25 years after its first winter ascent by Brian Davison, Moss Ghyll Grooves on Scafell has received its second ascent.1985 Jan 19: Moss Ghyll Grooves, Scafell B Davison, R Jones, A PerkinsSeveral parties were vying for the first ascent. On the successful ascent the slab pitches were covered in unconsolidated snow with thin ribbons of ice in the corners. from Lake District Winter Climbs, 2006.Steve Ashworth reports:(click to enlarge topo photo)
I finally managed to get to Scafell with a willing partner and without Brian Davison in the team. Putting a quest for new routes on the back burner for a day and deciding to enjoy the sunshine and head for what promised to be a classic mountain experience, myself and Paddy Cave headed up from Hollow Stones trying to decide what route we would do as our second route of the day.
Initially Graded IV 4 by Brian who was first to claim the ascent amidst a bit of competition from the locals, Moss Ghyll Grooves was then upgraded to V 6 for the new guide book, this was Brian's best guess. Brian felt quite old when I broke the news to him that I was 5 and Paddy hadn't been born when he first put the route up. We had what sounded to be harder, more icy conditions than the first ascent, with gear and placements being hard won and at times a bit crafty, but felt the grade to be more like VII 6.
It goes without saying that Moss Ghyll Grooves put up a good fight and we certainly didn't have to worry about what was going to be our second route of the day. A slightly leisurely approach in the morning was payed for with a descent from the crag by head torch. Another great route and certainly a classic mountain experience. Thanks Brian.An exceptionally keen Ed Luke came along and somewhat bravely rapped off the top and hung around to get some great photos. It's a good job he's got a warm jacket.Steve Ashworth works at and is sponsored by the EpiCentre, Ambleside. Steve also blogs at mixedmaster.blogspot.com