17 February 2011

Into the Mountains...

I've just got back from a day out in the mountains. The objective was a couple of routes on The Napes, Great Gable, however the conditions had other ideas. There wasn't any rain, but there was snow up high, and the rock was greasy and wet in places from the rain we've had over the previous few days.

Looking up Styhead Gill to the Scafell Range.

This did mean that we were limited to the routes we could climb, but we set out for Needle Ridge (VD) instead, which is a Classic Rock tick, so the quality of the climb was not lessened by the poor conditions; it just made it slightly harder. We climbed the route in walking boots, with our bags on our back, so some of the moves were extremely difficult at times because of the greasy rock. However, this just added to the adventurous nature of the endeavour.

The top of the Napes Needle with Wasdale below.

The route gave us excellent views down over Wasdale and across The Napes. We were also able to watch the clouds roll in off the Irish Sea, but luckily these didn't dump any precipitation as we climbed, but they did limit our visibility as we ascended.

Sphinx Rock.

Once we had topped out we scrambling along the top of The Napes to the ridge that connects it with Westmorland's Crag and the rest of Great Gable. We hopped along this and then made our way to the summit of Great Gable.

Scrambling off The Napes on the way to Great Gable's summit.

From the summit we descended down to Windy Gap and then, with time still on our side, we hurried to the summit of Green Gable and back down into the Gillercombe hanging valley before descending down the side of Sourmilk Gill back to the car at Seathwaite.

Looking down into Ennerdale from Windy Gap.

More pictures can be found here.

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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