Tower Ridge

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 bryn 09 Feb 2007
Did Tower Ridge on Wednesday. Left bottom car park at 4.30am and walked up to CIC hut in crisp cold conditions with a cloudless sky. Got a bit excited and walked quickly so waited around the bottom of the route for a bit of light.

The start was an easy snow gully up to Douglas gap, then a rocky scramble with iced up holds onto the easier ground above. We continued up mixed ground and several rock steps to Little Tower. Here the climbing got tricky and we pitched the climb for a while. If we had more snow it would have been much easier.

By this point the light was really making the surrounding views amazing and the cold conditions made it feel truly Alpine. After the ground eased I arrived at the Great Tower and looked around at the Eastern Traverse which had no steps and very little snow, my heart started beating a bit quicker than usual! The Eastern Traverse proved harder in my mind than physically, and we passed slowly. Not much gear and old rotten ice for axe placments. Once we passed this obstacle I felt relieved until I saw the next section - the chimney above looked desperate, with ice over the crutial holds but not enough to plant an axe. half an hour of hard mixed climbing saw me arrive on the top of the Great Tower feeling excited and very pleased!

Tower Gap was fine compaired to the difficulties that we had just done and shortly after we we moving together on good snow and standing on the summit plateau feeling very pleased and admiring the stunning 360 blue sky views. Ridge time took 6 hours.

A truly memorable day and a route that I had wanted to do for a long time done.


Tim Chappell 09 Feb 2007
In reply to bryn:

6 hours is great. I've done it twice in winter, second time in 7 hours (including 1 hr spent queueing at the Gap), first time in 16 hours (including a night on the plateau... don't ask). In summer it took me 3 hours!

In winter, I find the hardest bit of climbing, when it's not banked out, is that awkward shelf at the foot of the chimney.

The top of the Great Tower is just about my favourite place in the world.
In reply to bryn: done it late in the season last year and thought it one of the best days i,ve had in the hills, truely awesome and worth keeping for that crisp clear and preferably long day !
In reply to bryn: Nice one Bryn, when are you back?
In reply to bryn: A wonderful account! Reminded me of trying to get up that exact chimney, all iced over with old snow, but with no crampons or axes....
OP bryn 09 Feb 2007
In reply to Snowdonia Adventures:

Hi Mark, been up here for 2 weeks now and got another 3 weeks of winter skills courses, then back to North Wales on March 4th for 1 week then back up north for a week, then home for a month!
Hope all is well
OP bryn 09 Feb 2007

I took 150 pics so will have them up here soon!

nb. maybe not all of them
 AdrianC 09 Feb 2007
In reply to Tim Chappell: Ha ha! Nice work - a mate and I did it in 18 hours - our first winter route! Not been on it since then funnily enough. I believe some Poles once took 36 hours. But maybe I was just told that to cheer me up.
In reply to bryn: good stuff, I need to catch up with you at some point and go through work stuff. Have you bumped into Jamie B? I think he's up there working too.
Give me a ring when you get back. Take it easy and have fun.
 Kimberley 09 Feb 2007
We were also on Tower ridge on Weds,truly a great day and like ourselves 6hrs proved a good time. Well done.
Tim Chappell 09 Feb 2007
In reply to AdrianC:

That's my only winter epic, so far. And one feels like plenty.

When Henning and I were walking in to do Observatory Ridge in 2004 on a rough, cold, cloudy morning, we passed two folks in the corrie at about 630 am, coming down the way. "Just picking your route?" we asked. "No," they said, "we've just finished it. Cresta." "Oh," we said, "so you started last evening and did an all-nighter?" "No," they said, a little grimly, "we started this time yesterday..."

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