Friday, 25 January 2013

Icicles, snowmen and inquisitive sheep on Yewbarrow

Britain's Favourite View in winter attire

(Blog & pics by Steve) The forecast was for another clear sunny day so I decided to venture over to Wastwater. Again the forecast was wrong as it was cloudy with intermittent snow, so I spent an hour taking shots at the lake before deciding it wasn't going to get any better and began my climb up Yewbarrow.

I've only climbed Yewbarrow once before in a T shirt on a rare hot March day so this was a change. The initial climb to the base of the crags was fine though still needed spikes to assist, but beyond that I'd forgotten how much of a short sharp mountain it is without much path past the 'face in the rocks'.

The spectacular Wast Water Screes.
A little off piste I came to some great icicles around 13ft long I'd say. Further up is a tough scramble, tough enough during the best of days but in thick snow it required full concentration. Though I'm tall at 6'4 with a good reach, my fat size 13 boots can't fit in all the ideal foot holds so I knew on the way down I would need to change the bulb ;-)

13 foot icicles
After an hour of scramble and re-routing I made it to the top of the crag. I decided that due to probable time, light & blizzard restrictions I would waymark may way around to avoid the crag on the way down by placing little snowmen. The snow was knee deep here and with no one else having been up, I had to forge a new path forward this made the final part of the climb long and tiring.

Once at the top dark snow clouds loomed over Great Gable and Scafell it began to snow on me so wary of the time it had taken me I headed back down. The snowmen were a great help and a little more fun than cairns (or are some really just random piles of stones?) I ended up just below the crags in good time so stopped for a bite to eat with a inquisitive sheep for company.


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