FROZEN KINDER DOWNFALL

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was much further north, or even on another continent, but as the crow flies, it’s only 150 miles from London to this stunning frozen phenomena where ice-climbers are flocking to put their crampons and ice-axes to the test before the giant frozen waterfall begins to thaw.

The one hundred foot icicles on Kinder Downfall have only just reached peak condition and are now ready for the brave to climb – if they can reach the remote location over 2000 feet up in the Peak District, just north of Buxton, Derbyshire.

Medical students, Marije Jansen, 30, and Sean Cox, 31 were the first climbers to reach the ice at eight o’clock this morning. Sean said: “I moved to Derby last September and I’d never have believed I’d be ice climbing in The Peak District this winter – you never quite know whether the ice is going to hold – it’s a bit sketchy really, but it’s just amazing.”

Marije said: “When you climb on rocks you have to bend your body and squeeze through gaps – but climbing on ice feels like you are cheating – you just hack your way through it with your ice axes – is a bit like digging a way up through the ice with a Black and Decker.”

Mountain Rescuer and Mountaineering Instructor, Nick Lord said: “It takes a week of temperatures below zero before Kinder Downfall freezes solid. Now it has, it should stay iced-up for a week or so even if things do start to thaw elsewhere.

“The water that runs off the Kinder Scout plateau runs through peat – it’s this that makes lots of the ice look browny-yellow.”

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