Birkett and Edwards

by Andy Hyslop Gimmer Crack in Langdale has seen its first winter ascent by valley residents Dave Birkett and Mark Edwards. The crack rarely comes into condition because of its low altitude and aspect. Rick Graham and Andy Hyslop climbed the first pitch during a storm in the 90´s but were forced to bail out in worsening conditions. It had become generally accepted among local aficionados that the likely conditions for an ascent would be loads of snow and a period of really awful weather. That?s pretty much what the South Lakes got on Sunday and Monday of this week. The winter route takes a more direct line than the summer route, climbing the first pitch straight up the open corner to The Bower, avoiding the traverse out left and tricky 4c wall on the summer route. Not that should be considered a cop out and at a grade of VII 8 it weighs in as one of the hardest winter routes in the Lakes. Birkett said ?It was absolutely mega? and ?the best route I have ever done?. The previous day the pair also climbed what was probably the first winter ascent of Gwynne?s Chimney on Pavey Ark. Graded VI 5.