Freeze thaw cycles

A few years ago, with a climber's head on, talk of freeze-thaw cycles meant only one thing. Or rather two things.Winter routes were 'in nick', or not. Typically, in the Lakes at least, they were not. A freeze would inevitably be followed by a thaw, but all too often, that was where the cycle would end. The hard névé which makes winter routes on the fells a joy never given a chance.
No great surprise then to find the previous day's blue skies and sub zero temperatures replaced by leaden clouds, rain, sleet and rapidly swelling becks as the snow melt rushed to the valley floor.
Which is not to say other things did not freeze. My fingers were first, compass work on the tops in the clag wearing sodden gloves saw to that. Toes were next. Waterproof socks no match for the icy water beneath the slush on Illgill Head.
I thawed eventually, more slowly it seemed than the fells, but grateful for the break before my next freeze.

Comments