We've climbed together for a few years now, but it has been a while since our last trip out and today Gav was keen to keep things easy and focus on mileage, partly as preparation for a forthcoming trip to the Dolomites.
We began with C Ordinary route on Dow crag. The rock was delightfully warm and completely dry, a gentle breeze kept us from overheating, things were pretty perfect.
Quite high on the route, Gav mentioned some knee trouble going on, we took it steady and stayed roped up for the descent as a precaution. With the knee still giving some bother, Gav was keen not to push it and we called it a day, so enjoyed a leisurely lunch before heading down to Goats Water so Don could cool off.
Despite cutting plans a bit short, we still managed a top quality mountaineering route on one of the finest cliffs in the country. Dow has something about it, an aura. It offers climbs throughout the grade range. We watched climbers on the magnificent 'Eliminate A' (VS) and heard of friends who had been on Catacomb (E1) and Tumble (E4) on the same day. So whatever your grade or objective for the day, Dow delivers.
Another brilliant day spent in the mountains, on a great route and in really good company, thanks Gav.
Cautionary note: a large flake of rock has fallen from high on this route. There is debris still in this area and care should be taken.