The rocks were encased in crusted snow and the wind was driving spindrift across the open slopes.
From the dark geometrical precision of its bridge, Ghyll Beck lopes downhill in long slants of water pelting spindrift spray and flooding, pure white, across the wide flat stones at the base of the waterfall.
Everyone in England should see it from the deck of a wooden sailing ship, with a chill on the air and the taste of spindrift on their lips.
Its fury is unimaginable, white spindrift foaming and tumbling as Christopher shouts orders above the howling wind.
We climb into a headwind that lashes spindrift in our eyes, blurring our vision with sweeping clouds of ice.
It's a fine day, the sun shining but the wind blowing spindrift sharp as staples.
With childlike optimism, I'd pitched our tarp-tent as I would have in Colorado timber, and spindrift had squirted through every crack, coating everything with a layer of rime and soaking our sleeping bag.
At the top there was blue sky, but wind enough to lick fine spindrift snow from the lips of waist-deep drifts.
Plumes of spindrift were scouring the top, leaving nothing but a swooping white cleaver of ice.
And through the spindrift the local surfers will don thick wetsuits, boots, gloves and hoods and paddle out into frigid North Atlantic swells to do what we all love best, catch a few waves.