Thursday, 12 January 2012


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 Attempt 3: Winter 2011/12 - Get up at stupid o'clock, walk in in the dark - first on route. Woohoo! Until 45 m into the first pitch, Mark breaks a pick. We bail after the first 60m pitch (to the delight of those queueing)

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...

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