Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Back to work

If I'm honest with you, I was rather reluctant to return to work today for several reason...  I have spent the last two week over indulging over the festive period with my family and friends which was mostly sponsored by several different alcohol brands.  Sleeping patterns disrupted, only two days out in the hills in the Lake District and a couple of sessions in the wall had led, or so I thought, to a tough day on Ben Nevis.  The weather was most unpleasant today, freezing levels were above the summits and it was pretty much raining the whole time.  All of the previous factors meant that I didn't spring out of bed like I usually do.  Anyway, we ascended Ledge Route and despite the conditions being poor I had a very enjoyable climb.  I gave the rope and rack to Thomas and Mirjam so they could practice safeguarding each other whilst I soloed just above them.  I realised that as I was teaching the guys how to select good anchors, use good communication,  when and where to place gear, route choice, snow pack conditions and all the other bits and pieces associated with winter climbing, I had forgot how utterly horrible the weather was and had an enjoyable day.  Despite enjoying the day, we left the summit for another time and returned to the car at 2.30.  I wonder if I'll be springing out of bed tomorrow...
Tower Ridge

Looking up Number 5.  Avalanche debris and the Curtain suffering

Feeling the exposure (and wetness)
The wet snow was very accommodating to climb on.
 From what I could see today, which wasn't very much, the thaw is hard at work.  Still lots of ice streaks around, Hadrian's still had a bit of ice on it and I suspect Point 5 would too but not something I would like to be climbing in current conditions.  The thaw has set up camp and is going to hang in for a while, all we can do in the mean time is go out and get wet!

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