UKC

/ Is the Downfall in?

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fotoVUE - on 29 Nov 2017
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

I don’t think you’ve posted the right link
Lusk - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Nein, mein herr, das ist gut.
felt - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to Lusk:

Steiner?
gethin_allen on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Yes, it's fat, you want to be up there really early tomorrow to get a go on it before it's hacked to bits by the hoards.
Report back with how you get on.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Seems like it was in after all...

Downfall Climb (II/III)

who knew...?

JDC - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Can't imagine why they chose to hide their name from the logbook entry? ;-)
Mark Bannan - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Seems like it was in after all...

Are you basing this on the "Hidden" entry on the UKC logbook?

M
planetmarshall on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Sure, why not.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Mark Bannan:

i did wonder whether "hidden" might like to tell us more...
davidbeynon on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

Before or during the lynching?
gethin_allen on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Mark Bannan:

Could be that someone scrambled over it and and just put it in the winter section because December is winter not because it was climbed in a true winter climbing fashion.
TobyA on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

There were pictures on Facebook, some ice, but plenty of flowing water.
Brass Nipples on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Yorkshire?
Iain Thow - on 05 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Wildboar Clough was similar the day before. Plenty of ice, but the stream still very much flowing.
Ghastly Rubberfeet on 06 Dec 2017
Mark Bannan - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

sounds very plausible. However, IIRC, the Downfall isn't in the Alps - that's where time of year dictates style of ascent (and yes I know winter is Dec 21 or 22 to Mar 21) and maybe "Hidden" forgot Tom Patey's advice - point the camera down the route to maximise appearance of snow and ice!
keith-ratcliffe on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:
For alpinists of the Mr Fowler persuasion the real question is - what about the drainpipe near St Pancras Station - that is the real test of a hard winter - unless the maintenance crew have mended it..
Brass Nipples on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:


Yes between 10pm and 4am on Thursdays
gethin_allen on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to Mark Bannan:

> sounds very plausible. However, IIRC, the Downfall isn't in the Alps - that's where time of year dictates style of ascent (and yes I know winter is Dec 21 or 22 to Mar 21) and maybe "Hidden" forgot Tom Patey's advice - point the camera down the route to maximise appearance of snow and ice!

What's the Alps got to do with anything?
The classic "Downfall climb" is listed in the UKC logbook twice, once as a Mod and once as a II/III. Climb it on bare rock and tick the Mod, climb it on ice with picks and crampons and you can tick the II/III.
"Hidden" probably climbed it as a mod but because it was a bit wintery ticked the II/III entry.
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

Is there something you want to tell us, gethin...?

;-)
gethin_allen on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
Not guilty.
Even when I lived in Sheffield I was never up early enough to get to the downfall when it was in condition to climb in a winter style and the one year when it was properly "IN" for a reasonable length of time I was over in North Wales climbing.
Being lazy I'm not really cut out for the heavy rucksacks and alpine starts required for winter climbing.
troybison - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

I hiked up there at about 1pm that day & saw the Downfall - there was thin ice covering nearly all the rock on the face. Definitely wouldn't have set foot on it without axe/crampons so I think it's fair to tick the Winter route, not the Mod rock route. I assume it's harder in very thin/mixed conditions.
mrphilipoldham - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to troybison:

I can walk to the top of my road for a perfect view of the Downfall, this is it on Friday 1st December.. I'm pretty certain it would have been impossible to get up without touching rock! That said, the offending logbook entry has since been removed.. logbook troll?

https://ibb.co/fJy84b
Simon Caldwell - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

> "Hidden" probably climbed it as a mod but because it was a bit wintery ticked the II/III entry.

or just didn't notice the grade against the one they ticked. I'm always surprised by the number of people logging winter routes in the middle of summer and summer routes in the middle of a big freeze.
fotoVUE - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Cliviger should be forming looking at the forecast.
troybison - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:
Yes, you could certainly touch rock as well as ice. Wouldn't have liked to have been on it in those conditions.
davidbeynon on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Last year I climbed fingers ridge in perfect summer conditions on the 19th December. I'm sure it was in better summer nick than when I did it in August.
Mark Bannan - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

I was being a bit "tongue in cheek"!

M
Offwidth - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to gethin_allen:

Well thats interesting. I've never seen it as a II in the flesh or in photos and if fully formed and by the proper direct line its at least IV, even though many take the easier line to the right to start and sneak off left on the top tier.
gethin_allen on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

> Well thats interesting. I've never seen it as a II in the flesh or in photos and if fully formed and by the proper direct line its at least IV, even though many take the easier line to the right to start and sneak off left on the top tier.

I think up the right corner to the big ledge and then left and up is the summer route so maybe that's the winter route too. As with most winter climbing the grades are only a rough guide.
mrphilipoldham - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

Yes the II follows the summer Mod from bottom right to top left. The Direct up the left hand side goes around IV.
TobyA on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Earlier this year I tried soloing it back on a very sunny and rather warm early summer day, perhaps May. It was relatively wet, but the bottom corner seemed rather steep and oddly technical for a Mod. I think if it was drier you go up some ledges and flakes a bit to the left, and maybe that's much easier, but I decided against trying to solo further than I got, maybe 5 or so metres up that corner, so down climbed. I solo quite a lot of easier grit routes, and although the Downfall Climb is more mountaineering-ee feeling it did just seem very hard for Mod! It made me wonder how it could ever be II if ice covered, after all people ski down grade I gullies and many Scottish IIs don't have any ice in them, just steep snow.
Offwidth - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:
I could give you a tick list of grit mods that would change your mind on it being technical for the grade: ) even for the crag it's way closer to grade norms than the classic VD that breaks out right from the same start. Downfall South Corner (VD) Moorland grading is tough and The Downfall in that context is softer graded than most. My favourite Rockfax sandbag is this one, which made me huff and puff and I thought I'd lost Wingnut for ever as she seconded it. Middle Chimney (D) (conservatively a traditonal S 4b in the BMC guide). Amusingly, an easier cleft on the Woolpacks is given f5.

On the other points I think the right corner is nearly always III unless banked out (which is very rare these days). Anyone who thinks otherwise can maybe name me some IIs that mixed climb similar near vertical corners.
Post edited at 12:47
MikeMarcus - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

I can see the Downfall from my bedroom window although it's 8.5km away. With binoculars, it doesn't look like there's much ice. Mind you, it's really hard to tell when the surroundings are covered in snow.

Has anyone been up there today?
mrphilipoldham - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Maybe part of it’s either fallen in to the ravine below, or as Arthur Birtwistle once mentioned of Shining Clough, getting steeper!
CurlyStevo - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Offwidth:

I don't know the climb in the Peak but the hardest pitches on a II I've done are the cruxes on goat track gully, the runnel and Raeburn's Gully on Lochnagar (that's not allowing II/III grades only pure II)
adam06 - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Someone logged it on Ukc logbooks on Sunday..

Downfall Climb (II/III)

"Best conditions I’ve seen. Was able to do the route with a little running water on the central traverse. Nice."
mrphilipoldham - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to adam06:

I did it today, and it was mostly definitely in. The direct has about another 8ft before it touches down, but the rather wandering line followed by Downfall Climb (II/III) was ice, and ice only from bottom to top. Marvellous!
abr1966 - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

I might set off now and be first in the queue tomorrow!
mrphilipoldham - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to abr1966:

Hopefully it survives the small thaw this week, might still be good by weekend if it does!
TobyA on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Someone on the FB ground conditions group who was there today saying it wasn't in? Does II/III seem fair? I'd happily solo that on 'normal' ice - still not completely sure I've found "normal" ice in England yet!
mrphilipoldham - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:
They may have been referring to the 'direct'? I fail to see how climbing exclusively on ice from first to last placements could be considered 'not in'. Yes II/III felt fair today, I took a wandering line up the easiest bits, being solo and not having climbing anything cold in a while. The bottom right hand corner ice was very brittle though, so avoiding it by traversing out left, then back right along ledges. Hardest moves I did felt similar in difficulty to the crux on Central Gully Left Branch (III) but it wasn't sustained.. so yes, fair

Edit - Another pair topped out just as I arrived, not been logged by anyone else so can't compare reports yet!
Post edited at 19:37
rackandruin - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:
Scroll down for pics from Buxton weatherline today
http://www.buxtonweather.co.uk/
Post edited at 19:41
mrphilipoldham - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to rackandruin:

Ah yes, that was the pair in front of me.. another chap walked out as I descended, I guess that was the photographer!
rackandruin - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham: Looks well in to me Certainly a lot better than Wales was today. I knew I should have stayed near home !
mrphilipoldham - on 12 Dec 2017
In reply to rackandruin:

Don't say that.. I'm heading over on Thursday!
phizz4 - on 13 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Pictures of the Downfall here: http://www.buxtonweather.co.uk/
John Gresty - on 13 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

I wasn't really an ice climber, but after about half a dozen winter ascents of Kinder Downfall it was time to look for other Peak district venues, and yes, there are alternatives other than the Kinder Downfall basin area and usually a lot quieter. Get out there and have a look.

One that I have seen in condition, although I doubt it comes into nick very often is the aqueduct in Chatsworth Park, now that would give a good pitch, not for me though.

John
Adam Long - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:
Plenty of ice around on Saturday but the traverse looked a bit wet for my tastes, so we traversed right and did a steep little pitch well visible in the pic below at about 5/6. A bit more ice than in the pic (which was back in Jan) but quite steep and had to bash through a couple of chandeliers.

https://twitter.com/carey_davies/status/820330546639306752

Hard to believe it's not been done before but not in the guide or the UKC database - any knowledge? The photo-topos in the guide skip this section so not even sure which summer route it is.
Post edited at 10:14
Iain Thow - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to Adam Long:

Try this guy The old James turnbull
I think he did something icy up right from the Downfall a couple of years ago.
Offwidth - on 19 Dec 2017
In reply to Adam Long:

Top of the VD South Corner?. Downfall South Corner (VD)

This was always a good alternative to the crowds.
Iain Thow - on 20 Dec 2017
In reply to Offwidth:
I'm guessing Adam (and maybe James Turnbull) climbed the ice round the arete to the right of South Corner, top right in this pic.
https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=162257
It's there quite often, so surely must have been done before though?
Adam Long - on 20 Dec 2017
In reply to Iain Thow:

Yes that's the right line. Agree, I was surprised it wasn't mentioned in the guide.
Offwidth - on 21 Dec 2017
In reply to Adam Long:
I'm not. There are obvious seasonal variaibilities and ecological sensitivities and you don't want to be encouraging some of the muppets you find on or around the downfall trashing rock or turf by climbing out of conditions stuff or for that matter removing all the ice off a gem down to shit technique (I once watched the pair in front of me remove a foot thickness of ice and the bottom 5 foot from one of the grade III, 4 lines just left of the downfall... the axe hook and high toe hook start then required was fun!)
Post edited at 18:17
Mr Spoons on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to fotoVUE:

Perhaps I am missing something (more than likely)? Every time we have a cold snap, and talk turns to "is it in" there's plenty of debate but we seem to struggle on hard facts! Are there no easily accessible spots to see the Downfall from? Any spots on the Hayfield to Glossop road or anywhere 'the other side of the valley'?

Just asking in case we have another cold snap long enough to have potential.
mrphilipoldham - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Mr Spoons:

Top of Sitch Lane in Birch Vale.. I walk the dogs up there every morning when it’s a bit chilly!
Pay Attention - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Mr Spoons:

Mr Spoons sez: "Every time we have a cold snap, and talk turns to "is it in" there's plenty of debate but we seem to struggle on hard facts! "

Why spoil the pure heart of winter climbing, the intense speculation, with easy access to current information? It would ruin the whole esoteric mystique of the Downfall and merely give more opportunity to more punters!
JdotP - on 13 Jan 2018

There's been decent frosts this week even at low altitude here in Bolton so I'd say it's definitely worth having a look to see if its "in"....

 

Brass Nipples on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to fotoVUE:

there was some shrodinger ice on it today

 


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