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Winter First Ascents

 

 With Tim Emmett during the 'Welsh Ice Triple'  Photo: Gresham collection

With Tim Emmett during the 'Welsh Ice Triple'

Photo: Gresham collection

Winter First Ascents UK

Winter climbing in Britain is an acquired taste. The theme in Scotland is to scrape desperately away at thick layers of hoar-frost in search of protection that usually disappoints, or in Wales it's a case of how quickly and stealthily you can climb your chosen icefall before it melts or falls down. It can't be recommended with any conviction, which is exactly the point! If you like your climbing safe and convenient there are so many places to go, but if you're looking for a raw and edgy adventure then look no further.  

 Mr. Freeze WI 6, Kaldakin, Iceland. First ascent in 2007.  Photo: Ian Parnell

Mr. Freeze WI 6, Kaldakin, Iceland. First ascent in 2007.

Photo: Ian Parnell

Winter First Ascents - Norway & Iceland

Whether it's the rush of climbing a steep frozen waterfall high above the crashing waves on a remote Icelandic sea-cliff, or the thrill of discovering yet another tantalising icefall in a hidden Norwegian fjord, there is little to rival the experience of exploring these two countries in the frozen season.    

 Splashdown WI 6. Rowaling, Nepal. First ascent in 2013  Photo: Gresham collection

Splashdown WI 6. Rowaling, Nepal. First ascent in 2013

Photo: Gresham collection

Winter First Ascents - Nepal

With the high mountains and trekking peaks taking centre-stage, it's no surprise that the ice climbing potential of the Himalaya has barely been touched. This was precisely why Kenton Cool and I thought it would be a good idea to dodge the trekking circuit in 2013 and search for the elusive icefalls in the forgotten valley of Rowaling.