Sunday, March 4, 2018

Ice Climbing on the North Yorkshire Moors 2018

The Beast From The East has brought winds of 50mph or more, stripping the snow off the fields and moors into large drifts.  It also brought the temperatures down to around -4c...

Time to head up to Great Fryup Head.   There are extensive ice falls at the head of the dale on the west, but there are also a small number of routes right at the head of the dale between Yew Grain Scar and the George Gap Causeway.  NZ 715018.  If snow permits it is possible to access these from the Cut Road path at Trough House to the west, or where it joins the Lealhom to Rosedale road at 729028.  Alternately park at opposite the outdoor centre in Great Fryup Dale and walk up.   

Just to the east of the George Gap Causeway are three or four routes.  The one on the left is probably around 15 to 20 ft in height.  Ice axes are on the ice.  Probably grade III.  There's an excellent belay at the top - a large wooden stake securing a game keepers trap.
The largest of the waterfalls is this longish slide which is probably around the 50ft mark, with an easy angled extension continuing out of view below.  There's also a little bit of mixed climbing to the immediate left in the picture..  If you are walking in from the dale this is a pretty obvious feature.
A mixed route probably grade ii/iii 
The Smear.  This feature was the result of a change in stream drainage a few years ago.  The brown stain is the result of it flowing off ironstone strata.  I've often wondered if it would freeze up, but it obviously needs slightly colder temperatures than the -4c we've been having.  However there's still enough for a little sport.

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