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Pinnacle Ridge: A Superb Day Out

By on Feb 5, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

After months of inactivity, I finally got my arse into gear and went out to brave the fresh air again. Nothing spectacular, by beastmaker standards, just good to get out and go UP once more. Hooking up with some friends at Dunmail raise for a leisurely winter start, we just had a quiet tootle up to Grisedale Tarn and tried to pick out the easiest version of our chosen stupid approach to Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday’s crag. It’s a dead simple, classic little scramble that had the promise of a wee bit of winter plastered all over it. This is definitely the daftest way to approach Pinnacle, but Ian didn’t fancy his chances trying to get to Ullswater via Kirkstone Pass, which is why we took the odd choice. Pinnacle Ridge Approach From Grisedale Tarn Pinnacle Ridge Approach From Grisedale Tarn From Grisedale Tarn a faint path was visible through the snow cover which led towards the col between St Sunday’s and Fairfield so we struck off up it toward a point where we thought it would be worth cutting off and flogging across directly to the base of the crags. Not recommended!! It was a genuine ballache once we got on to the scree covered bits. After a surprisingly long time (nearly 2 hours from Grisedale Tarn), a couple of groin wrecking stumbles and the usual torture of getting used to the great outdoors after too long away; we fetched up at the foot of the route. Pinnacle Ridge Ray Below the Gun Barrel rock Pinnacle Ridge Ray Below the Gun Barrel rock The scramble is a simple classic in summer and a pretty straight forward winter route as well, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. After the compulsory picnic start and the ritual of fumbling the first crampon attachment of the season, we picked our way up the easy lower rocks until we got onto the more solid slabby bits higher up. Pinnacle Ridge Lower Section Approaching the Slabbier Rocks Pinnacle Ridge Lower Section Approaching the Slabbier Rocks It was pretty speedy, moving up the ridge at this point as you can see from this clip. Pinnacle Ridge Rob Blackwell Belaying with Josef Frank Pinnacle Ridge Rob Blackwell Belaying with Josef Frank The ridge has got a sort of crux (ish) corner where a rock climbing rope comes in handy for most, in these conditions. There’s a very comfy stance for the onlookers. Pinnacle Ridge with Ian bringing up the others on an Italian Hitch from a sling belayed to a solid spike backed up with another solid nut. Pinnacle Ridge with Ian bringing up the others on an Italian Hitch from a sling belayed to a solid spike backed up with another solid nut. Plenty of belays if you do want the rope on these sections. Looking down Pinnacle Ridge to the Gun Barrel Rock from the top of the corner Looking down Pinnacle Ridge to the Gun Barrel Rock from the top of the corner The prominent gun barrel is the ley landmark for locating the ridge from below- and it’s not too sahbby from above either. Pinnacle Ridge with Rob playing the Mixed game Pinnacle Ridge with Rob playing the Mixed game For a minute or two Rob was enjoying his own version of the Hurting 😉 Pinnacle Ridge- The Pinnacle itself gives a tasty few moves of down climbing when it’s got a bit of snow plastered on it. Pinnacle Ridge- The Pinnacle itself gives a tasty few moves of down climbing when it’s got a bit of snow plastered on it. The Pinnacle that gives the route its name. It’s a great situation especially looking back from the next step. Pinnacle Ridge Sunset and a silly long walk out via Fairfield and Seat Sandal Pinnacle Ridge Sunset and a silly long walk out via Fairfield and Seat Sandal It was a stunning day which was perfectly finished off by the spectacular sunset into which we walked. No gnarly hair shirt experience this, just a jolly, amiable giggle with three good mates on a simple classic route on one of winter’s “jewel days”!...