Friday, 25 February 2011

Back to Le Pylon

We had heard ice climbing conditions were good in La Grave, so we thought we'd head back and check it out. On first glance, we were not inspired - the snow and ice is almost completely gone from any surface that gets sunlight and it really does not look like winter! As we drove up, we saw a large chandelier on a south-facing cliff come crashing down. Hmmm.

Oh ye of little faith! The ice falls on the north sides were actually in better condition than before. Out of the sun it has stayed cool and the ice has grown fatter. But not being too cold, it wasn't too miserable out there either. Perfect!

We had also heard that, as only north-facing routes are in condition, it was likely to be busy ... but today we only had to share Pylon with one other team, who were super friendly and obligingly kept to the left whilst we were on the right. As we had the time, we headed up both sides of the fall ...

Mark leading the right side in one mega-pitch ....
... and Jen taking on the easier second pitch of the left side.
We suppose the bright sunshine isn't all bad news. Once back at the car, we could dry the gear and relax in the sun with a cold drink. Yep, apparently this is winter in the Alps.

Not a yardsale.

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