Monday, 18 January 2016

Mixed and Ice

Heading for the corner (photo: Steve)

Today I finally got to go climbing on some winter routes.  It was brilliant!  Very wintery conditions with barely a breath of wind.  This meant Steve and I enjoyed winter climbing in mellow temperatures and absolutely no suffering.  We went up to Aonach Mor, nothing like a bit of mechanical uplift to help blow out my cold I picked up in the Alps, and made our way down Easy Gully. 
I think I had a knee bar in there (Photo: Steve)
A few more moves to go (Photo: Steve)

 We started off on Sterling Bridge (VI,7) which was a great pitch of climbing.  Short but very entertaining and a nice route to get things going this winter.  We made it to the top at 11.30am so with plenty of time left we opted for another route.  Given that Steve hadn't done a route on the crag I showed him the abb points and he led us up Left Twin (III,4).  
Steve approaching the belay on SB

Unfortunately the idiot in the group (me) left the ice screws in the back at the top so Steve was faced with a lonely lead with a head of useless metal work as everything was choked with ice.  He did sling a couple of pretty useless ice columns but it was not a problem as the route was well within Steve's climbing grade, there was a good ice pillar right at the crux more fortunately.  So all in all, a great day out to blow away the skiing legs, a mixed route, an ice route and a nice finish back to the van at 2.30pm.  Happy days.  Back to work tomorrow...I think I will go back up there, great conditions.
Steve leading to the top of SB
Steve setting off without ice screws
Ice screw would be useful here...

And here!

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