Sunday, February 1, 2009

Shelter Stone: Success on Western Grooves.

The morning approach
Andy and I had a really good day over on the Shelter Stone today. It was bitter on the walk in, and the whole of the ridge upto p1141 was sheet glass. We plodded on into quite a strong southerly breeze, that made us both look like an icicle, and dropped down to the Shelter Stone. 2 hours 20 from the car, including soloing the first 40mts of our route and being geared up ready to go, was quite amazed how easy the good snow made the going underfoot.
Anyway we opted for Western Grooves, a really nice route, a couple of short tricky bits, and some quality mountaineering up the Shelter Stone.
Andy on a couple of the tricky bits.
The highlight was perhaps the best straddle seat belay in the world, with a couple of hundred feet beneath each foot.
Andy on the brilliant belay onto of our second pitch
When we topped out some guys reported that Sticil face was good, as they and another team just behind them had enjoyed some good ice.
Looking accross the cascade looked abit sorry for itself, but there were quite a few teams out enjoying Hells Lum.
Hells Lum and the Cascade.

We found the snow a bit cruddy, but good enough, and things are only going to improve once this cold spell really gets hold.
Back at the car for 6 so a 10 hour day. As we dropped down the goat track things looked much whiter in there, Fiacail buttress was especially hoared up.
The path out of the coirries was an ice rink and I fell at least 5 times on the flat!! Much to the amusement of everyone who just seemed to cruise past I am sure.
PS check out my spare axes on ebay. Aztars on Ebay.

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