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Friday, 28 March 2008

Beautiful cold and sunny weather with great climbing

26th March 2008... After the Easter Mountaineering courses, a rest day was planned but the weather forecast sounded too good to miss. A later start than the past five days saw us easily following the now well trodden trench through the deep snow. We made the most of the great icy conditions and climbed in the sun on on the NW buttress of the Mess of Pottage. The cliff was very quiet with just one other team climbing on Pot of Gold and a guided group from Ireland starting up Jacob's Ladder. There was quite a depth of powder in places but this was easily cleared to reveal good neve and gear placements.
Fi and I climbed Haston Line on Mess of Pottage then continued up the second pitch of Yukon Jack on superb rime and thin ice smears. Conditions were so good and great fun so instead of continuing up onto the plateau, Fi climbed down the Slant for a little bit then up to the top pitch's of Hidden Chimney.
We videoed the whole day and will publish this later when we have time.

Fi climbing a nicely rimed and iced Hidden Chimney which was in absolutely superb icy condition compared to a few weeks ago when it was mainly snowed up rock. As well as the mixed routes and snow gullies a number of the ice routes are in great condition now too.

The crux on the Haston Line is short and well protected and had just enough neve and rime on the rock slab to make it fun without scratching and sparking...!

Fi with axes torqued into the chockstone crack and moving onto the smooth rock slab on the Haston Line's crux...

Looking towards the sparkling white Aladdin's Buttress, Trident gullies, Fluted Buttress and the Goat Track.
The Goat Track and Half a Gully (Easy Gully or Point 5!) are now almost completely banked out with the small crags now buried. Fiacaill buttress and ridge look fantastic.
The good winter climbing conditions look set to continue was some time yet and with a high pressure forecast for next week it's the time to get out. Remember to pack the sun glasses and sun screen too...
More details and pictures can be found at http://www.marmotte.co.uk/blog/diary
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