/ dow crag winter
I haven't done it so don't know directly, however it's worth noting that Dow is often slower to come in to winter nick than most Lakes areas because of its 'relative' low base for a mountain crag, aspect and proximity to the sea. Good neve conditions for gully climbing are pretty infrequent even when other classic gully venues, (Great End / Helvellyn,) are in good nick.
Not an answer to your question. However, according to my old notes we did the gully to the left of Great Gully in April 1983. ISTR it was about Grade I - no chockstone. My mate did it with one axe, bendy boots and no crampons. Luckily there was a ladder of steps.
Hi I did this route again in 2010 and the chockstone was nearly banked out but gave a little grade 2 step....me and a mate moved together up the gully put pitched that step..only a couple of moves and you were past it...a nice atmospheric route....lets hope it comes in this year!!!
Grade II is grade II - can't be any big shakes.
A chockstone can give huge variation in difficulty. Take, for example, The Vent in Coire an Lochain - goes anywhere from II to IV. It does make them a bit of a liability for soloing.
On Dow, Easy Terrace and up makes for a nice easy solo. You could also meander your way up E or F buttresses. A friend and I recorded 2 new lines on them a couple of years ago (that have probably been done umpteen times before) but go at a steady III.
An unburied chockstone might make the Vent a grade or two harder but not Easy Gully. I think it just makes it a little harder, thats all.
I've not done it. Think gullies are a little more affected by amounts of snow and freezing. Slightly more forgiving when you fall off though.....
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