/ Grade III/IV recommendations...

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tommylongfellow - on 07 Dec 2017
Can anyone recommend some grade IIIs and IVs in Snowdonia or the Lakes that are relatively well protected and escapable? I’m very confident on easier stuff but want to push into more technical ground... Thanks!
DeanD - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:
Just search the topics as there a loads of previous posts.

no_more_scotch_eggs - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:
i see the helpful crew are in town today...

i dont climb those grades- but is pinnacle ridge (gable one) reasonably well protected? i've certainly thought of it as the 'next step' when i was doing a bit more in winter (but perhaps i was wrong to...). plenty of people here will have climbed it, if it is then would seem a good choice.

ps i doubt its escapable other than down the route- but same for most stuff at the grade, i'd have thought?
Post edited at 15:02
Exile - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:

Dollywaggon North in the Lakes worth a look for breaking into IVs without getting too committed.
L Stellar Meteor on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:

Hidden chimney, Anach Eggach
TobyA on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> i see the helpful crew are in town today...

> i dont climb those grades- but is pinnacle ridge (gable one) reasonably well protected?

No. I did it in February in good condition and I thought it was rather poorly protected, and I came up on Southern Highlands wiggly schist and turf. It's easy but some of the lower pitches are very run out. I've come to the conclusion that bad gear is quite normal on Lakes winter routes!
Dave Cumberland - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:

> Can anyone recommend some grade IIIs and IVs in Snowdonia or the Lakes that are relatively well protected and escapable? I’m very confident on easier stuff but want to push into more technical ground... Thanks!

Re: Lakes: Good protection and escapability on winter routes should be something you must accept may or may not pertain. Looking after yourself is key. It is crucial not to get into trouble - too many incidents and things can rapidly go pear-shaped. The harder routes tend to be better-protected but not exclusively.

Upper Deepdale, Haweswater, Great End are good for technical stuff in the right conditions. Gable Crag in right conditions but not as reliable as further inland. Bootlegger's Groove has reasonable gear. Central Gully Gable is serious (two fatalities there a few years back), Step Gully in Deepdale is reliable, East Hutaple Groove, Curving Gully (but that can vary in grade from 3-5).
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

yikes.

glad i didn't quite make it to it- sounds like i'd have been in for a nasty surprise!
Rog Wilko on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:

I think those two venn diagram circles - grade III and escapable - don't really intersect.
Having said that, Raven Crag Gully must rank among the best few IIIs in the Lakes. Not in all that often though.

Pay Attention - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:

In Snowdonia, I'd suggest, if a III / IV route is formed enough to climb then it's thick enough to escape.

Your question made me think of the climbs I've done of that grade. It's unlikely that you're led out so far from a resting place that you can't get in adequate protection such as a pair of screws to enable retreat. Most of the Devils Kitchen climbs would be escapable. The Ramp would be tricky once you'd turned the corner, but you'd find a way off Screen, Kitchen, South Gully, etc. Grecian 2000 feels a bit run out but you'd know that from below before you started.

The Snowdon Yr Wyddfa routes would maybe be more reliant on finding sparse rock protection to bolster an escape.

In the Carneddau the objective problems are the onrush of darkness and distance from the road. Escaping the climb is only a minor part of the journey home.

Written advice is less helpful than practical experience. I'd be happy to mentor you on Snowdonia III / IV routes till you get going. All you'd have to do is provide the full winter conditions.
CurlyStevo - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to tommylongfellow:
If you are very exprienced at Ii then you’ve almost certainly climbed III as conditions vary so much. The trick imo is to start the season slowly, don’t push straight away. Then push up a grade when conditions are good. Keep with that sort of grade for a while. Rinse and repeat when comfortable, not for the sake of it. There’s quite a jump up from easy III to hard IV so be a bit careful.

Also bear in mind mixed climbing is a completely different beast to water ice and you need to work each separately. Personally I’m better at ice and have lead V a few times and harder on euro ice. But for me IV mixed is as far as I want to go.

As a rough guide the overall experience of leading Mixed IV is about the same as VS summer mountain routes. It will tend more towards being bold than technical, so more often similar to VS 4a/4b.

Another way of looking at this is mixed IV is often about VDiff covered in snow and ice. Generally you will have needed to breezed up the VDiff in summer to want to consider doing it in full winter conditions.
Post edited at 07:46
Exile - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Curving Gully was steady V 5/6 when I did it. I wouldn't be looking at that given the requirements of the original post.
Dave Cumberland - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Exile:
Have done CG many times, sometimes a breeze and sometimes a nightmare! I agree, my hardest ascent it would be a 6. All conditions-related.
DC
Post edited at 12:10

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