We heard Cogne in Italy was the only place this year that had some ice. All other areas were far too dry or warm.
So, we skip the comp in Rabenstein (which would be too far anyway) and just climb ice for 1,5 weeks.
The first day we had a proper warm-up in a-route-of-which-I-forgot-the-name-already. The ice was thin at some places but very nice to climb. Mixed in the middle, totally dry top-out and proper ice in the start. After a paper-scissor-stone game I was the one to start, I had all the proper ice pitches and the dry top-out, Dennis had one ice pitch and the snow in the middle. Lucky me :) Though, Dennis was the lucky one to climb the mixed pitch in the middle.
Today we wanted to take a look in another line that didn’t look too hard but it was stuffed with climbers so we went straight for the ‘Hard Ice’ and the M7+ left to it. (Couloir Lillaz or something)
Dennis was the one to start today, as I started yesterday. He went into the M7+ which was pretty scary dry and full of really loose blocks to pull on. We wanted to get into the ice after that but it was all wet delaminated ‘shait’. Not something I wanted to get onto. Plus I was totally frozen seconding the first pitch. My hands were so, so, so cold. Once the blood got back it felt like they were exploding and falling off and….it just was really painful :(
Thinking back I still feel sick of it.
Hopefully no that I once had it it won’t come again this bad this Winter…
After that we climbed the first pitch of ‘Hard Ice’ figuring the second M10 pitch looked too weird, scary, loose and some ice was missing… So we bailed again (not motivated to try the A2 option on the right) The first pitch was quite a thing, harder then it looks.
The stalactite had almost formed a pillar. I recon it takes just a couple more days of good frost and then it will stand.
Tomorrow we have Tuborg on the list and then we’ll head for the real stuff (harder ice and hopefully we find some proper mixed things here in the valley, suggestions are welcome)
Finally, real ice: it’s all cold, hurts on your hands, is cold on your feet, painful when it hits your shoulders, shins of face, scary when it’s all delaminated but all together it’s still a thing I love :)