Hen Crag Buttress-5th December 2010
Stood on the second belay my shoulders were screaming as I tried to drag the lead pipes imitating ropes through the belay device. Then the ropes stopped moving and my arms returned to normal and with the glow of effort thawing me out I started to feel really sleepy.
I awoke to the sharp tugging of the ropes as Ed tried to advance up the heather-strewn buttress, and I knew last night's party was going to have a big effect on my performance that day.
The previous night had seen us meet in t'hole in't wall for a couple of pints to review the guide book and plan the next day's climbing, the beer tasted so nice we thought it would be great to keep sampling. A few pints later bedtime arrived (3.30am) and the alarm was set for an 8am start, more than enough sleep!
We set off from Tilberthwaite car park, fuelled on croissants, tea and sausage sandwiches, to go and find the 3 star Hen Crag Buttress on the side of Wetherlam. A trail to the crag was thankfully broken through soft, knee-deep powder by a party of 3 just a couple of hundred yards ahead.
I am not sure how Hen Crag Buttress got its Grade III/IV or its 3 stars but 4 hours of heather bashing, and crampon scratching, up the broken buttress saw us at the summit of Wetherlam. We arrived just as the day's beautiful blue skies turned indigo and treated us to a stunning sunset overlooking Dow crag.
After quickly packing our gear we set off down the narrow Steel Edge Ridge and arrived at the car just an hour later, starving, thirsty and in need of some sleep.
Mark Cardwell & Ed Luke http://www.edluke.com/