Sunday, 10 February 2013

Nordwand Direct

The line of the Nordwand straight up the middle
So, Yesterday Matt, Matt, Freda, Dave, Lena and I climbed the Nordwand DirectIV,4** on the North face of Carn Dearg.  This 430 m route is very much like the Orion face, having a very committing and serious feel, with hard won belays and poor protection.  The guidebook suggests that it weaves around and is a mixed route, but we followed a very obvious line straight up on ice for 10 pitches.  The majority of the pitches were  grade IV,4 with a couple of IV,5 and maybe one at tech 3.  Out of the 10 pitches we climbed, only two were easy snow, with the rest being ice.  Pitches ranged from 30-60m, but felt very much like solo's due to thin or poor ice.  It was a fine expedition and we were down in good time, with the route taking 5 hours.  A climb well all recommend.
Starting up the first steep pitch

Dave and Lena starting off
Matt Lander sending somewhere on the face

Leading up yet another ice pitch
The ice is not as good as it looks

Lena and Dave enjoying being out on the face

Send, Send, Send!!!!
Are we there YET!!!!

Lander bridging to the max
Stygall pulling over the last step

Freda with one short step left
As the weather swept in and out through the day, it gave a real Nordwand feel.  Matt and I managed to lead on parallel lines most of the way, which meant it was a very sociable experience.

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