Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Winter Mountaineering Day 2

Above & Below: Conrad enjoy the delights of Curved Ridge

As Conrad is on his own this week, we descided to go and do what would be a top end mountaineering route, rather than listening to me all day again about footwork etc. He has a rock climbing background, so it was also a good way to really work his movement in crampons over this mixed ground. The objective was Curved Ridge. This grade II ridge ticks all the boxes in terms of what makes a top end mountaineering route as it borders very closely to climbing, but is still a 1 axe route. We approached the route as you would a grade 3 scramble moving short distances between natural direct belays and changing tactics when appropriate. As Conrad had used this approach in the summer, it gave us a chance to discuss the differences when faced with winter conditions. There was a lot of snow on the ridge today and snow being moved in no particular direction. Pockets of soft windslab were evident on decent, but could be avoided on the brocken ground around the gully. It has been snowing all day again above 700m and a bit lower.
Above: Conrad coming up the last tricky step

Above: Almost there, with Crowberry Tower behind.

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