What a weekend!

Tom and Jaquie came up from London on New Years Eve to stay the weekend and enjoy the snow.

The original plan was to walk in to Mosedale Cottage bothy and celebrate New Years there, with a few other folks from the rescue team, but we were called out to a search mid-afternoon. This was fortunately wrapped up (sucessfully) fairly promptly, but lost us the time (and motivation!) to walk in. Instead, we all headed over to Kaz’s and celebrated there instead!

Nursing the inevitable hangovers, we decided a few winter skills lessons for Jaquie over at Grisdale Tarn followed by a nice gully would clear our heads. After a quick snow pit or two, with some very obvious unstable layers, we practiced a few ice axe arrests and then wandered up Dollywagon Gully, as the wind picked up the spindrift around us. Suffice to say, we had clear heads by the end of it! Returning home, tired and dehydrated, I’d just managed to get a cup of tea in me before being called out to assist the ambulance service up at Brampton…

The upper section of Dollywagon Gully

Yesterday, given how much snow we’ve had, I thought the lower lying Raven Crag Gully would be worth a look. After a warm walk in, we found a very dry gully, which would probably have been doable, but not at the appropriate grade, and not great for Jacqui’s second ever winter route! We moved left and scratched our way up a very mixed Tyro’s gully, topping out on very unpleasant unprotectable snow covered heather. V happy to get out of that one – we headed home. Sure enough, kettle on, pager goes off, search call, High Street…

Tom and Jacqui in Tyro's Gully (before the unpleasant finish!)

Today, we chose a gentle wander up Helvellyn, via Striding Edge and descending Swirral. We weren’t alone, but considering how stunning the weather was, I was surprised more people weren’t out. No matter though, more views to enjoy for the rest of us! Tom and Jacqui were keen for a reasonable finish to start the long drive home, so we headed home, I put the kettle on, the pager went off, ambulance service assist, Appleby…

Striding Edge, Helvellyn

Returning home a second time, I didn’t put the kettle on, as I hadn’t taken my boots off yet. After I had, I put them back on again… ambulance service assist, Eden Hall! This snow stuff’s great, but it does make you work for it!

Happy New Year!

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