Monday, 1 April 2013

Idwal Skills

Just a quick post.

After an amazing day on the black ladders, me and Chris headed over to the other side of the valley and into Idwal. We had a few routes in mind but the only one free at the time of arrival was Chicane Gully (III, 4). Although, there was a team on the second pitch. We waited at the base, gearing up and out of the fall line of the ice they were knocking off! I did contemplate Grecian 2000 at this time, but decided against it for some unknown reason.

I led up the first pitch, the crux. It went without any difficulties and soon I found myself in the morning sun on the first belay. Chris Led up to just underneath the Ice umbrella capping the top of the climb. This, to me, was the crux part of the climb, trying to wriggle and worm round and over it.

On the decent, there were ques on all the climbs we wanted to do, and so we decided that instead of waiting, we'll head down to find some ice bouldering and play around practicing winter skills. We found a perfect spot. A 4m high rock outcrop with a very thin ice streak down the vertical side and an ice plastered slab the other. Chris bet me a beer that I couldn't climb the VERY thin and delicate ice streak. And so challenge accepted, I set off. Chipping placements instead of swinging, and hooking bulges. The base came away as I started up it and had to balance on it to keep feet on. But I managed it and topped out with a smug expresion and knowing that I was owed a pint. I'd have graded the ice to be V, 5 if on a route. And so, Chris then had to prove that he too could climb it. And he did, rather well as well.

We spent the rest of the afternoon repeating our mini project to the point where it collapsed and turned into a mixed start and then a pure dry tool route. So we abandoned that and continued on the slab ice. Me showing off and climbing it with no tools. We then turned our attentions to the snow and spent a while building snow bollards, T-axe belays and digging a snow hole. Which looked like a pathetic effort on our behalf compared to others that had been built further down.

All in all, we still had a really good day even if we did only climb one route.

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