Great End, Central Gully left-branch

Amazing weather in the Lakes today, a nice change from the recent storms!  We had an Introduction to Winter Climbing course running today with Derek.  We went over all the skills required to take on grade III ground, ice screws, rock belays, movement coaching, snow pack interpretation and some ice axe arresting as well.

We headed for Great End today with a few back up plans depending on the snow condition.  It was just cold enough last night with some wind scouring taking place to bring the gullies into reasonably good condition, plenty of snow obviously and evidence of avalanche activity over the last few days, but the wet snow from yesterday had hardened up to a usable level and was actually good snow ice in places.  The ice-fall pitch was snow ice with the odd screw possible but generally a bit bold, the security of the placements varying as well so a confident approach required.  Some wind slab about, mainly on East facing slopes but also with a bit of cross-loading at the gully tops.

All in all an amazing day to be out on the Fells today whether climbing, walking or skiing!


Scafell Pike



Langdale Pikes



Cornice on Central Gully left



A very snowy Custs Gully! ski descent?



Great End




The crux pitch




The Lakes ski tows at Raise needing to be dug out today