16th January, 2012
I am a beginner at this game and found this climb (Crollo di un Mito * III, Cogne, Italy) steep enough. But conditions were good and I became slightly more proficient as the week went on, even leading a couple of pitches. I wore my skiing goggles all week – falling bits of ice are a recreational hazard.
Here are two more photos taken on the superb ice climb – Cascade de Lillaz Grade 3 . An early start meant we were first on the route, it’s a popular climb. Park in the centre of the village of Lillaz and it’s a ten minute walk upriver to the first 100m pitch which we soloed. To reach the next pitch we skirted round the edge of a frozen pond as water was visible through the ice. On the second pitch you can choose where to climb as some parts are steeper than others. Then there is a few hundred metres walk to a corner pitch (that’s me leading it in the bottom photo) – really enjoyable with places to stand for putting in ice screws. On the final pitch (middle photo) David took a steep line and I struggled to find a foothold in the icicles. The climb finishes with an easy 50m traverse to a footpath in the sun! A gentle downhill stroll takes you back to the village. A deservedly 3-star Italian classic.
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1st January, 2012
Well, just a quick report and a few pix from a very pleasant Christmas week spent in the French Alps. Not a lot of ice formed (due to the unseasonably warm November) but enough for a bit of fun. And, LOADS of snow… so lots of opportunities for XC skiing, falling over and getting back up again. When it all started hurting too much, the gentle pursuit of snow-shoeing was enjoyed – except by those who moaned it was just a glorified form of walking. You’re right, it is just a glorified form of walking but it does stop you getting buried up to your neck in powder snow. Highlights include: the President’s return to the Ecrins Alps 16 years after her first appearance on the Alpine scene as a young debutant (you really need to ask her about that trip…), mass falling-overs on our bad weather day and the fantastically furry dog sledding team.
So now thoughts turn to 2012 and all those exciting opportunities to terrify yourself in your chosen medium.
‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the next hold always be just within reach.
May you live long to retell all your climbing tales with a pint in your hand.’
Happy New Year!
PS: Question. How can you tell when you’ve got a sports climbers on your winter trip? Answer. When she arrives at a foot of an ice route with a cherry tomato and tortilla wrap for her packing-up
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