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~ Tuesday 22nd February 2011

 Two more excellent days ice climbing - Sunday on the Cascade des Ignes had something of a Scottish feel to it with non-stop snowfall and spindrift. Good climbing though on this remote and beautiful icefall. Worth the walk - and definitely worth taking snowshoes or skis. Anyone expecting to find the bolt belay will be disappointed - it's under several feet of ice, so go prepared to top out, or make threads to abseil. There's an old peg belay too but it leaves you hanging in space...

After 3 days of peace and quiet in Arolla we went to Chamonix on Monday, timing our visit to coincide with the first powder skiing for 6 weeks and the usual Grands Montets queue chaos. Luckily there was no-one climbing and we had a great day on Nuits Blanches, which seemed to tick the "something a bit more challenging" box for John. This is still in great condition and we've swept all the fresh snow off it now...Thanks to Rob Jarvis of High Mountain Guides for the picture - he stuck his head over the edge to find me sweeping snow and cursing hot aches on the top pitch.