/ dow crag winter

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blackcat on 14 Nov 2012
Hi, i do a lot of easy winter soloing when im not climbing with my mate,the question id like to ask is on easy gully dow crag which is a grade 2 in the guidebook they say thers a chockstone high up and can be passed on the left wall i think,is this harder in leaner conditions or is it easier to climb the chockstone direct,any advise cheers.
Exile - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to blackcat:

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.
Jon Wickham - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to blackcat: Having done easy gully but found the chock stone not banked up enough to climb over it we did the left hand variation which felt considerably harder. As the above post says Dow doesn't come into condition so easily, so if you are soloing and it's not really good conditions I would suggest a different crag which may be in slightly better nick.
wilkesley - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Jon Wickham:
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.
LakesWinter on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to blackcat: I soloed it in 2010 in February. The chock was nearly buried and gave a short mixed step at grade II. 2010 was a snowy, cold winter though. We had gone to do C Ordinary but it gets too much sun in late Feb and had largely stripped off.
Gav Parker - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to blackcat:

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!!!
Dave Perry - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to blackcat:

Grade II is grade II - can't be any big shakes.
Ross McGibbon - on 14 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Perry:
> Grade II is grade II - can't be any big shakes.

WRONG!

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.

Dave Perry - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Ross McGibbon:
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.
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Ross McGibbon - on 15 Nov 2012
In reply to Dave Perry:
Fairy snuff.
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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