In condition? Leaving the axes at home for a winter ascent of Embankment 2...the way it should be done.
© Alex Messenger, Dec 2010
Most of the top ten photos on UKC this week are recent shots of a mixture of rock climbing on gritstone and winter climbing throughout the UK.
Last week's top story on UKC was the Drytooling at Millstone news and this week's number one photograph, taken by Alex Messenger of The BMC, is of one of those Millstone routes. The shot is of John Roberts climbing Embankment Route 2 at Millstone - without axes and crampons - and is a great visual reminder of how superb a winter's day on the grit can be.
I asked Alex about the shot:
"As soon as snow hit the Peak I knew it was photo time, and after a few false starts and snowed-up roads we waded into Millstone as the sun set. After the fools had been in with their tools, we thought it'd all be covered in ice but it was looking good – and Embankment 2 looked perfect. There was only one photo to take but with the sun dropping below the horizon there wasn't much time.
Out came the 14mm lens to get both the route and the sunset in. Exposure and film speed were set to bring out the sky but still give a little light on the rock (1/40s, f.2.8. 400) and pocket wizards controlled a remote flash set manually at 1/8th power to balance ambient light. Whilst I fumbled, John climbed. There was just time for a couple of shots before all the light disappeared. But one shot was all it took. Result."
Another great shot of the Peak District, this time from top photographer Dan Arkle, shows the view from Mam Tor - a picturesque winterscape, showing just how beautiful the UK can be.
The rest of the photographs are equally amazing, with topics ranging from highball extreme gritstone (Renegade Master at Froggatt), hard ascents on Ben Nevis (The Secret) through to my personal favourite: "In situ Climber" - a superb portrait of someone grappling with the constrictions of The Clanger on Ben Nevis.
You can view the weekly top ten photos in the photos section of UKC (use the drop down menus in the header bar on every page of the site).
PHOTOS: The rest of this week's top ten!