After lots of time in the Ecrins with marginal conditions - we gave in and headed back to Cogne. Why did we wait so long?
|Random climber on Patri (Left)|
|An Alpine Club member warming up on Thoule (which at a supposed 3+ showed how variable ice grades can be!).|
|Jen waiting around for our turn Thoule|
|Jen making like a triangle on some steep ground on Cascade Lillaz|
|Jen leading on Acheronte|
|Conveniently, Acheronte drops you a short walk from the top of Patri (Right) - Perfect for an extra lap at the end of the day, especially in friendly stepped out conditions|
Cold Couloir Attempt 1: Winter 2010/11 - Busy before we got there, people queueing, and the brittle ice was plating off in concerning head-sized chunks... we found something else to do. Vertigine Porcellana I think.
Cold Couloir Attempt 2: Winter 2010/11 - Same story except our back up was Chandelle Levure I think.
|Spot the difference|
|Cold Couloir, Pitch 1 (and 2 further back)|
Cold Couloir Attempt 4: Winter 2011/12 - Get up at stupid o'clock, walk in in the dark - Only to be third on route, following the 2 teams of rescue services apparently getting paid to learn/practice ice climbing... They don't seem to be bringing down much ice, so we give them some space, then start on up.
|Jen popping over the steep section of P2|
|The somewhat crusty P4 (not counting the snow plods as a pitch)|
There's plenty more to be done here despite the non-ideal conditions... we just need to keep getting up early enough to beat the crowds...