Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Takin' a Chance

Despite the crap forecast Greg and myself ventured into Lochain. I was soaked to the undies within 40 mins thanks to the driving wind and rain. Alot of the snow that had fallen over the previous few days has been stripped, leaving saturated snow for the most part. Even though the outlook was not looking good we carried on anyway (no one wanted to be the one to say lets go home first, that was probably just me). As we walked to the apron nearly all the buttresses were black so we soloed a nice little ice pitch towards No. 4 buttress. We were hoping that the area from Hooker's Corner to Y gully right hand would have been sheltered enough to hold of the rain (I've found in the past this can be a good option). No surprise it was still in. The thaw was on but the turf was frozen, the rock was white and there was still alot of ice in the cracks.

We climbed Hooker's Corner which felt hard going. The ice was not very usable in the cracks and made the gear a little hard work. I found this out when my axe ripped and I stripped a few runners to stopped 30 ft later. Only 3m from the belay one of my axes remained. Greg was cold and had two axes so of he went. avoiding the ice where I parted company, he finished well.

If the temperature comes down again the conditions should return quickly and the snow left will be excellent.

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