Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales
With the impending approach of a last ditch attempt at having a half decent winter, I am off to the Yorkshire Dales for a spot of fun-filled, frosty frolicking in the great outdoors.
I like snow…I like ice…I like blizzards…I like “white out” conditions. Its the best thing to get the adrenalinepumping and it really concentrates the mind as you have to rely on your wits, experience, equipment and your resolve.
A couple of years ago I was on the summit of Helvellyn in the Lake District on a bright winters day, when it suddenly became very dark and the mountain became lost in a ferocious snowstorm. At one point you could not see your hand in front of your face. Really frightening “whiteout”conditions. But what was more frightening was the amount of people on the summit not equipped properly and lacking in experience. My wife, who is an accomplished “crag rat”and was a mountain goat in a previous existence, and myself led 8 people off the summit before they became casualties.
I enjoy winter walking and climbing, but apart from Scotland, winters are getting less severe by the year. Its been some years now since I last “ice climbed” and my 12 point crampons and technical ice axe are starting to rust! So its off to the Yorkshire Dales for a few days to pit myself against mother nature. No really big hills to tax me, but I,m hoping that the waterfall at Gordale Scar will be interesting enough to climb up.