the Climbers Traverse was equally enjoyable. The low cloud came and went as we approached Napes Needle and we finally got a view of our route between the needle and the crag behind. The way up between the Needle and the main crag needs some squirming and grunting to get up before a brief rest on some blocks before the tricky (in the wet) downclimb.    
As it turned out, it was damp in the shaded side of the needle and together with the very polished rocks we didn't fancy trusting our boots on the greasy rock. We had put harnesses on in case of this so all we had to do was get out the 30m roped, place it round one of the blocks and abseil down.  
Ian abbing down through the gloom on the other side of the needle. We then made our way around the face of the crag to the Dress Circle for a well earned cuppa!  
Sadly there were no views of the Scafell's to be had through the cloud and there was only just a view of Napes Needle itself.

  Somehow I managed to draw blood, either on the way up through the needle or on the abseil down! 

 Sphinx Rock through the cloud and Sphinx Ridge behind it. There are various descriptions for getting onto the ridge, but in the past, in good weather I have tackled it direct from behind the Sphinx. Most guides have it as a grade 2 scramble, however today it proved really awkward and needed a bit of a cheat by pulling on some gear as we climbed up to the right of the slab into a notch in the first tower!? I can only guess I went left up the more exposed slab to the left the last time I did it? Obviously the more direct route is harder ,maybe Diff or V-Diff? 

 We did see a (very small!) brocken spectre further up the ridge though.
After the enjoyable scramble up Westmorland Crags, we were rewarded with a cloud inversion over Styhead and Wasdale, with the Scafell's in the distance.
Looking over to Langdale with Harrison Stickle and Pike of Stickle and Windermere behind.
Some of the locals down in Seathwaite.