Monday, 6 January 2014

Wet in the West

With the awful weather forecast, and after much discussion, we opted for a technique day in the Ice Factor.  This is turned out to be a really good day.  Karen and Rhys are returning for their third year, and showed they had moved one consistently in that day.  A lot of the core ice climbing skills that they used to have to focus on looked natural, which meant they could put their efforts into improving their efficiency.  Last year 2 hours was a long time, and half way through they started to fade.  This year they were still climbing the steeper lines at the end of the session, recovering as they went.  It was a real pleasure to see this progression today.

In the afternoon, we took things on a bit, and turned our attention to some dry tooling in the bouldering wall.  The aim was to raise their awareness of what they can hook, as well as build their confidence for when we get on something mixed and interesting later in the week.  Once they got their heads around it, there was no stopping them.  Both did extremely well, pulling off some pretty tricky moves.  Despite the weather not being quite as bad as forecast.  The rain was heavy at times but the wind did not materialise, we had a great and productive day.

Matt ventured out and up the Zig zags with his clients and then up into SCNL.  He said the snow is heavy and wet, with travel hard going.  The buttresses are plastered but not frozen.  This was the same yesterday when Guy tried to climb Reaburn's.  He found loads of unconsolidated snow on top of unfrozen ground beneath.  In the end they bailed, which seemed the best option by far.

Donald was out for Abacus and climbed ledge route.  His comments matched Matt's, so it seems most things will be hard work and wet to the temperature drops again.

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