I had a spare day, so when Jon phoned last night to ask if we were up for anything, I said “Of course!”
Pete had to work, but that made it easier because Jon had one spare pair of crampons. I also borrowed Pete’s leash-less ice tools, so we were ready to investigate an ice route.
We met at Dunmail Raise, which was much quieter than yesterday, and made our way up to Grisedale Tarn and around the back of Dollywagon.
Jon started up a route – I don’t know what it was called so Jon will have to let us know. The problem was getting up the first rock step. The snow hadn’t really consolidated enough for the axes to get purchase, so we decided we would leave that route for another day.
We reversed our tracks and made our way up to Dollywagon Chimney. This looked a bit easier.
Jon took the first lead, over 60m through some interesting mixed snow, ice, rock and turf. I took over and made my way up towards the narrow chimney. There was no climbing to be done in the chimney and I could see that others had scrambled up left over mixed terrain. I thought about it, made a bit of a pathetic attempt, and then gave up, deciding it was man’s territory. I made a belay and Jon came up to take a look.
Jon made it look easy, so another 60m later I followed. It wasn’t easy.
The final 80m were mine. Up a steep snow slope. Nothing hard there, just the thought that it might all come down. We topped out at 3.30 so the light was lovely.
A quick cup of tea, some Ritz crackers, and we made it down to the car in record time and before it was dark.
Thanks Jon for another fantastic day.