My last day at Glenmore Lodge for a couple of weeks and the last day of Hugh and Jim's Winter Climbing Course. They opted to lead something easy today and we joined another party in Spiral Gully (II) who were freindly and sensible so climbing together worked just fine. We could see the base of the routes through the mist as we began but when we descended the Goat Track it was back to 'the white room' - watch out for those cornices, there is so much snow the edges are often invisible.
Round 2 and we just had time for another route and we opted for Red Gully which had a team moving fairly quickly on already. My lead this time and the guys raced up behind me as i took in the rope as fast as i could just to keep up!
The other team in the gully were using 'interesting' ropework techniques (clipped into the end of the rope rather than tied in, no runners when they were easily available- one good early runner would protect the belay in the event of an ever possible slip- slack tie in to anchors...). I'm not usually one for 'right and wrong' in terms of how other people climb but in this case it seemed that pointless shortcuts were being taken that served no purpose and saved no time over better practise techniques. Hope they survive long enough to learn better........
Anyway I've had a great few weeks (with some really great people to be on the hill with) over in the east and am now taking a couple of days off before some personal climbing time back over west and a week of my own work. Awesome conditions at the moment.... long may it continue!