Lake District 31st January 1st February

 Mountain Hardwear LogoThe CGR Winter Conditions Blog is kindly supported by Mountain Hardwear

A stormy forecast for Scotland and the promise of good conditions, better weather and a four hour shorter drive found Richie and Dave heading for the mega classic Bowfell Buttress on Saturday morning. A windy walk up The Band found us floundering in a mixture of deep snow over rocks trying to pick up the climbers traverse round to Bowfell Buttress – next time I think we’ll head up and come down the gully.

Deep snow in the gully approaching Bowfell Buttress
Deep snow in the gully approaching Bowfell Buttress

Luckily we just beat Toby (team UKC) and Simon to the route by 15 minutes or so. There was a bit of a Jöttnar review kit ‘love in’ with team CGR and team UKC sporting a variety of shells, bibs and belay jackets! The crag was in pretty good nick with decent ice interspersed with a mixture of less consolidated stuff here and there but overall most things looked good.

Pitch 3 Bowfell Buttress ©Toby Archer
Pitch 3 Bowfell Buttress ©Toby Archer

Fabulous climbing throughout (though I think we were a little off route for part of pitch two) marred only by a daft tumble when both footholds blew as I was fiddling in gear (with two hands – dummkopf!) to protect the final moves onto easy ground! Luckily I escaped with a bruised backside and a small hole in my jacket. Great to meet up with Toby in the flesh rather than via social media too.

Pavey looking wintery
Pavey Ark looking wintery

A heavily bruised backside precluded any climbing on Sunday so we went for a wander up past Pavey Ark that also looked in good nick and just enjoyed the beautiful views that winter Lakeland conditions can bring. Make the most of them whilst you can.

Thanks to Mountain Hardwear for supporting the CGR winter conditions blog – take a look at their Mountaineering and Alpine climbing range ideal for winter conditions!

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