Sunday 10 May 2015

Work, Train, eat and sleep - a photo catch up of the exciting bits in between

Time flies and it been a long time since I've put anything on here. It’s basically been work, train, eat and sleep, so there hasn't been anything too exciting to write about up until recently. I've just got back from a great trip out to Chamonix and I’ll put something on here about that shortly.

Up till then it hasn't all been about work and squats with bag of cement in a rucksack on my back (improvising for the lack of weights!). I've had a couple of good weekends up in Scotland and a quick trip to the Alps back in February. So here’s a bit of a photo catch up from some of the highlights.

Jack Geldard's re-introduction to Scottish winter climbing happened in January.  He started thinking it was all a bit continental - blue skies, perfect water ice on Ben Nevis, just missing the Italian coffee

...and then remembering it isn't always blue skies in Scotland.  Jack, Dave and Ally walking into Coire an Lochan
Less of the perfect water ice.  Jack remembering how to climb snow covered rock on the Auricle, Coire an Lochan
....and discovering it's a long and slow process!
In February I managed to sneak a few days out in the Alps.  The weather was rubbish in the mountains but conditions on the awesome Breitwangfluh in Kandersteg were pretty good, especially on the classic ice line of Crack Baby WI6, 340m.  I haven't climbed any proper, pure steep water ice for a long, long time.  I find ice climbing such a head game and it takes me a while to get my head and confidence back into it.  I'm fine on ice in the mountains, cruddy rotten neve with little no gear, whatever but water ice just scares the sh*t out of me!  Non the less Nick Bullock was beyond psyched to tick Crack Baby after years or waiting to be in the right place at the right time and persuaded me to join.  He even promised me an easy day before to get my head back into it.  The easy warm up day didn't really happen as temps were too high when we got there so it was straight onto it...
Nick starting up the first pitch, which turned into a long 100m pitch to get to the start of the steep climbing up ice pillars above.

Nick on the first crux pitch, great climbing and I was quite happy to let Nick get on with the hard bits.
Nick topping out the final pitch.  We didn't do the final short WI4 pitch at the back of the snow bowl above this.  It was time to run away with the amount of snow falling and the snow bowl looked to be providing a nice, natural avalanche trap.  I'd already had a minor meltdown as a large spindrift/avalanche had poured over a neighboring line.

Happy chaps on top of Crack Baby.  Definitely had my ice head back on by the top of it!

Spot the line!  Back at the base after 4.5 hours up and down - Nick doesn't hang about when he's climbing ice.

There was a lot of snow about when we got back to Chamonix.  So to balance out the previous days ice climbing I took Bullock skiing for the day ;-)  Nick heading up to the Glacier du Mort, I think he even enjoyed it, in fact he was even heard to 'whoop' on multiple occasions, must have been good!

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