Bowfell Area Conditions and First Ascents 18-12-11

Great weather and conditions today on Bowfell.  Lots of teams on Bowfell Buttress, Steve Ashworth and Brian Davison climbed a new line to the right of the classic route whilst Rich Cross tried something new to the left (not sure how it went as we were off, lots of head torches out on the Buttress though…)

 The Langdale Pikes
Langdale at its best

Many routes were in great condition again today.  The forecast thaw is due to arrive tomorrow so its hard to say what it will do on the crags, but it looks like it might rain on the summits.  This will be good on the long run to help the snow firm up but won’t do the mixed climbing conditions any good.

Flat Crags

Tom Greenwood and myself made the first winter ascent of the summer E1 5b Moon Shadow on Flat Crags.  This route gave one hard pitch at a strenuous VII/8, if it were just a bit more sustained it would probably go up a grade.  The 2nd pitch to the top was about III/4.  The route involves pulling up onto a hanging arete to gain a crack, at first the crack is thin but it improves with height.  Then you pull through a roof and climb some balancy slabs with a bit of a run out.  The 2nd pitch climbs a stepped groove with some awkward moves.  A great route that packs a bit of a punch!

 Tom having a good go at the crux pitch which ended when a tool ripped
 Me having a go, and keeping my face away from the axe which was ready to rip again but didn’t!
 Crux pitch on the arete 
Preparing to pull through the roof out onto the start of the slab section

Some great shots from today on the Epicentre Facebook Page.