/ lake district winter conditions
There won't be any ice to climb. I would imagine a bit of soft snow in the top of the gullies if that's your thing.
I was on Blencathra yesterday and the freezing level was just above the summit. Some things were just starting to freeze in the wind, but this has mainly been on a SW, which is a rubbish direction for winter crags in the Lakes. The ground underneath the snow was very wet.
So, after a thaw and freeze a good strong cold wind from a northerly direction could eventually start to bring some things into good winter condition, if some of this snow survives the thaw next week...
Crags on scafell looked plastered today and a good freeze tonight should see a few routes on the west face like pikes. Same with gable crag from what I could see.
Back up to Wasdale on Monday for a jaunt up there.
Looks to have been quite a drop today. Caldbecks white over, as are most of the tops on the.western fells.
I went up Sharp Edge this afternoon. There's a decent covering of snow from the tarn upwards and drifting knee deep in places up on top, but it's purely cosmetic and not consolidated at all. There were crampon prints around but I didn't put mine on.
The turf underneath wasn't anywhere near freezing and exposed rock was wet. Good to be out but it wouldn't have been worth the bother carrying climbing gear. Might be a bit better first thing tomorrow morning but it'd more time to freeze down properly.
Be aware of the environmental issues on Helvellyn before you thrash around with tools there in unfrozen conditions.
Hi, was out on Helvellyn today and put some info about conditions on here -
In terms of climbing theres not a lot on offer yet, classic edges and rocky ridges will be snow covered and give a good day, nothing that depends on turf will be in though, it was soggy and insulated by snow on the tops. Great winters day though otherwise...
Helvellyn Gullies will definitely not be in condition tomorrow, they need freeze thaw cycles to harden the snow up. Better something rocky, Pinnacle Ridge on St.Sunday could be worth a look? its rocky and has no turf on the climbing sections and has a good covering of snow...
Second that Paddy Pinnacle ridge looks well covered, shit loads of fresh powder in the Eastern coves and the edges were fantastic, went from whiteout in the showers to blue skies, amazing views with all the hills in the distance with a good covering. Maybe going to do Pinnacle Ridge or Sharp Edge tomorrow haven't decided yet:-) Hope this is the way this winter is going to pan out it's certainly started early.
Well it's a bracing -2 at sea level at the moment.
Hard to say at this stage, still plenty of snow about, see today -
Given the forecast my money's on everything melting before the weekend.
Hope you're right. But how much powder is likely to survive a few days of freezing level well above the summits, gales force winds, and constant drizzle/rain?
Been raining all day and much milder in West Cumbria.
I agree. Above 4 C and rain/drizzle = turbo thaw :-(
Wear your big boots if you want to get used to them again. Not going to hurt anyone wearing them with no snow about.
Any snow left on the tops
Nothing in the Coniston range, and view over Scafell showed nothing. A few tiny patches on the summit ridge of the Helvellyn range.
But to all intents and purposes, it's back to square one.
What's the temperature been like around the lakes.
Noticed snow has fallen today?
looks better for later in the week ?
How cold has it been up there
the weather front looks pretty awesome for the end of the week!
What was the snow line yesterday and what was the ground like on top of St Sunday crag? I am keen to get out next weekend, but I am thinking that the higher crags on Helvellyn will be too buried and insulated by snow to freeze properly... So something lower could be on the cards!!!
Also, was there as much snow in the W Lakes?
Snow line was at 750m and was a half a foot deep. If the weather pans out as predicted looks like Lake District conditions thread will be pretty active soon :)
Have fun pal
Looking at the weather reports the temperatures have been pretty low among most of the mountain tops. Does anyone have any info on coverage?
from my window looks good snow cover from about 750m in the east, and it's very cold in Kendal this morning.
Siddaw has a good covering on the George Fisher web cam this morning as well as Fairfield on the Climbers shop web cam again all down to about 750m, fingers crossed for the weekend if these sub zero temps stick around as promised.
any snow or ice at all
.might be heading up this weekend trying to see if it will be worth the journey?
Given the rain then snow onto wet ground to insulate it you may be being a tad optimistic for Greatend where the buttresses use a lot of turf and the gullies are predominantly snow climbs requiring consolidated snow to be any fun. Also remember that in poor snow conditions a quick exit in the wrong direction in the company of a lot of snow is always possible from the upper half of Central Gully. I would stick to rocky ridges/buttresses if I were you given the likely marginal condtions and environmental sensitivity of many lakes winter climbs (see new FRCC Guide for full details).
>> There won't be much snow on Great End, some ice though.
I checked the fells at 2:30 this pm from a viewpoint to the north. There was light snow on the tops, but not enough to say, fill gullies such as Great End (which I couldn't see.) Looking west, from north to south, there was light snow on the tops of:-
Blencathra,Grisedale Pike,Grassmoor,Great Dodd,Raise,Catchedigam & Helvellyn. I think that there was snow on St. Sunday crag but by then the low sun was in my eyes, so not sure.
Also, there was an earthquake in Patterdale last night at 9:45 pm, also felt in Borrowdale, magnitude 2.1
I've just uploaded a photo of Blencathra 2.30 pm today, which should appear in the next 24 hours on UKC. It shows the snow cover better than I can describe it.
The met forecast for next five days is looking cracking
Rain will be snow higher up.
minus 2.5 outside in Kendal at the moment.
That's not what's currently forecast, but only a degree or two in it.
Done that for you:
A nippy minus 4 on the Cumbrian coast at the mo, so should be colder up top. Rain forecsst for Sunday though!
Minus 6.5 this morning Kendal
forecast seems to have changed, long range on unisys improved too, ecmwf isn't working just now.
> A nippy minus 4 on the Cumbrian coast at the mo, so should be colder up top.
Seems like its freezing too much for some!!
Sharp Edge was black yesterday, I wouldn't bother with the tools.
Was thinking of Sharpe Edge myself, any updates much appreciated.
This still looking bare?
Helvelyn had the most snow cover especially red tarn cove but must insist "full winter conditions" are not in. The turf is sodding wet underneath the snow and nowhere near frozen. Striding was in decent nick and would defo require crampons. Why couldn't it have froze like this for a few days then snowed!!!!
Ok, so climbings out
What are the options for a wintry hillwalk? Would prefer to avoid helvellyn as always seem to end up there, can anyone comment on whether scafell pike or bow fell/crinkle crags have got much snow on them at the moment? I've tred looking for webcams, not been much help, though the one of the great gable suggested I shouldn't get my hopes up too high...
I passed the Lakes on the train the day before yesterday. Beautiful sunshine, everything looked very white, including Sharp Edge. I've never had such a clear view of Helvellyn from the train before. Nor, from just before Oxenholme, seen Gable looming so obviously behind the Langdale Pikes.
Thanks Tim, sounds hopeful...!
Anyone been up lagngdale in the last couple of days for a close up look...?
Its still very cold, water ice is starting to form in the valley but dont know about higher up. From the south at least there looks like very little white stuff, the very tops of kentmere and out the back of great end is all i can see white. Could do with a bit of freeze thaw, might be a nice weekend for a cold wintery scramble. :)
of course Sharp Edge is snowy, in a parrallel universe somewhere, it is like the Hummingbird ridge on steroids, tread carefully.
I dug a small snow pit in the north side of Striding Edge and found 1 - 2 inches of hard snow on top, with 3 - 4 inches of soft, powdery snow underneath, with a 1 inch thick bottom layer of compacted snow. If it's the same in the gullies, then I doubt it would be sensible or pleasant to climb in them yet. Striding Edge was in reasonable condition though.
Fresh snow down to about 500m in the east this morning
My mate was out running around the edges today and reported people climbing in the gully's and on the buttress's, anyone got any feedback?
We did Striding Edge, Nethermost Gully and down Swirral. New snow throughout the Lakes above 2400ft or so. Gullies still a little short of snow and ice. Spoke to groups on V Corner and Gully 1 who both said conditions were good. Certainly a good day out!
Thanks for the update, exactly the two routes i needed to know about, i want to comlete v-corner as had to abb off last year above the corner as the exit slopes were unstable.
Did a route on Rampsgill Head today which was in condition
Engineers area on Gable was in cracking mixed nick today - not many taking advantage mind!
Did gully no.1 on Red Tarn Face today and was in condition wouldn't say perfect condition but definitley in, lots of water ice and the crux felt more like III.
Dollywaggon North was also in very good condition today - one other team, (also made up of ukcers!) there too.
Viking Buttress looked fantastic, yes there was a couple of guides on it.
Snowing heavy in Kendal at the moment, the predicted rain has arrived as snow!
Got any pics you can share - good news indeed. Snow snow when do we want it now!
Sorry turned to rain overnight, just a wet miserable mess now!
I think it will just get better and better over the next few days given the rising and falling freezing level and a bit more snow.
are all the ridges still in condition?
Anybody got any photo's from today?
What did the rest of the crag look like Jas?
I think there could be a high avalanche risk in the gullys by Wednesday with all the fresh snow and more due over the next 24 hours sitting on top of the old crust, but there again it has had freeze thaw for the last few days so it's anyones guess, best you go up there and see, as it's definitley worth the visit but maybe something rocky and ridgey though there was loads of rime on the rock on Sunday.
Was up on Brown Cove on saturday night and did the Left Hand Buttress II and the Left Branch of Central gully II, which had a suprising amount of ice and snow ice in it although it was certainly thin. The buttress was a little sparse at the bottom, but good neve above that and good enough for soloing. Should have improved too.
No Idea what will have happened with more snow down on it but there wasn't a massive amount of snow on sunday.
Pinnacle is a top route and my mates first winter route :O) i see no reason why it would not still be in.
Helvelyn is not the only winter crag in the lakes and is certainly far from the best ! A small amount of thought and taking a chance often gives a better day.
> Helvelyn is not the only winter crag in the lakes and is certainly far from the best ! A small amount of thought and taking a chance often gives a better day.
I did it without placing any turf gear - you will be fine wwith a rock rack
>> Believe me, if you only have summer gear, don't venture into the high lake fells now.
I'm not sure what to make of this video. It's a slightly laughable rambo style representation of what winter running in the lakes is all about. But my overwhelming feeling having watched it is that I want to get the chap some gloves.
That footage is hilarious. There's more where that came from if you're after a good laugh. Appears the runner acting out Rambo is Mr Ashworth.
Great End from Borrowdale
Great Gable North Face
Very wintery on summit of Gable.
and snowing today...
All the best,
Lakeland conditions yesterday were great, snow/rain today though, could be good if another freeze follows....
Update and photos on here -
Looking pretty cold up high just now only a bit east of eastern lakes
mountain weather forecasts don't look like a high up thaw until saturday
anyone local - is it likely to be raining or snowing on the tops at the moment? could make the difference between good conditions or avalanche central!
definitely avalanche conditions!!
Its looking potentially awesome next week - a light thaw with some rain this weekend and then turning very cold but sunny and dry.
Shit loads of snow falling up high, Shap Road closed up to Shap with drifts across the road, it's been swapping between heavy rain and heavy snow in Kendal all day , the mountains look plastered, avalanche city this weekend in my opinion.
especially if it warms up and rains!
> Its looking potentially awesome next week - a light thaw with some rain this weekend and then turning very cold but sunny and dry.
I'm off work next wednesday and i'm hoping its going to be awesome !
Is there another kendal ? not seen anything but rain in kendal today
Well snow down to my son in laws back garden in Bowston and snowing heavy there at the moment which is no higher than 100m potter Fell covered, Potter Fell covered at about 250m snowline.
When i woke up this morning it was white, throughout the day on Hallgarth it has swapped between rain and snow allday like i said, but not white on the ground anymore.
Plus do you need a pair of axes for the grade 1 gullys in the lakes ?
One axe is fine, last year I even managed Sharp edge without bothering with crampons though there were people who opted for them.
Looks like Pinnacle ridge at Gable will be a good one for the weekend then!
Anyone have anymore good ridge suggestions? (grade II or III)
Btw, (searching for a partner next weekend!)
Looking at the forecasts, I think I'll be out next w/e too - might even get the Friday off too - expect a 'Lifts and Partners' post if I can't get any of my 'usual suspects' out.
I'm going to chance it and bide my time for better conditions rather than risk the avalanche potential and warm temps this w/e...
I stopped going to the gym as soon as my leg started functioning properly, moved up to Kendal now. Enjoyed the gym but preferred doing stuff outside.
Anybody got reports of the Coniston old Man / Dow Crag area?
Thanks Graham - was wondering if Dow was frozen enough to climb on but below the majority of the snow that fell yesterday. probably a long shot.
> Hi Mate
> I stopped going to the gym as soon as my leg started functioning properly, moved up to Kendal now. Enjoyed the gym but preferred doing stuff outside.
Areet, aye thought it was you! Ditto, it has to be outdoors everytime. Training for the Raid Pyreneen so not doing a lot of weights at the moment. Looking forward to a good winter and remain hopeful some of the classics like Dove crag gully will be in this year again. All the best.
Monday's the day!!:-)
freezing level likely about 700 metres today
Still, got a couple of pastys in Grassmere so I'll enjoy them with a pint later! The most expensive pasty in the world? Probably!
How far up the hill did you get? Weather stations seem to be confirming the forecast freezing line at 700 meters or so.
> Still, got a couple of pastys in Grassmere so I'll enjoy them with a pint later! The most expensive pasty in the world? Probably!
I'm partial to the ones in the shop accross from Cunninghams in Ambleside, think its called the Apple Pie? Very tasty after a day on the hill, I believe they have them flown up form Cornwall.
> Be safe
It won't stop some hovering around the Gullies at the weekend. Conditions could be really good in the coming week...
In the lakes for the day tomorrow.
I know the conditions are pretty poor, but can anyone recomend me any routes, easy grade, worth doing. Ridges maybe?
Pinicle ridge, St Sundays? If it gets too wrm you'll still be able to have a scramble.
This thread is going to drive me nuts. At the moment my 85 year old mother has seen more ice action than me after decking herself on black ice going to church on Saturday. That leaves me babysitting while she has a wrist brace on for possible scaphoid fracture. When the forecast comes on I just stick my fingers in my ears and go " la la la la -not listening".
Just back from a days walking, snow is very firm but with some interesting accumulations on south east facing slopes, at least up on red screes. Could have been firm but didnt fancy testing it. Snowing a little up high, lots of ice on paths above 500m.
Turf seemed mostly frozen but the odd pocket of unfrozen stuff.
Few more days of coldness and it will hopefully be good. Anyone go climbing today? didn't see anyone.
Climbed Central Gully r branch Great End today-lot of snow,turf well covered but where seen frozen-good solid placements.No one else on it while i was there-surprising but there may have been some worries re avalanche potential perhaps?-seemed fairly ok overall though-some old debris at the bottom
Four teams out on Cambridge Crag(?) North Buttress and Bowfell Buttress today. Weather and conditions started out as being very good but temp went above the tops early afternoon ish making the snow slushy, although the turf remained frozen. Also got a bit drizzly. Nobody on Bowfell Buttress, (the route,) which was quite a suprise.
shall I just wait till next week ?
Total whiteout when we were at the summit and had to do some proper navigation to get off the hills towards the west. Snow was up to knee depth in places around the summit plateau, not too consolidated.
On the way home looking out the bus the snowline seems to have retreated significantly but I think it's gotten colder throughout the day.
How was it, was planning on midweek for a sneaky solo mission.
I dont normally make comments on here but must say I was appalled to see people climbing on brown cove crags today. In the time I was there i saw a steady stream of turf rock and ice coming down the crag. It was not frozen at all, you should be ashamed of yourself for damaging the crag / environment.
Well that is rubbish, if that is true why do people do this, the routes would still be there next week, the forcast is for a good freeze again, i hope the route has not been stripped of any uasable ice/turf, freeze thaw is all part of the process, it's a waiting game, conditions come and go, show a little patience and decorum, allow routes to build.
Did sharp edge on Blencathra today, very little snow on it or on the approach. I used crampons, the rest of my party didn't. Party behind didn't but were roped.
Windpacked crusty snow on top, maybe 30cm depth with lots of bare patches - has been stripped massively.
Friends were on central gully on great end - reported soft snow, pretty bad conditions.
> I dont normally make comments on here but must say I was appalled to see people climbing on brown cove crags today. In the time I was there i saw a steady stream of turf rock and ice coming down the crag. It was not frozen at all, you should be ashamed of yourself for damaging the crag / environment.
Totally agree Mac. Quagmire is an idiot.
Wind your'e neck in, i wasn't climbing today, but asking about conditions, if everything was thawing it was evidently not in condition sherlock.
I think Dave might have misread the post above and meant to write Stuart58?
I expected you to defend your appalling ethics on here but truly you know the conditions were not right today. If you think you were correct maybe you should revisit what is and is not suitable conditions. I could squeeze water out of the snow at all levels today. On the higher and windblow faces there was a crust of a couple of cms but under that the ground/snow is very wet or at best partially frozen.
I know it is hard and frustrating waiting for the right conditions, my friends will testify to my lack of ice/snow blues.
I dont expect you to agree with this but all i would ask is that you treat the environment with a little more respect
just received this
Hi where you the guy that came up on tele ski ?
We skied down under the crag to check conditions out someone stoped on
there way up on skis and spoke to us.
I could not belive those guys where on that route !!
Got some pictures shocking when you zoom in !!
I think this confirms what i said
and yes it was me on the tellys ( i didnt put your name above on purpose)
Hope you had a good rest of the day, still some good snow out there for skiing
Please could this conversation be taken up through private messages or in a more suitable forum rather then in the "Lakes Winter Conditions" forum.
So far this forum has been a useful resource, allowing people to make informed decision about where suitable winter climbing conditions are. Let's keep it that way and avoid its falling into another winter ethics/appropriate conditions debate.
Just got back from red tarn. Lots of black rock and soggy turf.
looks like there could be quite a major thaw friday.
Was up Red Tarn this morning.
It's been quite stripped up there, rock was black and turf c.750m was not frozen.
Didn't feel like winter to us, we didn't climb. Imagine the edges would be good though! Nice morning.
how can people make an informed decision if misleading statements go unchallenged?
> Totally agree Mac. Quagmire is an idiot.
Should have gone to Specsavers!!!
Images and more info at http://www.paulhorsmanphotographer.blogspot.co.uk/
Never ceases to amaze me how quickly the snow goes - Bowfell Buttress was pretty much white on Saturday morning.
Must have been shite on sunday looking at the 3ft post holes and mess people had made swimmming in the usual spots.
I suspect you are correct there - it was pretty mild
Did right parallel gully and the big wide gully that you could ski down on Browncove Crags today, rock hard neve all the way, if a bit thin in places but could stick to the neve all the way up on both gullies without damaging any turf or rock, all buttress's and other gullies completely bare with only the two parallel gullies and the big wide one complete. Whoever has climbed on Central Gully yesterday or Saturday has completely fu##ed the turf at the bottom of the gully, on the ice ice pitch, the ice is not there and massive chunks of turf are severely damaged and lying at the bottom with chunks just hanging there half attached, it realy looks a state and probs will never repair. Shame on you, things are there but if not you have to be willing to change plans or not climb.
Excellent turf up on Brown Cove today, loads out making the most of the weather too!
Right Buttress Crack & Central Gully.
Not a huge amount of snow, decent ice forming & turf absolutely bombproof. Must have been about 10+ people there. Awesome weather!
We went upto Red Tarn yesterday and chose not to climb as turf (to us) was not properly frozen. Today was completely different with rock solid turf and a fair bit of good useable ice. Didn't stick to routes, just took detours hunting for the best line.
There was 1 team on Stepped Ridge.
Headed up brown cove this morning before sun up. First time out in winter. did easy gully and parallel gullys rib. Turf was rock hard. Shame it wasnt as full of snow as earlier in the week but its great fun.
Nipped up to helvellyn before we came down and it looks to have held more snow on the red tarn side although the cornices are showing sign of cracking and seperation.
After looking in guide team who I thought were on stepped ridge were actually on Parallel Gully Rib
There is lots of snow on high street but little on ill bell and kentmere pike, just whats left after the sun stripped it on saturday. Heading to great end tomo :)
Nipped up one of the easy gullies on the left of Brown Cove Crags this afternoon.
Bomber neve all the way up. Turf well frozen. Most the the rock had only the lightest dusting of hoar on today. More of a day for easy gullies than harder mixed routes. It looks like the weekends mini thaw and the re-freeze of the last two days has really help things along. There's a really solid base of snow in places at the moment.
Here are a few photos showing conditions today:
Went up to Great End tonight for a night ascent of Central Gully. Grains Gill was pretty hard going in the upper third with iced rocks and frozen puddles, manageble with walking poles but kept cramps on for coming down this section. The snow/ice in the gully was squeeky plastic neve with perfect placements every time and all the turf was solid but we never needed to use any. I don't think my mate or I had to swing a placement twice the whole way. There is some slightly spoiling steps up the middle of the easy sections but the neve was so good it was simply a matter of front pointing a foot or so away from the steps to get maximum enjoyment from this classic route. The icey step at the ampetheatre hasn't fully formed yet and it looks to have been hacked a bit but for the right hand original finish to the gully the extreme right hand side of the icey step holds enough ice and its simply a matter of hooking your way up, no need to swing the axes so please don't - give it room to fully form! The exit was somewhere like 75 deg in angle and the snow on the summit is frozen hard so not much chance to have a cornice forming but obviously make your own judgement. It was wonderfull to have to mountain to ourselves on this very dark moonless night and the stars were awesome and venus was burning brightly. No shaggy dog stories (see other thread) but we did pass a number of folk coming down as we were going up about 5/6 ish. One party had what looked to be a youngish german shep who looked to be enjoying every minute of the outing, he got a pat on the head, can't resist a german shep since growing up with one!
Great night out, hope it lasts the next few days for everyone, seems the key is to go high :-D
Hi - we met you as you were on the way up. Hope you enjoyed the gully. Our dog is actually a (female) Akita / Shepherd cross who absolutely loves the snow and cold weather.
Speaking of animal welfare issues, we have often have to prevent Suki from being "rescued" by well-meaners passers-by, even when she's only been tied up outside a cafe for a few minutes! In this country it seems as though we sometimes have our concern for animals a bit out of proportion - like having a FB page for them for example...
Ha! Jus gotta love a dog with its own facebook page :-)
We had a great night cheers, back at the car for 23.20. Mark won the 'falling on your arse on the icey path' comp with an impressive score of 5 - 2
Blea Tarn anyone?
I meant conditions wise...
Out on great end today, bomber conditions, awesome day, beautiful. Did central gully left/middle. Good ice and excellent placements, the right hand didnt look so good and had lots of turf showing. Window gully was also climbed and apparently was good fun, as was the left finish and south east gully :)
Sure striding edge would be good too.
central right is tricky in the middle as its not fully formed.
You could do half of Central. It is only 1 or 2 up to the basin. Even a dog can get up there.
Was his the ascent of Tongue and Groove referred to in the logbook? I may be way off the mark here so apologies if I am, but if it was this ascent then this route being in good condition does not mean that scrubby crag as a whole, (including the steeper mixed routes,) were in awesome nick. Do you know what the routes on the main face of the crag looked like?
Imagine the thaw and rain predicted for tomorrow will change things and make for a wet weekend (again!) anyway :(
Thanks, that's what I suspected. Glad you had a couple of good days with very few others around I suspect.
Went into Blea Water today to attempt Blea Water Gill. Bottom pitch was running with water and only had thin patchy ice so bypassed it. Sections of half reasonable ice over some of the the short walls/steps mostly soggy fragile ice. Main pitch by dihedral was in and took 2 short screws but water was starting to run underneath the ice. Ran out of time so bailed out after the crux pitch, and looking higher up towards the top of the gully the ice was pretty sparse and thin. Doubt if it will survive the w/e thaw. Birketts gully appeared to have a fair amount of snow to half height but not much in the top pitch. Again only v thin ice in the climbs to the left of BW gully.
Has today's thaw left ridges bare? Or am I likely to need spikes?
Any one help?
It doesn't look to have been as cold as forecast and the rain has possibly been falling as snow (it certainly has in Wales where it was due to be slightly warmer).
It's fallin as snow from about 5-600m at the moment.
Anyone been out this week, out running today and it looked as though there was quite a bit of stuff that survived the thaw round great end etc. So has anyone been climbing?
However rain forcast for later tomorrow.....
Has anyone been up recently to have a look?
Cheers (and merry Christmas)
Was up helvellyn yesterday, lots of wet snow above 700.
Weather looks to be staying warm over the next week aswell.
The weather nows looks to be changing now. Aparantly going to get colder, with some snow.
Think this thread should be killed off and a new one started if we get a big freeze!!
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