Saturday 6 February 2010

Day 1 - the great chimney

50 years to the day since Marshall and Smith did the first ascent of the great chimney, we made a great fun ascent today in superb conditions. No wind, some good ice and neve, and temperature just hovering on zero, we couldn't have asked for more.

Apart maybe from some extra bodies to help with the morning carry, which was a litle hard on backs and shoulders. We hauled a ton of rope, kit, and cameras to the hut to kick things off, so leaving to stroll up observatory gully we had a spring in our step after leaving some of it behind. Well, donald did anyway, racing up tower ridge to fix a rope for paul to climb up.

I was lucky and got the main pitch which had superb rock spikes to grab hold of any time the ice got a bit hollow. Andy's pitch, where marshall used a point of aid on a short overhanging barrier was indeed steep. Thankfully his crampon points weren't placed inches above my head for too long and we were up into the mild afternoon air on tower ridge.

Paul did well to move quickly into position up his rope and his footage of the climb showed off the fine rock architecture of the cavernous slit through the ridge. Tomorrow we might be deviating from the itinerary of Marshall and smith and heading for pigotts route next. We'llsee what the morning brings.

Sent from my iPhone

No comments:

Post a Comment