Great Carrs - a first winter climb

Wainwrights: Great Carrs

Date walked: 16/12/2017

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 9.5km

Ascent: 600m

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Our first ever winter climb, We had long looked up at the snow covered tops and decided that it wasn't for us, but this year after my wildcamp at Angletarn pikes in Novemeber I wanted to carry on wild camping and knocking off Wainwrights.

A plan was hatched to camp on Wrynose pass and climb Great Carrs and possibly Grey Friar as we had seen the snow and ice conditions on the tops.

On Friday night after meeting Pingu in Newton-le-willows, a jaunt up the M6 and two soups ( served by Mrs Overall) at the watermill in Ings, we arrived at the cattle grid at the bottom of Wrynose in Little Langdale to be flagged down by 4 teenagers who were stood shivering at the roadside; they were warning us that the Pass was closed due to ice and explianed that they had abandoned their car up on the pass as they got stuck on the ice. and had been waiting for the AA since 6pm, it was now just after 9pm and they weren't dressed appropriately for the now freezing temperatures.

Pingu and I jumped out and started thrusting our spare hats, gloves, jumpers Buffs and coats on them and Pingu got her stove up and got a brew on, and I got two of them who were shivering into the car to warm up.

We decided to head up the road and see what state their car was in and found it just above Wrynose bridge in a patch of grass, it had evidently slid 70m or so down the hill and come to rest luckily somewhere it could be driven out of and a relatively ice free section of road. so after another trip down the hill I got the young girl who was driving to warm up the car and gently we coaxed the car out and onto safer tarmac and then headed back down.

the AA man had turned up by then and was warming the others up in his van and after showing them a safer route via the coast road to get to Eskdale we waved them off and headed back up the pass to Pitch below the snow line and by midnight we were sitting in the tent door watching the stars which were very close on the clear night.

A chilly night was had with some snow falling about -4 degrees and we were up, packed up, tents in the car as I didnt want to carry the extra weight all day and were walking up Wrynose Pass.

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Imageour nights spot halfway up Wrynose
ImagePingu getting a brew on Wrynose pass behind

ImageWalking up Wrynose pass, the snow overnight had got lower, we put our microspikes on and were amazed at the difference on the slippy road surface,


ImageThe top of Wrynose path

ImageWe are heading up Wet Side Edge to the left

Imageclimbing up and there is cloud forming round the edge of Limgmoor fell

Imageup we go

Imageand up

Image the side of wrynose fell and lingmoor

ImageFollowing the path upwards there is a steep drop down into wrynose bottom and hardkott

Image and up again, no human tracks but at least one fox tracks in the snow
ImageThe top of Pike o'Blisco comes into view

Imagecold pike - living up to its name
Image we gained the top of wet side ridge and Weatherlam came into view

Image And Swirl How and Great Carrs either side of Pingu

Image higher up Wet side edge looking down greenburn valley

Imagethe snow was about knee deep so was hard going until i learnt to walk by the rocks where it was frozen, looking at the last pull up to the top of great Carrs and swirl how behind

Imagepingu conveniently falls forward as i take the picture.

ImageImageImageImagePingu on the summit
Image the ridge round to Swirl How


Image Swirl how, brim fell. dow crag
ImageGrey Friar

ImageThe halifax bomber memorial

We were intending to climb grey friar as well but decided with the time that we would rather descend slowly and get down before dark given that this was our first winter climb and headed back down, as it turns out going down was a breeze and we were back at the car well before dark.

An excellent adventure and has given us loads of confidence,

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Comments: 1

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Location: Huddersfield, west yorks
Activity: Walker
Place: glen clova
Gear: gaiters
Member: None
Ideal day out: Long ridge walk. Geocaching

Munros: 9
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 2
Donalds: 3
Wainwrights: 40
Hewitts: 43
Sub 2000: 2
Long Distance routes: Moray Coastal Trail    Southern Upland Way   

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Trips: 19
Distance: 764.67 km
Ascent: 9517m
Hewitts: 3
Wainwrights 6

Joined: Feb 15, 2014
Last visited: Jul 15, 2018
Total posts: 31 | Search posts