Thanks to my colleagues for the extra rope... and for making it possible for me to leg it up to windy col (steps cut, forearms of popeye), dig out an abseil anchor independent of the top anchor of the route (ice chipped- more forearm action), abseil down passing that awkward knot joining the 2 short ropes together and rejoin my candidate early on his route. Seamless it was but I was working quite hard, especially when reascending my 2 ropes past that awkwardly sighted knot.
No excuse but I know why it happened. I changed the order in which I packed my rucksack today (I knew I'd be wearing the belay jacket that normally lives in the bottom of my sack so I moved it up. This was sufficient to disrupt the usual system and leave me with my crampons on the shelf in the drying room! Less autopilot and more though required in the mornings obviously.
Or, i'm just a pillock.
This evening was spent with a little informative staff training from Roger from Lyon Equipment. We were looking at simple visual teaching strategies to get the forces in climbing across to students.