Sunday, 10 January 2010

Day of two halves.

Guy and I got an early start off to Ben an Dothaidh this morning hoping for a steep mixed route. Disappointment, we went all the way to the base of the crag but although frozen the rock was dry and clean and the route looked black (and green) and we couldn't justify it as in winter nick :-(
So we nipped up and a good way right to solo a short Grade IV icefall we'd seen from the approach (note to self... my mixed crampons and hard ice do not a happy couple make).
Now this left me a half day and my wife Jane has been dying for an oportunity to do Steall falls. So I made a quick call, she handed off Sandy the sprog (who had been skiing, aged 17 months and already better than me- he can stand up) -cheers Jacqui for the baby sit- and soon I was getting sweaty on a brisk walk from Polldubh to Steall.
It had been another busy day on the falls and a helicopter was buzzing round taking pics as we arrived. Lots of old friends around as I met an old uni pal, folk I knew from working in climbing walls and Wullie and Douglas who I spent some time skiing with in East Greenland.
Jane's lead and I made the mistake of suggesting a couple of easy options left and right..... this being her annual winter route (remember this is the girl who proposed to me after her first Grade V lead) she chose to ignore me and cruise straight up the middle (wish I could look that good on my first route of the year- sighs). Still..... brownie points for me :-)
The Falls are still fat and have changed a bit from a week ago.... well iced smooth slabs higher up, more stepped lower down, a couple f lines possible all the way to the top.


Peter Duggan said...

'The last ice climber in Lochaber to do it'? Nah, that'll be JB!

Sandy looks so cute on those skis... just like a wee human penguin. :-)


Stuart said...

Nice job Jane! Looks a bit different than when you two took us all for a walk up there in May!!!
Sandy looks like already Skis better than his uncle!