Wednesday, 12 December 2007

More mixed action10 and 11 Dec

On Monday Kenny climbed Darth Vader(VII,8) on the Ben but was thouroughly distracted by Andy Turner's ground breaking ascent of The Secret as reported by lots of conditions/climbing website. This looks like a real step forward in terms of style and difficulty for such a hard mixed route. On the same day Alan (fresh back from sunning it in Spain - see pics) led Derek up Opening Break (IV,5) and Jamie B and Campbell forced Honeypot (IV,6) on the Mess of Pottage over in the Cairngorms. On Tuesday Kenny and Al started up the winter Version of Genie (V,7) in Coire an t Sneachda. A routefinding error saw them wander onto Salvation (V,7) which finally defeated them and they headed back to the coire floor still happy after a good pitch or two of hard mixed climbing.
Several parties have been in the Ice Factor asking about conditions locally and in the Cairngorms. Its worth noting that whilst the current spate of hard mixed routes have come in and gone out of condition quite quickly, many easier routes (especially gullys) need more of a build up to avoid grovelling on loose rock that there isnt yet enough buildup of snow and ice to cover or hold together. It only takes a day like today of thaw conditions to strip of a lot of the apparently healthy covering of early season snow so be careful out there.

The bottom 2 images are of the Aonach Eagach on 10 Dec and are from Jamie Hageman a talented artist and member of our shop staff. See more of his photos and pictures here:

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